A few days after my dog Hooka went to doggy heaven, I started a new project. I knew I needed to get away, but I wasn’t confident where.
I also thought it would be a fun challenge to crochet the flag of Lebanon into a blanket. I don’t have a pattern or instructions just an image of the flag.
I learned crochet when I was a preteen, and picked it up again about thirty years later. Crochet keeps my hands busy, it takes my eyes off my smartphone, computer, or television. Crochet is a nice way to fill the commute when I’m on the Light Rail to and from work. It distracts and relaxes me.
Learning from prior projects, I gathered my needed yarn and started. I checked with my friend Sadika who said she would host me. Crocheting this blanket gave me the confidence to commit to this trip. It also gave me the confidence to let my parents know despite their worries and the State Department warnings- this is the right decision.
I also told them I spent many hours crocheting and thinking about this and it was not a reflexive decision after Hooka’s death.
Over twenty years ago I had a conversation over the dinner table when they vetoed idea of me going to college in Beirut. Now I was having another conversation, over another dinner table on the same subject.
Sipping a glass of red wine, I offered up, “Did you know there are winemakers in Lebanon?”
The conversation went differently this time. Instead of an idealistic teenager, I’m approaching 42 years-old. I will be staying with Sadika, a storyteller and Toastmaster (like me) and a mother of an adult daughter (like my stepmom).
My stepmom admitted as much, “You are an adult. You can make your own decisions now.”
My dad was even more understanding, “You will probably get another speeding ticket before you get kidnapped.”
Finally I showed them the project I had finished that day, that I had worked on the past two weeks.
Thank you to my parents for trusting me. Sadika I look forward to giving you this blanket soon.
Stitch by stitch I grieve.
Stitch by stitch I weave.
Stitch by stitch I give.
Stitch by stitch I live.