Gone are the Christmas decorations

As the holidays come to an end today, I have gathered up the Christmas decorations and repacked them in their boxes.  I reorganized my mantel which I decorate all year long as the seasons change.  It is covered now in icy branches and cones. 

I was at a lost for what rug to put in my shadow box since I have nothing yet hooked for January.  I went upstairs and rummaged through my box of old hooked rugs and came upon a little rug that is perfect. 

It is the only rug that my mom hooked for me.  She and my sister started hooking two years after I began the craft.  At the time, I was living in another state, so I never really got to hook with my mom before she died in '99.  The last year of her life, she designed and hooked Fawn for me and gave it to me for Christmas in '98. 

When I look at Fawn, I am drawn to the sweetness of the animal and the boldness of the flora she encounters.  I am also struck by the  the fawn as she stands alone, her mother nowhere in the setting.  The metaphor is not lost on me.  Only a few months after receiving this mat, I stood alone, my mother gone from this life. 

Yet the mat leaves me not with feelings of loneliness or abandonment as you might imagine, but feelings of strength and direction.  Like the fawn standing proudly on the bank, I can journey confidently in this world on my own.  This confidence was shaped in me when I was a child by my mother who loved me deeply.  So I am comforted by the mat, with the traces of my mother's hand that cut and hooked each strip of wool and worked her initials into the corner.  In this mat, she is still here and she has left me with a powerful message whether she intended to or not.

In this New Year, if there is a mat that needs to be hooked for someone, hook it and give it.  Our time with each other is shorter than we imagine.