The sewing machine doesn’t hum. It barrels down the seam, rattling the table and everything on it. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m working on the Christmas jammies. Fifth Christmas without her and the sewing of my children’s jammies is a bit of therapy. She always finished her sewing at the last minute, too. I was sure I’d have to go to prom with pins in the hem of my dress. I didn’t, though. Likewise, these pants will be done by the time the kids go to bed.
I carefully trim the seams with her Gingher shears, snipping the tip off of Olaf’s nose and wonder if she would have enjoyed “Frozen.” Probably. And then the cascade of all the things she has missed washes over me. All the questions I’ve wanted to ask her since she has been gone. The tears make it hard to see the stitches and I pause to cry for a little while. I’m glad my son has finished wrapping his sister’s gift and left the room. It’s not that I don’t want him to see me cry, it’s that he doesn’t remember her. He was only four. Besides, this space is just for me and her.
It’s time to overcast the seams. It’s not in the directions for the pattern, but she taught me to always do it anyway. The zigzag stitching keeps the fabric from fraying and compromising the seam. I wish there was a way to keep my memories from fraying at the edges too. I am thankful I have pictures to help. She hated to have her picture taken, so I am lucky for the ones I have.
My daughter comes in now, to check on my progress and wrap the ornaments she has made this year as gifts. The two of them would have been so close. She remembers more than my son does, but not enough. How could it be enough?
I’m on the home stretch now, the only thing left to do is to hem up the pants legs. The music being played changes, from my melancholy mix of Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd to my son’s “Polar Express” soundtrack. It’s time to be done with the sewing anyway–there is so much to do on this Christmas Eve and I can’t spend it all with my mom.