Tomorrow, June 24, is a significant day in my life.
First and most importantly, it's my mother's 75th birthday, and given the fact that she is on hospice in our family room, it's a bittersweet day because I love every second I get to spend with my mother, but I'm also completely heartbroken as we know that our time together is short.
Secondly, the 24th is also the third anniversary of when I signed the lease to rent the shop space, and at the time we joked about how I'd never forget the date because it fell on my mom's birthday.
Similarly, the date of the shop's soft opening three years ago fell on my 42nd birthday, and a year later, the day before my birthday, was also the date I said goodbye to my beloved dog, Maggie, who had been with me since my second year at the university, seen me through the tenure process, moved with me back to Erie when I up and quit that horrible job, and basically ran everyone's lives for the following three years because Maggie was most definitely the boss of everyone.
Truth be told, though, I'm not great with remembering most dates. I can remember that certain events happened during a particular year of my life. I have near perfect recall of most conversations and event sequences (which is why my colleagues and the department secretary used to always rely on me for any and all institutional and meeting knowledge, including the course rotation schedule, and also why people with whom I do not get along are often sorry they bothered tangling with me because I can and will recall even the most minute details to prove a point, and I always have documentation to back up what I say). But general recall of exact dates? Not usually my thing.
So, it helps that my lease renewal falls on the same date as my Mom's birthday. And it hurts every year and makes me shun celebration of my own birthday that Maggie crossed the rainbow bridge the day before.
I'm also much better at remembering when or for what occasion I made something.
I can remember that for my friend Mike's 40th birthday, I crocheted him a stuffed Toothless Dragon because he loves the movie How to Train Your Dragon. I can remember that when I took my first (and really only) vacation with my friend Ben so we could go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida that I made him a suitcase full of Harry Potter-themed knits and crocheted items. I remember that the last time I went to Rhinebeck I bought an ounce of qiviut to spin so I could mix it with some llama yarn I bought from Snowy Oaks Llama Farm and make my Dad mittens to keep his hands warm. I remember the year my friend Gina and I went to the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival and I bought that gorgeous plum/tan/brown yarn from Persimmon Tree Farms to make the Salem hooded sweater from the New England Knits book. I remember that when my friends Tom and Lisa had their little girl Grace, I made a bunch of crocheted and knitted toys for her and then her little sister June.
Fiber projects help anchor my memories and rough dates in a lot of ways.
So, although I don't have a particular project that I'm thinking of as tomorrow approaches, June 24--my Mom's birthday--will always be tied to fiber for me because I'll always remember how happy she was the day that I signed that lease, how much she helped me get ready to open the store, how supportive she was of this plan for my life. She has always told me to just hang in there because starting a business isn't easy and it takes a long time to figure it out, but that it can be done so long as you're creative and dedicated.
Happy birthday, Mom.