Jo Irene…

Jo Irene..

Not short for Josephine

Jo Irene

My grandmother’s older sister

First daughter of Preston and Martha

Wife of Choice, the railroad conductor

My father dearly loved his Aunt Jo and Uncle Choice

The Stallcup home was a respite for him during the depression years

She held the linen in her own hand, knowing the butterfly that was hidden within it…

Just as a sculptor knows the beauty within the stone

Waiting to be discovered

Aunt Jo chose every color and every line

Her fingers deftly put the sharp needle and soft thread to work in a gentle act of creation

Each stitch taken with great care, as are the moments of life

I can imagine her head bowed over her handiwork in a prayer of a kind

For stitching…is prayerful

I wonder what her thoughts were as she tended to the satin and the stem, the straight and the seed

…even to the knots so carefully tucked away on the underneath

Did she sit in a rocker by a fire or at a kitchen table in the morning sunshine

Were there others with her or did she sew in solitude

When she made this there wouldn’t even have been a hint that there would be a me to hold it

My father was only a little boy then

She treasured him so..and he, her

Yet, here I am, now

Holding something of her heart in my hands as though she gifted it to me with her own, over a cup of afternoon tea and talk

..and stitching,

Teaching moments. Listening moments.

One day another will hold it just as I do and wonder over those she never knew

Whoever she may one day be, I hope that she will feel the love in every stitch


ellie894 November 24, 2020