Holding on

Originally written as a comment on Marie’s blog.

I’ve always been pretty bad about wanting to hang on to things. Visiting my mother’s family in Illinois as a child, I had two experiences that shocked me and made me think that maybe I was hanging on too tight.

The first was with my cousin Cary. We built a diorama out of paper and aluminum foil of some pretend land. When we were done, my cousin exclaimed, “And the best part about Imaginary World? Destroying it!” And she proceeded to tear what we had just created to shreds.

I was so horrified I couldn’t even react.

Later that same trip, at my Aunt Carol’s house, Carol was teaching me to crochet. I made a long, thin, curly something that I thought was pretty neat.

“Now for the fun part,” Carol intoned. “Destroying it!” And she started to pull at the yarn, tugging the loops apart at the end. (Obviously Cary and Carol spent a fair amount of time together.)

This time I thought quickly enough to protest. “No!” I cried. “Don’t destroy it! I want to keep it!”

Carol was taken aback by this. Her previous excitement vanished, and the crocheting session ended.

Her reaction made me wonder if I was being silly. I wondered if I should go along with the destruction to please her.

But I’ve always been stubborn. I said nothing further and kept the strip of woven yarn.

And I kept it for years. In fact, if it hadn’t been for our apartment fire three years ago, I’d still have it, 20 years after disingenuously crocheting it.

Sometimes I wonder if that fire was meant to show me that I hang on too much.