The relationship between my mom and me isn’t the best… she can have a real critical spirit, and is pretty judgmental even now. We talk, but only about superficial stuffs but not about the real deep issues of life.
All the gifts I ever made for her ended up either forgotten in drawers, or in the back porch under piles of junk. I beaded her some earrings; she never wore them until I said to her, “Eh Mom, if you don’t like them, let me take them back an get something for you that you really like”. But no, she wanted to just keep them on display, I guess.
She is old now… and just before Mother’s Day this year, ke Akua told me He wanted me to knit her a shawl. “What?” I aske Him. “You’re kidding, right?” I thought I was making it up… you know, guilty daughter, all lidat. But no, He insisted. “Knit her a shawl, and pray for her while you knit it”.
“But God”, I said, “You know what’s going to happen. The shawl will just sit in a drawer, or stuck in the back bedroom someplace. She’s not going to wear it”. (I am so lolo, yeah? Imagine arguing with ke Akua!)
“You just obey me”, He told me. “That’s all I ask. Don’t expect anything. If it ends up in a drawer, that’s how it goes. The main thing is the message to your mother: that you would spend all this time doing this for her. That you care enough to do it for her, no matter what she’s going to do with it. This is what aloha is about. Aloha is what I want you to give to your mother”. Of course I wondered if ke Akua ever talks in pidgin, but dat’s how I heard Him. Adunno…. what do you think? That maybe He does talk in pidgin? Of course He talks lidat!
So I looked and looked, and finally found a pattern that I thought my mother would like. I bought some of the finest mohair available, from a yarn store in Canada, in some colors that would look nani on my mother and would match all of the clothes that she wears.
And I started to knit, praying for my mother while I did. This is how the shawl started; the pukas going up the side are part of the pattern.
About a week later, here is what the shawl looked like, halfway pau:
And here’s a close-up of the turning corner:
Here is a photo of the shawl when it was all pau. I was real pleased with the way it came out, and I thought, “If she likes it, that’s good. If not, that’s good too… because I did what I was supposed to do, an prayed for her the whole time I was knitting it.
I sent it down for Mother’s Day. She said she liked it. I don’t know yet how this story will end. But I know this: if the shawl goes in the back of the closet, or a drawer, if my mom never wears it, it is still okay. I obeyed ke Akua, who knows much more than me, who can see the big picture, who knows that maybe this shawl is going be the only language that my mom can understand right now.
If can, can. If no can, no can. But I stay pono with ke Akua, and that’s what matters to me the most.