Nanny’s Hearts

A year ago today my Nanny passed away. She was such an amazing woman. She not only raised her own children into the amazing parents they are but helped raise and mold all 8 of her grandchildren into the people we have grown to become. She cooked, she joked and laughed, sang and danced, and loved all of us in her own special way. She also crocheted. Something she learned from her mother and taught her to her daughter who then taught me. I loved calling her up to talk about what was on our hooks and sending emails with pictures.

The two weeks prior were very hard with her being in the hospital, having surgeries, not fully waking, and trying to get a plane ticket booked. To help me feel more connected to her during that time, and while I waited for my flight on the 11th, I decided to work on a special project just for her, a doily. Working with crochet thread was her favorite but I had only worked with it once and wasn’t a fan. But I thought this was the best thing to work on though. I needed a very special pattern, and I found one. Cylinda D. Mathews of Crochet Memories’s Hearts Doily pattern is what I settled on. It was beautiful and it had hearts. How could I say no?

So I started on it. It took me three days to crochet it. I then wet blocked it, first time I did that. It was easy too and made it amazing! Here it is all pinned out on the towel and drying. My pineapples aren’t perfect but that’s ok


It was after I completed the doily when I received the phone call in the middle of the night that she had passed. It was the worst phone call I had ever gotten. My doily was finished, I hadn’t been able to give it to her or say goodbye and my flight was still days away. The next few days were kind of a haze. I don’t remember much except for my sister (who was already there) texting me about Pop-pop and things I did/didn’t need to pack. The funniest text was hearing about her teaching him how to use the washer!!

My flight day finally came around and I realized I had nothing to do during my 12 hours of travel. Yea wasn’t happy about that but what was I to do for a last minute flight except to expect layovers. I decided that I was going to make myself a matching doily. Except that never happened. My first flight was a tiny plane headed to Boston. But that’s the opposite direction?? Weird I know. I had the row to myself and it was early morning. So I just took that short flight to stare out the window. It was then that I saw this rainbow and I knew everything was going to be ok


I landed in Boston and had a couple hours to grab lunch. I found a giant rocking chair, parked my butt, and just watched the planes taxi around while I nibbled at a sandwich. Then it was time for the long flight to Phoenix. It was a full flight and I had a middle seat. My two gentlemen buddies were very nice. One was going back home and mostly kept to himself. The other was headed to Vegas for a bachelor party and was very chatty. I tried to work on my doily but only got 6 rounds in before I gave up for the night and napped the rest of the way.

Landing was just the start of the shortest longest week of my life. I got to hang out with cousins that I hadn’t seen in 5 years. Visited some cool places with my Pop-pop. Had some nice family dinners. Met the new dog Marley, naturally named after Bob Marley. I had a great time. And looking back I realized that that was the way it was meant to be. I arrived the day after my sister left. If I had gone a week earlier like I had wanted then no one would have been there for Pop-pop in the days after Nanny passed. I had to help him with some things too. Like learning how to use an ATM. I was also there to help him take care of things that need to be done after someone dies. Yes my uncle lives there and can help too but he can’t all the time, he does have a job. So Pop-pop wasn’t left alone during the days for a week and I think that was good.

I gave him the doily that I made for Nanny. He absolutely loved it and told me that Nanny sees and that he’s positive that she loves it too. He then walked around the house looking for the perfect spot. He settled on the breakfast bar, next to one she had made. He put it down and said it’s now in its forever home.


He let me go through some of her crochet books and I took a couple because that was all I could fit in my bag. But when he came back east for the funeral he brought me more of her books and an unfinished blanket that I absolutely can not wait to finish! It’s a granny square blanket so I have to make more squares and then sew them all together. I plan to ask my mom if she could then add a border on it so three generations of us will have worked on one blanket. I think it would make for a PERFECT heirloom.

But then came the day I had to leave. It was very sad because I had to say goodbye again. But not for long because the funeral was being planned to take place in Pennsylvania. So I said goodbye to my cousins, drove them off to school, took one last picture with Pop-pop, and then my uncle took me to the airport. I did the whole crying alone in the airport terminal thing but then an older lady sat next to me and just chatted about something random I don’t even remember now. It was very nice because she didn’t ask about why I was crying but it got me to stop. Thank you older lady for making my plane wait a little easier.

After that I couldn’t crochet for the longest time. I had lots of projects to complete, some with deadlines. But I just couldn’t work up enough energy to do them. Every time I picked up a hook I thought of her and started crying for about a week and a half. After that I just didn’t have the will to crochet. It was awful. It was the first time I had ever really lost my cro-jo. Then about a month later a little before Christmas it came back. The first thing I completed and felt really good about was an infinity scarf for my mom. I actually weaved the ends in while on the train on New Year’s Day on my way to see her. Over the next two weeks while visiting home I worked on something for me. Which you all know I never do, and if I do they never get finished. I’m looking at you 3 blankets, 2 scarves, and mermaid tail! I made myself a set of matching hat and mittens.

But it’s been a year and I still haven’t finished my doily. I picked it back up yesterday! I hope to finish it in a couple days. Then I have to hunt for the perfect spot in my house!!!

To quote one of my favorite characters “It’s funny. The day you lose someone isn’t the worst. At least you’ve got something to do. It’s all the days they stay dead.” – The Doctor

On the Hook:

  • Hearts Doily for me

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