For H

by Clarissa

H is a co-worker of Doc. H is a young woman, probably younger than my sister who is 37 years old. H, like me, is an immigrant and came to the US several years ago. H, like me, is a scientist. H, like me, loves crafts like knitting, crocheting, and sewing. H, unlike me, is married to a guy who is 10 years younger than she is. H, last October, was diagnosed with breast cancer, received chemotherapy, lost all her hair, and started to wear a wig.  H, at the beginning of March, underwent reconstructive surgery. H, after the surgery, spent about two weeks recovering at home.

It was after the surgery that I proposed H to spend a day with her with the promise of cooking an Italian lunch. H happily agreed to that idea.

So, about a week before the day with H, I started making thinks for her. Knowing that she appreciates handmade gifts, and knowing that she wants to start sewing and knitting, I decided to make her all handmade things, including a few useful for knitting or sewing. This is what I made for her…

Left picture: A recycled bag I got from a conference with her initial; a set of stitch markers representing chocolate truffles (very hard to see but they’re located on the upper right corner of the H); a red, black, and white needle book; a set of yellow, orange, and purple potholders with dishcloths.

Middle picture: a warmer bag filled with rice and lavender (upper left corner); four lavender sachets (one with the H, one with the heart, and two heart-shaped); a pincushion (up in the middle); a cross-stitched biscornu; a measure tape with the blue heart; a coaster made with lanyards from scientific conferences (upper right corner);

Right picture: two  red, black, and white breakfast mats.

I put everything in the bag with the H, and she was extremely happy to receive my gifts. It turned out that red, black, and white are her favorite colors, and she used these colors in her wedding. It also turned out that the day I spent with her, March 5th, was her birthday. I didn’t ask how young she was to experience all what was happening in her life.