Wednesday, December 10, 2008
My Dad and the light switch cover
This light switch cover may not look Christmasy, but read on and you will see it's Christmas meaning.
1995 was not a good mental health year for me. Shortly before Thanksgiving that year, I went into a severe depression. It started around the first of October and by the week before Thanksgiving I was not doing well. Without going into great detail, I felt that the whole world, including my precious 12 year old daughter, would be better off without me. Some good friends found me in a hotel that I have yet to remember driving to and took me to the hospital. My dad signed my commitment papers into a local psychiatric unit where I was diagnosed with major depression. Not a fun time.
I got out of the hospital 2 days before Thanksgiving and it took awhile before the medication fully started to work. I got up each day, went to work and came home and sat in my favorite blue chair. I didn't feel much like doing anything but stitching. No TV, no holiday fun, nothing. I wasn't sleeping much then either.
I started working on this light switch cover for my dad and mom for Christmas. They had bought a new home and I thought it would be pretty. I finished it Christmas Eve.
Now my daddy loved Christmas. He loved decorating (not too much, just the right amount). He loved buying stuff he knew we would like (again, not too overboard, just the perfect little something). That year we went to his house for Christmas Eve.
My medication was working well. I felt like my old self, but not quite as energetic.
Daddy had snacks laid out and was happier than I had seen him. He kept things quiet, but fun. We told Christmas stories about past Christmases and about funny things that had happened. All very low key, but really memorable.
We opened presents and Daddy opened my light switch present. I showed him how to put it on the wall. He had tears in his eyes and said it was beautiful. It made my heart sing. Then he said the MOST AWFUL THING TO ME.
He said, I want one for the living room, one for all three bedrooms and another in the dining room. Oh my, that is a lot of stitching.
But the day after Christmas I rushed out to JoAnn's for their after Christmas sale. I stocked up on light switch covers and patterns. I planned to do one for his birthday in April, then Mother's day, Mom's birthday, their anniversary and then Father's Day. I was so excited at how much joy it would give my dad.
Daddy died that following March, suddenly. I never got to do another light switch cover for him. But I have the first one with me in my house (my Mom is disabled and lives with me). I still smile when I think of how happy that little piece of cross stitch made my Daddy.