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I’ll never forget the time when I walked by my Grandfather while he was reading the newspaper in our living room. No sooner had I passed him, when I could suddenly feel him freeze.

Even at the age of ten, I could sense when there was something about me that did not meet with his approval.

Setting his newspaper aside, he took off his glasses and asked me to come closer.

I did as I was told.

My Grandfather pointed to a rip in one of my sleeves.

It was then that he told me that there was no excuse for wearing a torn garment.

No excuse at all.

He was right of course.

It’s a matter of self respect for yourself, and maintaining the respect of others.

In his early years, my Grandfather was apprenticed to be a tailor before he received his call to enter the ministry.

I know for a fact that he was an exceptional tailor because even after his retirement, he continued to enjoy sewing for the family. My world was a happier place whenever I had the pleasure of seeing my Opa sitting in a comfortable chair hemming, stitching and darning. His contentment was obvious whenever there was a needle in his hands. My Grandfather’s meticulous nature thrived on perfect stitches.

I was about five years old when someone put a sewing needle in my hand for the first time.

It was my Aunt Elsbeth. I was visiting her house one day when she sat me down at her kitchen table along with her own three children. We were each given a threaded sewing needle and one of her husband’s old shirts. Then, we were shown how to sew in a straight line using medium sized stitches,

That is how I learned to sew.

Now, fast forward several decades.

When my eldest daughter was in grade one, I sat her down and introduced her to a needle and thread as well. Before she knew it, I had her doing cross stitch on a stamped piece of linen using coloured embroidery floss.

She still has this project, or she tells me.

Of course, this makes me very happy because this little piece of cloth that holds my daughter’s first precious stitches, tells me that as her Mother after all these years…

…I at least did something right.