I have not forgotten I promised my brother and his kids a very specific Christmas present.
I told them I would take the collection of little puppy scarves my mom had saved from each trip to the groomers, and sew them into quilts.
I worked on matching triangles into squares in the months early after mom died, keeping myself breathing and busy during one miscarriage after another.
And then the foster care kids came, and my sewing table was taken down.
Except while Nathan was gone last week, I had his empty desk space.
So I stole it, and have worked on sewing the triangle squares into bigger squares, setting the blocks of the different blankets.
I am almost through these hardest pieces, and then will be ready to pick out the back of each blanket from some of her clothes we saved, and will quilt the pieces together.
It feels like running, sewing for hours, losing yourself in the rhythm of it, feeling as far away as when writing, and the deep breathing that comes from hard work that relaxes me.
And it feels right to finish this project these final weeks as my year of grief comes to a close.
My mom really, really loved her puppies.
I really, really loved my mom.
My family really, really loves blankets.