Carpe diem

According to the Surviving U.S. veterans of World War II wikipedia entry, approximately 850 American World War II veterans die every day, and today my Uncle Don was one of them.

My Uncle had an indefatigable spirit of adventure and romance, and it was this spirit which guided his enlistment into the Army where he was a paratrooper, a job he loved; the fact that he came under enemy fire was an unfortunate aspect of the work, but he was lucky, and he came home alive.

My uncle lived a long life, and he seemed to have reveled in each moment it. When he was in his late thirties and found himself in a cardiac intensive care unit undergoing what was then state-of-the art treatment for a heart condition, he told my mother, “I want to taste life, I want to do some skydiving.”

This love of falling to earth was one that never left him. As recently as the early aughties, when he was well into his seventies, my uncle came to North Carolina to visit. During his stay, he waxed rhapsodic about skydiving, and he told me that if he could still do it, he would.

So it was in this spirit and with my Uncle Don very much in mind that I sat out on the back deck of my home, with a 5.5mm hook in my hand, a pile of yarn scarps within arm’s reach, and my poncho-to-be on my lap.

This is how the poncho looked when I began work on it this afternoon:

One side of the poncho-to-be after completing the twelfth round
The other side of the poncho-to-be after completing the twelfth round

I had most recently worked on the poncho this past Sunday. Working in my livingroom, I had struggled with color choices and made numerous mistakes in my execution of the stitches.

Today on my back deck under clear and cloudless skies, I made my color choices swiftly, and just before sunset, I got these photos:

One side of the poncho-to-be with four additional rounds
The other side of the poncho-to-be with four additional rounds

And while crochet isn’t as physically exhilarating as my uncle’s beloved skydiving, I like to think he would understand the passion that propels me in my crochet work.

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10 thoughts on “Carpe diem

  1. What a beautiful tribute and beatiful poncho Leslie! I love your writing and how you relate life to crocheting! So sorry about the loss of you dear uncle. Although it sounds like he lived a long full life, its never enough.

  2. Ahhh, what is a lovely way to remember your uncle.

    Lately my crochet work, especially with thread, has been a meditation in memory of my dear step-mother who passed away in September.

    A good friend once told me that as long as we remember them, they live on. Peace to you and joy in your memories of your Uncle.

  3. those touches of turquoise
    divinely inspired
    nuggets of the sky,
    the one your beloved Uncle thrilled @ falling through:)
    Tea and Sympathy

  4. I shall not try to add to all of the beuatiful words written above. I agree and they speak for me… Be at Peace Leslie…..

  5. I’m sorry for the loss of your uncle. I have no words, except that I bet he did understand your passion. I bet he understood it better than most.

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