Picking Up the Tangled Threads

I have been dreaming about my dad. As I go through the boxes of his life, I experience new insight into this wonderful man. This past weekend I emptied stacks of cardboard boxes from his storage room. I organized the items and recycled the cardboard because I found a couple of bugs crawling within. I do not want them to take up residence in my home.

Sifting through the boxes has been one long, arduous treasure hunt. We found his Marine Corps dog tags, a beautiful print from a trip to China in 1979, a 1968 hotel receipt from Hamburg, Germany, a wooden book made in a one room school house on the prairies of North Dakota, and a letter he wrote to me. Each item has evoked emotion; from awe, to wonder, to exasperation (now why did he keep that) to tears (the silent drip down your face kind). It has been quite an undertaking.

Sometimes the emotion became too much for me. At those times I would walk away from the mess and take a break (trying not to think about escaping bugs).

During my breaks, I read, I napped and I worked on a sewing project to gift myself. I love to sew. My husband gets tired of pins and snipped threads mysteriously depositing themselves all over our house. Figuring it was time to solve the thread problem, I found a wonderful pattern to make a thread catcher.

Last night, after I finished sorting and sewing, it occurred to me I had been guided to work on this sewing project on this particular weekend. While picking up the tangled threads of dad’s life I was literally creating something to catch threads. How life expanding.

Today, I feel better and very thankful. Thankful that dad asked me to do something with all of his boxes.

Each life is a story. Dad’s story, woven with threads from family, work and faith, created a beautiful life tapestry. I look forward to sharing his story, tangles and all.


Do you have some tangled threads in your life?

If so, may I suggest the Triangular Thread Catcher Tutorial (from Edna at Needling Things) for some free, easy, keep your hands and mind busy therapy.

I was able to complete my thread catcher in no time at all using fabric scraps I had on hand. I plan to make more of these delights for friends.

12 thoughts on “Picking Up the Tangled Threads”

  1. Before I read the part where you took breaks from the huge undertaking, I was thinking…I would have to take a break! Too emotional. But what wonderful memories and mementos!
    That thread catcher thingy looks pretty cool!

  2. You conveyed the tender and sweet emotions so effectively here. I think we can all empathize. And I look forward to hearing more about him and his ‘threads’.

  3. Fortunately my dad just moved into a Seniors Care Facility, so the bulk of the downsizing is already done. We’ve sorted and snipped most of the threads!


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