When I was small, and unappreciative of such regard, my mother stitched with patient hands dresses, petticoats, in fabric now transparent, gray with age. Rather like the husks of some odd creature long left behind, they puzzle by their smallness. Dainty lace, fastidious blue embroidery attest a mother's fealty. What sense of duty cramped her slender fingers as she worked? Such grace that laid the stitches fine and even, soft and gentle, stitches still tenacious after forty years. I never knew the depth of her devotion, the stamina of seams (and hearts) that bind.