Mary Middleton, founder of Crochenit (and more importantly, my grandmother) departed this existence peacefully on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Grandma Mary used the 93 years of life given her to bless the lives of thousands. While her legacy extends far beyond Crochenit, her attributes as the creator of Crochenit are an echo of her personal life and values.
As she created the Crochenit craft, Grandma worked tirelessly. She loved being busy, and would often work late into the night to finish a task. She enjoyed the satisfaction of hard work and finishing a job well. When she saw that her new craft could bless the lives of others, she began teaching it. I saw her teach many people, but I remember most how she taught me. Her patience was flawless as she had to explain the stitch all over again every time I reached a new row. I have fond memories of crochenitting a purse for myself as she sat beside me in her work room at her home in Provo, Utah. I chose a coarse, thick string, which resembled rope, and my fingers were sore from the roughness of it. Perhaps I was more focused on my own suffering than on learning the stitch we chose, because Grandma Mary had to help me almost every step of the way. You would never know I was being difficult by the way she spoke. Her high-pitched, cheerful, enthusiastic voice was endlessly praising and encouraging me. When I made a mistake and had to backtrack in my work, I was devastated, but Grandma was always kind and patient, never showing any disapproval.
All of the goodness that Grandma Mary showed in her Crochenit business was simply a reflection of who she really was in her personal life. Grandma Mary is good to the core, as we've seen in the past few years as she has lived with Alzheimer's disease. Through every stage of the disease, Mary's true character has shown through. She has always been pleasant, patient, and kind. Her gentle nature has made her a blessing to each nurse, doctor, and assistant who has helped her.
Grandma has great faith in God. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Her husband was serving a mission for the Church in Argentina when he met her. Although there was no romance at the time, when he returned to the U.S., he wrote to ask her to marry him. She prayed sincerely and knew she should accept his proposal. She bravely said goodbye to her family and left for America--and a new life, language and culture. Before long, Mary was enjoying a happy marriage and three wonderful children, two boys (including my father) and a girl. She loved her family above all else. Though I was only twelve at the time, I could see her heart breaking when she lost her daughter to a long battle with cancer. Her grief was immense, but her faith made her strong.
Through all of life's trials, Grandma Mary remained faithful to God and her family. She had a close relationship with her Heavenly Father, and often sought His guidance and comfort in prayer. By her example, she taught her children and grandchildren to do the same. It is through this means that we have found comfort during her long illness, and her recent death. I am forever indebted to Grandma Mary for the way she lived her life and the legacy she leaves behind.
Cathy Wilson, granddaughter