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Leila Kane



For my Mom, Dena Mary Kane, a highly creative woman who always had a "project" in her hands.

Thanks for the creative legacy.

Mom was exceptionally busy and harried as she worked one full-time plus additional part-time jobs that were necessary to support her four kids. Despite that hectic schedule, she made time for a multitude of "crafts" which were bestowed upon nearly every family member and acquaintance she ever had.

At various times in her life Mom knitted and crocheted stunning ensembles for every new baby in the extended family, and the babies of lots of friends as well, designing sweaters, caps, booties and blankets, some with elaborate intertwined designs; she hooked rugs following kit instructions, then began designing her own, especially adept at duplicating the logos of the various sports teams she supported and followed; she made adorable outfits for small bears in University of Florida and Miami Dolphin team colors which she gave away to hordes of people, including the staff of every doctor's office she ever entered--and there were a lot!  

Every year for decades, Mom crafted holiday souvenirs for the classes of her grandchildren and for my sister's elementary students as well: dozens upon dozens of hand-made pumpkins, witches, santas, snowmen, shamrocks and Easter Bunnies-Mom made every single one of them. The teenage friend of one of my sons recently asked me about one of those mementos, which he recalled receiving in 2nd grade and which he still had!  

She made exquisite cross-stitched works of art, saving her very best pieces for her dear friend, Shirley Dolan. My Christmas tree is adorned with a host of gorgeous, unique ornaments "Handmade for me by Dena Kane"-from a cornsilk angel on the top of the tree, to delicate crocheted snowflakes and funny stitched Santas, Mom was never without ideas! And thanks to her vast output, she is always close, through one of her many beautiful, clever or funny pieces. (It's football season as I write this-two of Mom's bears flank my TV, one dressed in Gator regalia and one for the Fins!)

Mom's hands were always busy with a project as she watched endless hours of TV. Even after arthritis was so severe that the joints of her hands were hugely swollen and unbearably painful, she continued creating beautiful mementos. When she died, Mom left one last, unfinished baby outfit that she was knitting for one of her nieces. Busy and productive to the end.

I wish I could have made my mother's life easier than it was. I know she struggled for much of it. Hers was not an easy journey. I do know that she found tremendous satisfaction through expressing herself in her creations; perhaps the best part of her lives on in them, that side of her that was funny and creative and generous.

Thanks, Mom.I remember everything.

Love You and miss you always. Leila