I crocheted this for Dad a few months ago and am currently working on a matching prayer shawl for my step-mom.
Grandma loved that I was crocheting again. She offered to teach me to knit, but life was moving too fast for me, to try to figure out a new skill. At that time, I had a toddler and one on the way, sitting came at a premium and if I did get a chance to sit, I usually fell asleep! Knitting was just not happening. Most nights, I fell asleep with yarn in my lap, sitting up, fighting the indigestion that accompanies pregnancy.
Years passed. I went to visit Grandma, one day, with a skein of yarn and shinny new knitting needles.
"I'm ready to learn now. Will you teach me?"
By that time, she had forgotten how, the beautiful matching sweaters she made for my brother and I when we were really small and really didn't remember that she ever did knit! Weeks later, I bought myself a book and tried to teach myself, as I sat in a doctor's office, waiting for my mom's appointment to finish. Without someone there to teach me, I gave up and resolved to take a class.
Saturday, my best friend, who is a breast cancer survivor, called to tell me that it was back and that she was heading back into the world of chemo and this time, a mastectomy.
Sandman's mom has not been a source of joy (to put it mildly) in the past 20 years that I've known her. In the past decade, she's done her best to damage the very fiber that weaves Sandman and me, together as a couple. Yesterday, we found yet another way she has tried to harm us (just when we thought all of this was behind us).
This morning, as I was petting Sutherby, I found a small lump, under her arm. She has survived 3 cancerous tumors in the past year.
9:00 a.m. My alarm went off, reminding me it was time to stop what I was doing, and head out to Joanne's for my Knitting 101 class. Today is the day! I WILL learn! I sat there, hanging on every word Ms. Emily said. She is a wonderful lady with the patience of a saint and the skills of Martha Stewart. She has taught my girls, many-a-sewing class and now it was my turn to be her student. As I finished my first row of knitting, my phone played the theme to the Andy Griffith Show. "It's my dad. I really need to take this." I answered the phone as I darted around the wall of the class, to shield myself from view, just in case. More bad news. Dad had been through surgeries, chemo more surgery, more chemo, radiation and more chemo. All to no avail. They put him on an experimental study for a medication that seemed promising and the stupid cancer grew in spite of it all! He shared with me, the doctors' next plans for his body. It's hard to reconcile all of this when you are trying to save face in public. I didn't want to return to class with puffy, red eyes. Resolved to finish my class, I dried my eyes, as best I could and sat down to continue to learn. My teacher and new friend, Kelly, comforted me. I learned how to knit. I think I did well and I think my grandma would have been proud of me (she passed away about a year and 4 months ago).
My two best friends either have cancer or the gene for breast cancer and have had some removed, 2 of my other friends have it, my OBGYN doc has it, my dog might have it again, and my dad keeps getting bad news...all I can do is pray, decorate, crochet and knit to stay sane.
When you finish a class, at Joanne's, they always give you a coupon. A book caught my eye. Knitting For A Cure, I just had to get it. I know my needle arts won't cure cancer, but at least I don't have to sit here empty handed while my friends and father fight it with all they have!
It's funny how things work out. Today, as I left a message on the cell phone, for Sandman, the song, "Live Like You Were Dying" (Tim McGraw) came on the satellite radio. I only seem to hear it on days that my dad calls with bad news. Weird.
If you're the praying sort, PLEASE pray for my friends, dog and dad. Thanks.