Poromity! It’s a beautiful hat, amazing yarn, and fun to knit. But. It looks terrible on me. I’m not a tam person after all, or just not a creamy natural white tam person. I even frogged it back and made it less slouchy, but no, it still looks like a pouf of bread dough is perched on my head. I’m sure I’ll find a tam-headed person to give it to, so I’m not too sad about it. I wonder if it still counts as a completed Knitting Olympics project?
My consolation has been my other Woolalong project, the Mara shawl in Foxfire Cormo Alpaca Lace. I’m on the last few rows — I’ll bind off when there’s just enough yarn left to do it. The finished shawl will be smaller than the size pictured in the pattern, since it’s fingering weight yarn instead of worsted. It’s been a calming, centering knit, mostly garter stitch with a ribbed ruffle at the edge. And I guess you can tell by the photograph that someone likes it very much!
Last week was a hard week. My friend and landlord’s little cat died suddenly, and I was here to help bury her. There were some small volcanoes at work. And I learned that a long-time customer, M, a kind man who was being treated for cancer at the same time I was, is now receiving hospice care. He and I shared our chemo stories, and had some wonderful conversations, too. He has a wife and two daughters, and he and his family have always been among our most beloved customers.
I rang my little bell for Barry Fraser, though. He’s a blogger in Toronto who finished his chemotherapy on Thursday and asked people to join him in ringing the bell. I did. I took my little bell (the one my Cancer Center gave me on my own last day of chemo) to work with me and went to the back room at 2:00, and rang it with all my might, along with all the others that were ringing around the world.
I rang it for Barry, for myself, for Judy’s friend, and for everyone else who is on this journey. If I’d been conscious of it right then, I’d have added special thoughts for M to my small prayer. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that I learned about his being so sick.
Asking why me never seemed like a good way to expend my energy, or like a question that would be likely to have an answer. I just determined to move forward. Take the action, do the thing, have small faith in myself, enough small faith. Find the kernel of strength that could grow into something, into the thing that it took to do the work and finish the job. That’s all — not simple, not easy, just necessary. That is what Barry has done, and I’m sure it’s what M has done. We all do it. Those of us living in the world of cancer know how easily the path can descend into darkness, but we keep going anyway, for as long as we can or as long as it takes.
For me, for now, I’m out of the woods and on a brighter, clearer path. I’m grateful and I know how blessed I am. I know that there are many blessings in Barry’s life, and in M’s life too. They’re just different. I wish I could give them some of what I have, and I’m thankful for what they’ve given me. By sharing their experiences with me, they’ve given me a real gift. To Barry, and especially to M at this moment, I’m deeply grateful.
The news made me so sad. It’s hard and depressing and it just plain hurts. Here I am, doing so well, and he’s not. I’m so fortunate. I guess that’s what I am. I don’t feel fortunate right now, though. I just wonder why him.