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!

I love this Lavender Buds color. The natural color of the alpaca peeks through the lavender every once in a while, which gives the yarn more… something. Something good, that is.

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.

12 thoughts on “Consoled

  1. I don't fully know how YOU feel, but having lost my cousin, my younger sister, and in November of 08 I lost my husband, all to cancer, I have some idea. At this moment my beloved spinning mentor and teacher is fighter her battle with lymphoma, having just finished her chemo treatments. I am hoping that she may be spared, at least for now, and I am so glad that you are now able to enjoy your life again and continue to move forward. We really have no other choice, do we? The world certainly does not stop to wait for us to catch up. Your friend will be in my thoughts and wishes.Your hat is lovely, and if it is not quite what you had hoped for yourself, if you have a teenager in your family or circle of friends, I have a feeling they would love it. I recently knit a "floppy" hat for my niece who is in college right now. She was thrilled with her hat. It seems they are all the rave right now. 🙂


  2. Sorry about the hat but it sure is a pretty little thing. Thanks for blogging about the "why me" question. Several years ago, another friend asked me that question in a semi-philosophical discussion we were having after his last chemo. It was hard to answer because it was his fifth course. So many people would benefit by some of your groups' insights into such a question. Thanks Jane, for just being and teaching your gentle ways.


  3. If there is one thing I've learned about cancer it's that it doesn't play fair.If there's one thing I've learned about bloggers, it's that they are a wonderful, thoughtful and highly supportive group.I'm proud to be one of them and proud of them.


  4. Thank you for posting this. I followed the link from ravelry to look at your beautiful mara and was then deep in your heart in this heavy subject. My cousin who is a bright young man of 25 and just moved in with his lovely girlfriend ready to finish their educations and maybe starting a family is batteling testicle (sp.?) cancer and getting chemo at the moment. They thought it was gone but it came back. It just makes me so sad but I must keep a high spirit. Sometimes a can't help but feel a bit lucky that I "only" suffer from a severe depression but othertimes I of course don't.I have sort of learnt to count my blessings from depression but cancer is just evil (at the moment…)Sorry for the long comment I think I needed to vent.Hugs Lene


  5. oh my… a big ((hug)) goes out to you and those you love. "why" is such a confusing question… which often can be made a tiny bit better by asking "what now?".I'm ringing a bell for your heart.


  6. The entire experience of life is such a mind-boggling mystery, and when you add your own journey to the plot, it's almost overwhelming. I marvel at how joy and despair can coexist the way they do. I have no answers, not that you asked. But I'm ever grateful that you continue to share your own thoughts so honestly and eloquently here.


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