Friday, September 11, 2009

Unfinished Knitting

When Wendy, my sister-in-law, first saw me knitting she knew instantly that she wanted to learn. That day, we drove to Beverly's so that she could pick out yarn and a crochet hook. She wanted to crochet a blanket.

She became a regular at her local yarn store and quickly learned knitting.

She loved knitting. She gushed, "I've been searching for so long...I have finally found my passion."

Whenever we would visit, we would share what we were working on with each other.
Birthday gifts to each other always included something yarny.
She gave me the yarn, bamboo DPNs, and a pattern for the first socks I ever made.

Wendy adored my husband, she was 13 when he was born, and he was really like her first baby. While he was still very young, she got married and had two sons of her own, who are now both in their 20s.

Wendy graciously agreed to be my bridesmaid. She was kind and generous, she held my bridal shower for me at her house. I asked her to say the blessing before the meal at our rehearsal dinner, and she spoke beautifully, quoting from The Song of Songs. She danced all night at our wedding. She said it was the funnest wedding she'd ever been to.

And she always had something nice to say. She would tell me that my hair looked nice, she would ooh and ahh over whatever FO I showed her. She devoured whatever my husband cooked for her, especially his breads, pastas, and pies.

Wendy passed away yesterday after a long, three-year struggle with lung cancer. It was the kind that Christopher Reeve's wife, Dana, had. She wasn't a smoker. She endured misdiagnosis, thousands of pills and pain patches, Prednisone, and multiple courses of chemo, each more toxic than the next. She coughed constantly and ate very little.

The beginning of the end was about three weeks ago, when she went into the ICU. Her husband fought to get her out of the hospital as quickly as possible, and she decided to stop fighting the cancer anymore, she just wanted to be in her home.

No matter how much we mentally prepared, it was still a shock when the call came in.

We went to her house immediately to be in the comfort of friends and family and really her - because her house is her. Everything you see is something she created, decorated, arranged - just so, and it is so her.

And it was there in the living room that I saw her knitting basket and lost it.



For me it's a symbol of all the things she'll never be able to finish, and the things she'll never be able to start. And the unfairness of it all is unbearable at the moment.

Before we left last night, my nephew asked if I had gotten my knitting mojo back. And I said, yes, more or less. ;-) He said, "Because Mom was working on a sweater for Brittany (his girlfriend)...and you're the only knitter I know...I wondered if you'd want to finish it?"

I said, "Of course I would. I would be honored."

10 comments:

maitai said...

oh S, i'm so so sorry for you and your husband's loss. sending so many hugs and good thoughts your way.

i think that finishing brittany's sweater is a lovely idea.

xoxo

Christie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister in law! My heart goes out to you and your entire family.

Bogie said...

How sad. I'm so sorry you lost Wendy, she sounds like such a wonderful woman. Finishing the sweater brings it full circle--I'm sure she'd be happy to know you made her WIP into an FO. Take care.

DG Allen said...

Thank you honey. Wendy would appreciate such a great tribute. I love you.

KnitXcorE said...

sorry for your loss <3

so nice to hear from you! i thought you stopped blogging, but apparently you just disappeared from my bloglines.

mrs meyers really is the bee knees :-)

shizzknits said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Wendy. It's hard when we lose someone, no matter how much we think we're prepared for it. I'll keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

alex said...

so sorry for you and dave and the rest of your family - your posting was beautiful. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I will keep you all in my prayers..

Min said...

It is so sad - but think of the hours of pleasure you gave her teaching her to knit. Thinking of you all.

Cathy said...

i'm so, so sorry for you loss. you wrote a beautiful tribute to her. Someone very close to me is dying from cancer, and i'm knitting more than ever now to help me get through the grieving process. i think finishing the sweater would be wonderful.