Yesterday I completed the body of my first sock and started working on the heel flap! Progress is being made. They say (whoever they are) that knitting is very calming and therapeutic. I have to say that I do agree. As I was knitting and watching the first season of Madam Secretary I was focused completely on my work as the TV played on in the background. I felt my spirits lift.
Why would my spirits need lifting you may ask. Well like I said earlier, my sister, my oldest sister passed away. It happened quite suddenly although had I been paying attention I probably would not have been so surprised to watch her die in a weeks time. You see she had been battling breast cancer for over seven years. They found cancer in one breast at first. She had the breast removed, went through chemo and after so many years was pronounced “CANCER FREE” Yea! We all rejoiced, but she remained reserved. Not long after that proclamation, they found a different cancer in the other breast. Again, she had the breast removed, went through chemo, and again after so many years was declared “CANCER FREE”. Again we were thrilled and hopeful. Then they found a spot under her arm. It was biopsied, removed, chemo, radiation etc. Again the proclamation was “CANCER FREE”. That was in July (2015). Then if she was so friggin cancer free, why in the world did she die of cancer on September 4th of 2015. It seems the cancer went to her liver and her bones. By the time she felt bad she only had a week left to live.
It has occurred to me that knitting is much like life. Each stitch you knit, each purl you do, each twist of the thread changes the outcome and look of what you are working on. Sometimes good and sometimes bad, but regardless each addition has an impact on the piece. Where knitting does not imitate life is that you do not get to undo what you have done without some lasting impact. If you make a mistake in your sock, you can rip out the last few stitches and start over. In life, you can start over but you are forever changed by the last few events.
Boy would I like a do over of the past six months. In retrospect I would make some very different choices. I sure would have gone on that beach vacation with my sister. But I didn’t know it would be her last. I would have been more understanding or forgiving when she got snappy and snarky that Sister’s Weekend in the Keys in May. I would have called more often when I didn’t hear from her instead of getting annoyed that I always had to do the calling. In the end what difference did it matter. She is gone and now I can’t rip the stitch out and change the outcome.
My sister, My Oldest Sister is gone. She is gone forever, and I am not sure that I will ever be the same. I miss her everyday. I reach for the phone, but she isn’t there to call. I see her husband on a regular basis, but that to is so very painful. When you think of death and dying, you think of older people. Not your 65 year old sister. So the hole in my heart where she used to be is like a dropped stitch in an otherwise finely knitted garment. There is something missing in my life that will never be replaced. I am no longer have two older sisters. I have one. One who I will cherish and hold on to with all my might. She is the only person left on this earth that I share a common memory with.
“Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don’t remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you’d always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you’re nowhere to be found”
For a Dancer by Jackson Browne