Thursday, April 27, 2006

Musings on Anger

I guess I am moving around in the grieving process. I've got a lot of rage.

What an odd emotion anger is. It is like fire. I know why it's always depicted visually as red.

It flares from nowhere. It consumes everything within arms span. It rages then smolders for hours before dying out. Such a destructive emotion.

I had the biggest fight with The Greatest yesterday. I was mildly annoyed at something someone we mutually know did. Someone who is more his friend than mine. It was no big deal, the kinda thing you shrug at, say how annoying, and go on loving the annoying offender.

But last night it was huge. And I don't know what happened. I was angry, then I was screaming, then I was using language I don't usually use when the kids are awake. Slamming doors. Poignant silence. A real doozy of a fight.

The Greatest left me alone for a while. Then he came in our bedroom and sat quietly on our bed.

In that witchy tone I can get I asked "Do you want something?"

He lovingly asked "Why are we fighting?"


Then laughter.

I laughed until I cried, because I don't know why we were having such a terrible fight. I have no idea what happened.

I just know I've got a lot of rage issues all of a sudden.

I don't want this emotion to scar my soul.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Its so strange.

I'm so unfocused.

There are days that change your life forever. You eternally divide your life between what happened before and what happened after. I thought I was sad when we moved from Chicago and I left my best friend behind. But I kept in touch with her, and made new friends that I love dearly. I thought I was sad when we sold our house last year. But we've made a new home, I rarely miss the old one. But how can I get over this? My Mom can never be replaced.

Mostly I'm numb. I wander around trying to hold in my mind the things that need done. Everything must be written down or instantly forgotten. I have no concept of time. Minutes both fly by and drag on forever. It all seems so unreal.

But occasionally I am hit very hard by the reality of it all.

I was driving to my Father's house and worrying about my siblings. They are all grieving in different ways. And they are all taking it so hard. Who wouldn't be taking it hard? Their Mother died. Suddenly I realized MY Mother died too. She is gone. I can't ever get her back.

I was at the store today. Just running some errands. Getting milk for the kids, and vanilla wafers. It was so normal. And I didn't belong there. It was all too ordinary. I feel so empty, so grief-stricken, so eternally changed. I'm so different inside I'm sure it must show on the outside. I feel as if people should be able to look at me and just know things are all wrong. I feel as if nothing will be normal again, and I don't belong in a place as normal as a grocery store.

I love my Mom so much. I miss her so much. I know she wouldn't want me to be so sad. I can't help it right now.

I must thank everyone for their messages and thoughts. They mean more to me than you will ever know. Thank you for thinking of me during this time.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Mom died this morning.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Musing on love

My Mom's disease is progressing fast. Faster than we could have imagined. I am sad. I am so sad. In the span of a week she has gone from communicative to near catatonic. From a bright vibrant soul to, well these just aren't words that I'm ready to say.

But in this week I have witnessed love. Pure love.

I have watched my Aunt lovingly bath my Mother. She was a nurse and her hands were strong and sure of their movements, remembering an act she had performed on countless patients in a former life. But they moved with such tenderness. And she spoke in such soothing tones, explaining what she was doing and expressing love. My Aunt is sick and weak herself. It took courage and strength for her to drive herself an hour to my Mother's home. But in a time where there really is very little any of us can do for our Mother my Aunt saw something she could do to make my Mom more comfortable, and she did it. She did it despite the personal toll it took on her strength. She did it because she loves her. Sisters share a special bond. I know first-hand because I've got a little sister. It was beautiful to see what that bond looks like after a lifetime of sharing. Never have I been more grateful that Bird is my beautiful baby girl instead of the much longed for boy. Pork Chop and Bird will be another link in the chain of sisterly love. I'm happy they will have that bond in their lives. It is a beautiful thing.

I have seen a child's pure love for her Grandmother. Bird was outside playing all day yesterday. In the afternoon when she was tired she finally came looking for me. I was laying on the bed beside my Mom. Bird wandered upstairs calling for "Mommy." But upon entering the room she spied her Grandma and I don't think she could have been happier if we had just announced that she could eat nothing but cookies and ice cream for the rest of her life. Her face just lit up and she screamed "Grammy." Nothing could keep her from the object of her affection. She climbed on the bed with me and crawled across to her Grammy. When Bird saw that my Mom was sleeping she changed to a whisper "Grammy" and rubbed her arm. She gave her a kiss and ran off to play. The love of a child is so sweet.

I've seen the power of a Grandmother's love for her granddaughter. My Mom is weak and unresponsive. But her eyes opened when she heard Bird's voice. And when Bird kissed her my Mom's lips moved as if to kiss her back. She has such little strength, and she used it to kiss my baby. It breaks my heart that Bird won't remember how cherished and adored she was by my Mom. I hope I can make her understand and feel it.

And I have been blessed enough to witness the love between a Husband and a Wife after more than thirty years of marriage. I once read a book that said love is like water. Sometimes it stays below the surface nurturing a relationship like water in the soil feeding the roots of a tree. And sometimes it is like rain that falls all around you. I thought that was the most beautiful and accurate description of love. But I see now that it is wrong. Love is a living organism. It can grow and flourish, or whither if left unattended. My parent's love has been tended to all these years and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Before my Mom stopped speaking I witnessed my Father attending to my Mother. She fought him over her medication. She was angry, I think mostly at her inability to make her body work the way it has all her life. He was as patient and as gentle as could be. Ignoring her anger, quietly explaining everything over and over. Calming her. Taking care of her. When the episode passed he tucked her in bed and they kissed. They shared a look that I feel fortunate to have witnessed. I can not explain the love that passed between them. But is was tangible. It was living. It blanketed them, and everything else in the room, including me. It was a love that has grown for over thirty years of kisses and fights, shared joys and worries, shared struggles and triumphs, shared lives devoted to one another. I am truly blessed to have been part of that love.

When my Parents were first married they read Watership Down outloud to one another. It was always one of my Mom's favorite books. Last night my Father sat up reading it outloud to my Mother. She may not be able to talk to us, but I'm sure she loved it. His voice is such a soothing, smooth, deep baritone. Resonate. Calming. I heard him on the baby monitor reading to her. Such a loving thing to do. So sacred to their relationship, part of their history, I felt like an interloper hearing it on the baby monitor. I turned it off the give them their privacy. I hope the Greatest and I can grow such a love together.

While I feel fortunate to have been a part of so much love, it is beautiful, gives comfort and strength, I am also sad. And angry. Part of me wants to scream at the disparity of such injustice in the midst of such beauty. I want to call God himself out of the heavens and demand a lengthy explanation. I want to collapse in a heap of raw emotions and sob until there is nothing left but quiet. I want a million things that I can't put into words.

But most of all I want my Mom.

I love her.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I went to see my Mom today. Her disease is progressing, as we knew it would.

She is on liquid morphine for her pain. I'm glad she's not in pain. But she is sleepy now. She drifts in and out of sleep mid-sentence. She tells me she is drifting seamlessly from reality to dream, incorporating the last conversation into her dream, then back to reality in a matter of minutes.

I didn't need to talk to her today. I just wanted to be near her. I wanted to sit in the same room as her and just feel her physically near me. Soon I won't be able to do that. I laid in bed with her and told her every little thought that rolled through my mind. I talked about everything, but actually said nothing. Sometimes she followed the conversation, sometimes she told me things like "We really need to find the Elmer's glue and the paintbrushes to give the kids." I shudder to think what the children would do with Elmer's glue and paintbrushes.

As she drifted into sleep again I wished I had a camera. My Mom is so beautiful. I wanted to capture how calm she looked. How peaceful she much have felt. I wanted to hold that moment, that beauty, that love and suspend it in reality forever so she would never leave.

A few minutes later she woke up and was talking to me. I was sitting all curled up on her bed and she suddenly said she wished she had a camera so she could take a picture of me sitting on her bed. She then tried to tell me all the things you tell someone you think you might not get to talk to again, but it is hard to find the words. And she doesn't need words. I already know. I feel the same way.

There are no words.

I never wanted to leave her bed. I wanted to lay there forever with her and be her little girl, and love her, and bathe in her radiance and beauty. I found comfort in her sage green room. Soon she won't be there anymore.

I hate cancer.

Beautiful Weather

The sun is out, the birds are singing and my kids are playing in the dirt.

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They played tag. They threw balls. They caught flying beetles. They cheered as Dreamy climbed a tree.

But my favorite thing was this exchange.

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Meaty found a stick.

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Bird found an ant hill.

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It was a marriage made in heaven. What could be more fun than poking ants with a stick?

A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Knitting in Motion: The Real Me

April at Coffee Crazy Knitter wrote a beautiful post about being herself. She talked about how she has grown to be comfortable in her skin. And she shared a photo of her knitting. Not staged, just her, sitting in her jammies, knitting.

She asked for other "Real" photos.

So last night I asked The Greatest to take a picture of me while I was knitting.


"For my blog."

"Why are you going to put a picture of you in that robe on your blog?"

"Because...It's this thing...All my friends are doing it."

Shaking his head "You have some weird friends. Where's the camera?"

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This is me in one of the two places I knit. The Greatest and I are odd. We are almost always in the same room together. We just are. Rarely are we home at the same time and we're not in the same room. I can't explain it. I didn't even think of it consciously until I started writing this post. We just like to be in the same room. So if The Greatest is playing a computer game I sit on the bed and watch TV and knit.

That's me in my pink robe. I have two, one long and furry for winter, one short and terry for summer. I love them, they're comfy and pink. The Greatest hates both of them. Much to his displeasure I wear them anyways. To my left is my knitting bag with the stuff for my latest project. I'm knitting two socks on two circular needles, my favorite way to knit socks. One yarn ball in on my left side, the other on my right. Off frame on my right is my Vogue Stictionary. I'm working on a new sock pattern. But that's how I sit, bag on my left, instructions on my right, legs out in front of me. I look pretty good because I took a shower earlier that day.

The other place I knit is my couch. Different location, but the pose is still the same, ugly robe, bag on left, instructions on right, legs propped up on the coffee table.

I understand what April was saying about feeling comfortable in her skin. I never want to be a teenager in again. Sometimes I wanted to scream just to relieve this consuming feeling of want that was inside me. I couldn't define it or explain it, or make it go away. It was rage, and desire, and emptiness, a longing for something but for what I couldn't say, this big nothing that was tearing at my soul. It's so nice to not have that anymore. I'm just me. That's enough. I don't want more or less. I'm just me in my pink robe.

But my legs do look pretty good in that picture. You can tell The Greatest took the photo.

Monday, April 10, 2006

He's at it again

I can't believe I thought Boyd was reformed.

He's been so quiet lately.

I thought he's finally given up.

He's been so good I even used him as a holder needle for the Blue Blob when I needed the needles for another project. *shudder* I can't believe I put him in the perfect position to carry out his next plot.

It began with The Greatest's Black Socks. Remember how proud I was that I used the entire skein, that I didn't waste any yarn. I never suspected something deeper was at work.

Then I tried to knit this.

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It's a silk corset for my sister. I knit this bad boy in a WEEK. It fits her like a dream, it is so good. But wait. What's wrong with the right sleeve. It looks...short?

Yup, I ran out of yarn for the second sleeve. An order from Knitpicks will fix that right up. I just thought I'd mis-judged the amount of yarn I'd need for the addition of sleeves, again. I always assume it's me.

But then I knit the River Rapid socks for my Sister-in-Law. I love her. She's always taken an interest in my knitting, even thought I can't convince her to learn to knit. She picked out the sock yarn from my stash, I measured her feet, and my needles were flying. I knit to the toes and guess what? I ran out of yarn. Luckily I had knit the girls some socks from this yarn last year so I had two tiny balls (remember those left-over balls I was complaining about last week) and was able to finish the socks with no further issues. (Picture next week after they have been gifted to the recipient)

So that brings me to the Blue Blob.

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The cat may shun it, but it really is a thing of beauty. I'm using Eunny's border from her Print 'O the Waves Stole for my edging.

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I'm not crazy about it, but it's better than anything I've come up with. I do like how it mimics the curves of the center piece. It kinda ties it all together.

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My problem? I've got two and two thirds of the border done, I've used two balls of yarn. I've got one ball of yarn left. Mathematically I should be fine, I'm pushing it, but I should be fine. But I can feel it in my bones. The border is going to be two inches too short to go all the way around the shawl. I just know it.

I blame this all on Boyd. And to think I GAVE him access to the Blue Blob. How could I be so stupid? He started with the Black Socks, but didn't take enough yarn. He corrected that mistake with the Corset, and River Rapid Socks. I don't know where he's holed up now, but so help me if I have to rip the Blue Blob I will do something terrible to him. Something that makes baby circular needles cry. Boiling Water? Scissors? Acid?

I wonder if the neighbors still have that rotweiler.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Such an ingrate

While my computer was down I was fortunate enough to receive two packages in the mail on the same day. I must publicly thank the givers for their generosity.

First was a package from my Knitty Secret Pal

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There's a beautiful pair of wood needles in their own satin case. They are obviously too special to be thrown into my needle roll. I need to find a project knit on size 8 needles so I can try them out.

There's a copy of "French Kiss." Very funny. I highly recommend it.

There is also some E-tomic Balm. Very nice to rub on sore hands at the end of a long knitting session. Good stuff.

And last but not least is the Vogue Knitting Stictionary. So beautiful. I love the smell of a new book. As a child books were borrowed from the library. Only really good books that were going to be read over and over again were purchased. So books to me are almost sacred. This one is so pretty with such lovely illustrations. You can just see the potential on every page. I am overwhelmed by your generosity with this perfect gift.

Also included in the package was candy for the children, twizzlers for The Greatest, and chocolate and biscotti for me. None of that lasted long enough for a photo session.

Once again, thank you so much SP.

The same day I received a package from the fabulous Katrina. If you don't read her blog you should. She is an amazing person, mother, friend, and knitter. She also runs movie line contest and send yummy yummy chocolate to the winners.

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There was some chocolate that didn't live long enough to be photographed, some Bath and Body works hand lotion in vanilla Bean Noel (what could be better than smelling like a cookie) and the Stitch and Bitch Knitters Design Journal. Thank you so much Katrina. I love you too. But it was unfair of you not to include a return address.

It's almost like my SP and Katrina conspired together. Between the Stictionary and the design journal I have no excuse but to try and tackle that sweater design that's been rumbling around in the back of my mind (except there are about a million patterns already written by others that I want to knit).

Coming soon: actual knitting content. I have been knitting. I've got quite a few almost done things, but I think I've been cursed again.

Monday, April 03, 2006

My final FO

Rounding out our parade of FO's we have our long awaited follow-up to the Manly Socks.

They've got no name, so I'm taking suggestions.

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Pattern: Mine

Yarn: Knit Picks Essential, 2 skiens

Needle: Two size 0 Addi Turbos

Review: As with the Manly Socks I let The Greatest pick out the pattern he wanted. He chose a chevron pattern. He likes those simple textured patterns.

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I don't like this sock as much as the Manly Socks. There really isn't a difference between them in the construction, the heel or the toe, I just don't like this stitch as much. But hey, they're not for me are they. As long as they make The Greatest happy who am I to judge? I did go down to the wire as far as yarn goes. This is my left-over yarn.

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Now, even though I knit them at the same time on two circular needles I only had six inches on yarn left from one sock and five times that much left from the other sock. Go figure. It is a bit of a rush knitting and wondering if you have enough yarn left. And when you're done you do feel quite proud for not wasting an inch of yarn upon completion. I can't throw anything away. I have so many tiny balls of yarn left over from projects that I don't know what to do with. It was nice to put all that yarn into the sock and not have any souvenier yarn.

I did have a finished Panta to show as well, but it's gone MIA. I wonder if it's run off with Boyd. Bad enough he's toying with my WIPs, but now he's gone too far touching my FOs.