originally posted at the last burntsienna crayon - October 2011.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
I have sat here all day, trying to digest and compose the thoughts my heart has been pondering. I listen to the radio and mentally file the public service announcements and decide that I will not worry about them until later. I listen to a piece of music I used to be able to play on the piano before … well, before what? There are answers to that, but I just keep making stitches and counting in the round, one stitch at a time to get through the day. It is the only way I can do it. If I ruminate on my losses, they overwhelm me. If I create something new, something good, I might be able to accept that I am worthwhile and allowed to inhabit this little planet of ours a little bit longer. Especially if I can give that something new, something good, to someone else.
One friend writes to ask if I am ok. Another writes to say they are not. One Tweet says that someone is struggling. One facebook status says that an acquaintance has died.
She had MS and was part of an online community I was a part of and I met her briefly about 5 or so years ago. She had a chest infection and MS had rendered her body too weak to fight it. I decide to mentally file it and after a few tears, both for the loss of her and for my own fear, the decision not to think or ruminate takes over once again. I think about them all, but I never used to be quite like this. I used to face things. But now I have learned how to cope by:
3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet, chain 1, 3 double crochet, chain 1, 3 double crochet, chain 1, slip stitch, fasten off, change colour. . .
One text asks for me to ‘call someone’ for a chat. Another ‘someone’ calls to ask me to be involved in a ‘group’. I begin to wonder which threads of my life now need to be cut now that my mobility is severely cut and my health falters and changes from day to day. Sadly threads have been cut that I would not have chosen. And now I have to work the frayed ends of changing friendships and dimmed hopes and lost opportunities into a new garment for my life. One I had never thought that I would wear.
I plunge my hands into bags of textiles, soft colours and textures to escape from the nagging suspicion that there are things I “should” be doing, that there might be someone that I have let down. I try to stop thinking about the fact that I am unable to leave the house on my own, or pick Flower up from school for lack of ramps and dropped curbs.
I have begun to hate asking for help. Just because I have to do it so often. Everytime I feel like I’ve made progress towards my own independence, I feel like I must humble myself yet again. One step forward, two steps back. I mostly answer the “what have you done to your leg, dear?” questions with love and grace, but I am beginning to find the camaraderie of disabled strangers in the centre of town more uplifting than the honest concern of those I have known for years.
join colour into chain 1 space, chain 3, 2 double crochet, chain 1, 3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet. . . and so on. . .