4/03/2006

An Ode to Robin, A Happy Birthday, A lot of Thanks and A Suggestion

It's a brand new week and I have a few things to say...... 1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the visits and lovely comments about my stash and my organization. I actually think I am so proud of my organization more so than my stash acquisition (pride there would be being well enough to get it all knit - soon!). I soooo love my yarns; they have all been picked with love (okay a few with lust and an "oh my god," I have to have that) and although incredibly tiring for me, organizing them has been a joy too. I love to look at my yarns; it helps me to focus on a healthier day in the future when the sticks will be flying! I very much appreciate the opportunity to have such a wonderful collection of wool and the garments I want to make will look fantastic! Better still, I got to see so many new websites and have listed a few more people on the side (Jenn my sidebar just got that much longer!) and have met some really cool new people. In the wee short time I have been blogging I have felt so blessed and priviledged to connect with so many creative people; the isolation that comes with chronic illness is so lessened by simply turning on my computer. So to all of you who visited and all who visit me THANK YOU! 2. April 1st is also the anniversary of my older sister Robin's death. Rob died in 1997 at the age of 39. On some level the end stage of her cancer came mercifully quick. She originally discovered a cancerous mole at the age of 29 which was removed. Story over (long recovery but cancer free). Nine years later she discovered a lump in her groin that was removed (it was cancerous but the twenty other around it, also removed, were normal). In January of 1996 I remember Robin telling me that it was going to go into her brain next. Fast forward to the day after my parent's wedding anniversary, two days after my birthday and months and months of distancing behaviour, few phone calls (we used to talk long distance sometimes 2 or 3 times a day). I was upset because Rob wasn't Rob anymore, I couldn't get in touch with her, I hardly talked to her, I didn't even hear from her on my birthday. As I was getting ready to call her, I received a call from my Dad saying that she had collapsed and been rushed to the hospital. They thought that she had had an aneurysm. We found out a week later that the cancer had returned and seeded itself into the myelin shield in her brain. Incurable. They gave Rob some short term chemo and radiation but the prognosis sucked. She was on major pharmaceuticals due to the seizures, etc. My sister as I knew her to be was already gone. I remember when first seeing her when she moved from Winnipeg to my parents house in Ontario (basically to die) my first response was to tell her she looked like Beetlejuice (which she did). My sister Robin, who was intelligent, caring, compassionate, and had an incredible sense of humour had already disappeared (effect on the brain). Robin was a gifted knitter, cross-stitcher, needlepointer, weaver, seamstress (she sewed most of her own clothing), cook and fisherwoman. She could do it all at the same time. She was pretty amazing. Did I say she had a fucking great sense of humour? Rob went into the hospital on March 31, 1997 with the flu and at 7am on April 1, 1997 had a seizure that she never came out of. I figured it was so Rob to die on April Fool's Day. I miss her selfishly. There are days she is with me all day long; other days where I feel like she is sitting beside me. I miss talking to her, I miss her voice. I miss her calling me at odd times in the day asking for a tuna marinade or how to solve a certain problem. I am very much at peace with her death; she was fortunate not to have suffered more than she did. I just miss her person. And I am sorry for how much my parents have suffered with her death. Rob would have loved Flash Your Stash - she had serious stash. I inherited her stash (wool, cones of fibre and fabric) and a loom. I haven't set up the loom yet - no room but I ended up donating her entire stash (at least 13 green garbage bags full) to a local weaver's group who bought and sold what they could, donated the money to a local charity and sent the rest of the wool to a group who knits for charity. I know Rob would approve. 3. It was Sheree's birthday yesterday. She turned 24 years old. I was not feeling well and Ed did speak to Sheree but we did nothing to celebrate her birthday. A part of Chronic Illness that sucks (and is hard for those not on the receiving end to always understand). Happy Birthday Sheree! Hopefully we will get to celebrate soon! 4. I had some lovely responses to Grace's birthday and making squares for Comforting Jef got me to thinking about my Gracie. I would like to make her a blanket for her trips to the hospital for treatments and even when she has her chemo at home. I am thinking of pink squares, any range of pink. 5" squares so quick to make. If I get enough I will make a second blanket and donate it to another young girl fighting cancer. Grace loves pink(any shade, variegated), she loves flowers and is totally girlie girl. I am hoping I can a couple of knitters to pitch in; the positive energy and force of the knitting community is powerful. If you are interested please drop a comment with your email so I can get in touch. And, could someone make a couple of buttons? I don't know how to make them myself but if someone else could I would really appreciate it. Please email to me at cynicked@sympatico.ca and I will post them. The only title I have thought of is Warming Grace. If someone else has another idea please let me know. My projected delivery date of squares would be April 30. Thank you for your help! Postscript: duh - never thought about this until J volunteered - already! - to do a couple of squares and asked about acrylic - I called Grace's mom and since starting chemo she has developed a sensitivity to polyester, acrylic and even some plastics and is only allowed cottons, soft wools or any other natural fibers - always helps to ask!

32 comments:

canknitian said...

Count me in. I have pink yarn. I have love to spare.

Maybe I'll make a couple of the squares to match Sadie's blanket.

Is acrylic ok?

Jasmine said...

Pink squares I can do, so count me in, I think I have some left over cashmerino from my nieces sweater -- let me dig that up

amanda said...

Button for the blog coming soon. I'll get on it after the kids go to sleep!

jasmine said...

oops -- cashmerino has microfibre in it. But I found some classic elite atitude which is Pima Cotten and Mulberry Silk what more could a little girl desire. I'd start right now but they hae to be wound -- maybe I'll wait 'til tomorrow when I can do it at the LYS since I don't feel like doing it by hand

Carole said...

Of course you can count me in. We'll talk more about it this weekend.

I'd also like to challenge the Dawn to come up with a few squares. Her only problem may be finding PINK yarn!

Lynne said...

Hmm, I don't have much pink cotton, but I do have some pink wool - not the butteriest I have ever felt but still pretty good merino or corriedale....
The death of a loved one from cancer leaves you in a spot. Relief that they are no longer in pain, relief that this person who wasn't them any longer is gone, sadness that you don't have them in your life anymore.

Vicki Knitorious said...

Count me in, Cynthia. I'm thinkin' PINK!!

Melissa said...

I'm in. E-mail me your address please. I also want a cute button.

kelli ann said...

hi cynthia: what a great project! you can write to me at
claquee AT hotmail DOt com... and let me know how i can help. xoxo kelli ann

Jenn said...

Blogging is such a great outlet and a neat way of meeting people and making new friends.
I would love to help, I have a whole bunch of cotton pinks and purples that I have no idea what to do with!
fyvie_jen(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

Elizabeth said...

Count me in for pink squares.

Debstmomy said...

I am so sorry about your sister, Robin. Even 9 years later, I can read your pain.
I would love to make a square for Grace. Do you have a specific pattern request, or just a 5x5 garter stitch? I will have my dd make it. Let me know. It will be wool, that was hand dyed.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

christine said...

I'm in....................so in.
Grace is a doll......poor baby.

I have to tell you that I cried reading your post about your sister. The one thing about death - it is SO final. The person is just so gone. I hope that I feel my brother's presence as you do Robin's.
Thank you for sharing.

Rhonda said...

I'm in, once I find some PINK cotton or soft wool... I'll look tonight when I get home. If I don't have it, I'll buy it! I'll be thinking "Warming Grace in Pink Cotton Candy" ...

Celia said...

I'm in. 5" squares! I'll try to make two, and see where I am. I have plenty of leftover pink in my stash.

Emily said...

I'm scrounging around for pink yarn (all I know I have it acrylic or sock yarn!) but I am sure I can come up with enough for a couple squares. Any sort of pattern OK? There's this flower motif in one of the stitch dictionaries that I've been wanting to try...

Kelly said...

I would love to knit some squares.

Sue said...

I would love to knit some squares, too. I have a co-worker who I'm sure will be interested as well, so I will also ask her about it. We could send ours together.

I am sorry for the loss of your sister ~ I lost my sister-in-law just a few years ago. She was 36. Her children are the same ages as my own, 11 and 12. We miss her terribly ... but we hope to always keep her spirit and zest for life alive.

(as I'm not sure if you will be able to see my email address, it is sktrotter @ michaelbest [dot]com (without the spaces, of course) :-)

JessaLu said...

Pink squares...comin' up ;o)

And if I'm home tomorrow I'll work on a button...

So sorry to hear of your sister's passing, my grandmother died from brain cancer and was not the same person when she passed.

JessaLu said...

oh duh I see now that you already *have* a (very nice) button...this is what I get for leaving comments past my bedtime ;o)

Anonymous said...

I've been working up a pinkey/purpley wool blanket that would make a nice lap blanket for a 5 year old. I'd be happy to send it along.

http://whoopsydaisy.my-expressions.com/archives/5114_1341647178/126885

Kerstin

Christine said...

please add me to the list. You can leave me a comment in my new blog. www.iknit2.typepad.com

Norma said...

I have some pink cotton yarn and would be happy to do a couple or three squares.

Christy said...

Would Cascade 220 be too scratchy? I'll keep looking around.

Jamie said...

I would love to help - I'll be sending my square along soon.

Samantha said...

Your sister sounds like she was a wonderful person. {{{hug}}} Thank you for sharing her story with us.

Warming Grace is a wonderful idea and a very thoughtful gift for a little that very special girl. I sent you an email, I hope you got it. :)

Nancy said...

I would love to help "Warm Grace"! Do you have a "need by" date in mind?

margene said...

Count me in. I'm so pleased to knit a couple of squares for Grace or any other little grrl.

Sorka said...

AHA! Now I know what to do with that pink Knit Picks Merino Style yarn I have!! Let me know what to do!!
Denise
Knitchat.com

Kathy said...

Count me in! I love pink, too and have some pink cotton and some pink wool.

suzie said...

i'm a little late, but i'm in as well. now i have an excuse to drag my family to the yarn store!

thordora said...

Forwarding on to some knitting coworkers as well.

My mother died of breast cancer April 1989. There are no words really.