Sometimes knitting serves as my therapy. This usually happens when I begin to feel useless and stupid. If there is nothing else, I have knitting. There is something wonderful and meditative about the methodical repetition of creating thousands of little loops and helping the yarn become something absolutely beautiful.
This project counts as therapy.
Recently we went home to Colorado to see my family and some friends. My wonderful neighbor, Nancy, was willing to watch our cat while we were away, even though she had a biopsy scheduled before we were supposed to come home. She was expecting to not be able to speak for a couple of days, but otherwise she wanted to be able to watch our cat. Being a cat person, she said that watching Bryan gave her a purpose. While, I kind of felt guilty to have her watch our cat when she wasn’t feeling well, she wouldn’t have us send him to a pet boarding place. So we agreed and if she couldn’t watch the cat, one of our other neighbors wouldn’t mind checking in for a couple of days. She once told us that she was an unapologetic cat lady, and needs her kitty fix every so often. She loved to show off pictures of the cats that she owned previously, and would probably have one if she had the means to support one.
I still felt guilty. I wanted to do something special for her, to show her that I recognize her sacrifice of time and energy to come to my house and pet, love and feed my cat. She thought that paying her was a personal insult, so I couldn’t do anything that involved money. (Have I mentioned how amazing she is? This woman is a true gem.) I dug through my stash and found a great skein of Madeline Tosh DK in Antique Lace. I knew that this was going to be the Pressed Leaves hat from Botanical Knits.
Nancy hates winter, she is an outdoor style woman. Always working on her garden and her flowers. A good day would consist of her being outside from dawn to dusk, working on her lawn, pruning her tomatoes and roses, and talking to neighbors. She knew everything about the community we were living in. Her love of nature made me want to knit this for her before we left. The Antique Lace color made the hat gorgeous and gave a shadow of the leaves that would promise to be here in a few short (we hope) months. The leaves were also shaped like the leaves of her favorite tree, which I loved. I wanted something that would bring her warmth, while reminding her that the spring will come.
I knit as fast as my fingers would allow me, and this isn’t an easy pattern. My sore knuckles hinted at the arthritis that I will be dealing with in my old age if I didn’t slow down. I don’t have any good pictures of the finished product because I had to get it to her before we left. I wanted her to know that we were thinking about her, and how grateful we were for her. I could tell she was a little scared for the procedure, so I also wanted her to know that we had been praying for her/ sending her good thoughts.
I am so happy that I got it done in time. She loved the hat and wore it around for the next couple of days while we were getting around.
Unfortunately she only got to wear it around for a week or so. Complications from her biopsy put her in the hospital for longer than she wanted. Eventually, her weak body couldn’t handle the stress that was put on it and she passed away. It is still weird knowing that she isn’t going to be out in the yard in the next couple of months. It is still strange to not say, “Hey Nancy” when we pass by each other and have a good conversation. I wish that we could have had more time with her. She was our cat whisperer and could tell what our cat wanted before we could figure it out. We loved Nancy. She has been such an amazing friend in our lives. It is hard to imagine our neighborhood without her. This blog post does nothing to show how truly amazing her spirit was. I just miss her.
She taught me how to care for plants, and to love nature. She taught me what it means to really live despite your personal circumstances. I don’t know about her afterlife, but I just hope that she is somewhere warm, surrounded by roses and tomatoes, and perfect gardens, and her kitties.