Today began as an adventure in entrelac knitting (see example to right, NOT my work, but a fine example). I have long wanted to try this technique, and since I wanted a little break from my lace shawl I am working on, it seemed a good time to take on some new techniques for kicks. Not only is this a chance to try the new effect, but it also gave me an excuse to try to learn reverse knitting. That is, learning to purl from the right side, eliminating the need to turn your work as frequently on a project such as this one which would require it constantly. So far so good, pics coming of my own work soon.
This afternoon was my first afternoon getting to take care of Pat, my Mother In Law. Chris’ boss has graciously allowed him to take some personal time as needed to care for his Mom, so today he got to come with me while I started to learn some of the routines for Pat’s comfort. My heart is breaking for everyone in Chris’ family right now, and the prospect of volunteering for this heavy task was freaking me out, but I am truly honored to be trusted to be a part of the care of this amazing woman. As I told Pat today, my father didn’t ask for help when he needed it most, so I didn’t have a choice in caring for him in any way. In this I have a choice, and while it is hard on everyone to figure out the ins and outs (of course MOST of all Pat herself!!), it is a circle of trust and love and caring I am blessed to be a part of. I am thankful for being asked.
Stephanie, Chris’ sister, possesses such a gentle soul and practical mind-a perfect combination in such circumstances. She is preserving her mother’s dignity and frankly taking care of f*cking BUSINESS for her family in a way we can all only pray for should we find for ourselves in such need. Not only with daily health and comfort issues, but also taking over Pat’s home business on the side of her own multiple jobs, Stephanie is a rock star. And I have decided her husband Nathan is just an angel, no question. This clearly is his family, too, deeply and without question, and all the ways he is devoting his time and energy to doing everything he can to support Pat and Stephanie on all levels is yet another miracle of time and place and people that Pat finds herself surrounded by.
Chris is making time in his very hectic life to be there for his Mom, and for his grandfather who also needs extra support right now, especially in the absence of his daughter who has been his caretaker for many years. I love Chris so much for his deep love for his family, and admire the way he is trying to balance stresses in impossible circumstances, while managing to keep a (mostly) even keel and offer so much love and support to those around him. His boss is being amazingly accommodating of him right now, and I can’t thank them enough for freeing up Chris as much as they are able during a time when they could be pressuring him harder to meet some critical deadlines they are up against this week. I thank God for the very loving, human support they are offering my husband in the way of time and understanding.
I also have to give a shout-out to my friend Michelle, who has been an incredible resource of information, strength, encouragement, wisdom, and support. Michelle was the primary caretaker for her mother during her battle with pancreatic cancer, and thus has a lot of experience with all stages of the process, and has taken a lot of personal time to write generously informative and supportive mails to me, answering so many questions, easing fears, and letting me rant it out when I needed an ear. Pat and her family have no idea how much positive energy and caring is flowing from this woman they have never met.
Aside from the medical/daily health stuff, being there is mostly getting to hang out with Pat, knit or crochet, watch TV, chat, and just…be. Which, frankly, is what both of us need right now, and thus is yet again the Universe arranging for everyone to get what they need. Thanks, Universe. I’m listening.
If you are reading this, and have some prayers or energy to offer on behalf of my MIL, it would be most welcome. It may be the case that she stops chemo altogether, pending some further testing. We would love to see her having more energy and improving her comfort and quality of life, whatever the decision, and that is our prayer. If you would add it to yours, thanks in advance.