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  • Lessons from the Knitting Circle

    My family and I surrounded my grandmother’s hospice bed.  She appeared a stranger.  Her body was eaten by cancer, her face sunken with a yellow complexion, her breath rattled, and her bones protruded under the hospital blanket.  An exquisite maroon colored prayer shawl draped around her shoulders.  As her last breathes were fading, I recalled how the shawl provided comfort to my grandmother during her time in hospice.  In some way the shawl also provided comfort to me as I blubbered saying good-bye to my Nanny.

    It has been over a decade since my grandmother’s death and the significance of the beautiful prayer shawl continues to resonate with me.  Two years ago I read in my church newsletter about a new Knitting Circle forming to knit prayer shawls.  I immediately contacted the leader, Debbie, rambling about my thrill for this opportunity and enthusiastically shared the story about Nanny.  She asked if I knew how to knit and purl.  Nope — not at all, I responded deflated.

    With tremendous kindness and patience, Debbie demonstrated the techniques and over the past several months corrected my mistakes — occasionally puzzled by the disaster of the yarn.  The group is made with dedicated and talented knitters who can carry conversations as their hands work magic.  What takes me fifteen minutes to complete 2 rows in absolute silence, the ladies finish quadruple.   Many times I’ve wanted to quit.  My family and friends tease light-heartedly about just giving up.  Despite bringing down the productivity, my Knitting sisters refuse to give up on me and rekindle my passion about the significance of the prayer shawl and the connection I have with Nanny.  Thank goodness for my cheerleaders, who remind me —  it’s not about perfection rather it’s about desire and life.