So, a few days ago I was doing a few chores around the house, thinking about writing my next blog post (on trying to hold off a rampant case of Startitis) when I got a phone call that my Mother had had a stroke and was being taken to the hospital. There followed several days of anxious stays in emergency rooms, long drives to the hospital and back, and waiting – waiting, waiting, waiting.
Through it all I kept my knitting with me – two projects – and I thought often of Elizabeth Zimmermann and her wise words: “Knit On, with confidence and hope, through all crises.” I pondered the soothing power of knitting, how the rhythm of one stitch at a time can create calm and focus. I’m a worrier – worry, worry, worry. I can turn a small problem into a big one, and a big problem into a catastrophe quicker and with more creativity than anyone. Knitting allowed me to think through the problems and issues we were facing without panic, it filled that seemingly endless waiting with something useful and productive and it brought a little color and softness to darkened rooms and medical machinery.
We are extremely lucky in our crisis; my Mother’s stroke was relatively mild, she received medical attention very quickly and we live just over an hour from one of the best medical facilities in the country. While she has some rehabilitation work ahead of her and we will have to make some adjustments to her home and routines, the prognosis for her to return to her independent lifestyle is very good.
And, thanks to the power of knitting, I didn’t lose my mind.