Adjusting. Change.

This will be the first month that I’ve missed knitting a pair of socks (or two) in almost two years. It’s been an extraordinarily busy month and it’s been really stressful.

Our refrigerator wasn’t keeping the ice cream frozen so we put a call into the technician we’ve used and he said it’s more than likely the condenser is shot. He advised us to buy a new refrigerator. Despite the LG people saying it takes a couple of hours (if you can find a technician who will come to service it – we’ve tried five, none of which can do anything for at least 3-4 weeks) the technicians all say it’s almost a full day’s work. LG will pay for the part under warranty but we have to pay for the service … guess what? It’s probably not worth it. Never mind that by the time someone can come to fix it our food will be gone. Ugh. So, we bought a new fridge and installed it ourselves because they couldn’t deliver for a week either. Ugh.

I’ve been driving a 2007 Camry since it was a new car. It was wonderful in suburbia but it’s not as wonderful on rural Maine camp roads. We’ve been talking about buying me a new one and we went out for our initial hunt last week. There isn’t much to see … not too many new or used cars are available and there’s not a lot of hope for a different situation into 2022 because of computer chips that aren’t readily available. Anywhoo … we found a RAV 4 that we thought was a good match for us and gave the dealership a deposit and it was supposed to come in at the end of the month. I was on my way to work last Thursday and saw it on the back of a car carrier truck and then got a call from the dealership that it was in if we wanted to test drive it. Suffice it to say, we pulled together all of our pennies and bought me a new car.

Meanwhile, my brother and sister-in-love in MA called me to talk about my remaining Little, Lola. I knew that she was close to the end of her life and that she wasn’t thriving but I was blind to the truth that she had no real quality of life and certainly no joy. My wonderful family offered to come to Maine to have a look and see how she was doing and, if I wanted to, to euthanize her. As I thought about it all last week, I knew she was ready. I wasn’t and would never be if I am totally honest. She was disoriented, her back legs weren’t’ working and she often fell down, she wasn’t able to get outside to do her business and she kept getting “stuck” around the house. She wasn’t comfortable.

Lola died peacefully at home on Sunday morning with all of us loving her. I will always remember her like this. She was such a wonderful girl. She was my heart animal and I absolutely adored her. She was almost literally attached to my right hip for the past 15 years. Life is horribly out of balance without her. To have lost both of my beloved Littles in six months is crushing. I am so grateful to have had them both in my life for so long and selfishly I wish it could have been longer. But even another year or five years wouldn’t have been enough. I still wouldn’t have been ready to say goodbye. I already miss her more than I could have imagined.

I’m knitting and it’s my time-filler now as well as being something to focus on in this difficult time. I’ve been working to finish the Gallbladder Shawl for my daughter’s birthday (that is this weekend) and I may get it finished but I doubt that I can get it blocked and delivered in time. But that will have to be ok this year. I think she’ll understand. I have a Christmas stocking up next for a sweet friend/customer and a list of future knits to follow that. I have to finish a sweater that has been languishing … I need to pick up the stitches around the neck and down the second side and knit four rows for the button bands and then knit the sleeves. It’s SO close.

For now, I’m giving myself grace around everything as I learn to live without my four-legged companion. My husband and I were talking over coffee this morning and saying that we are each missing the habits or patterns that our little family has been living with all these years. We look for her in her spot, I walk downstairs at bedtime with empty arms, there’s nobody to take outside first thing in the morning or last thing at night. So we will continue to be grateful that she’s at rest and we will create new habits/patterns to fill in those holes where the Littles are missing. We loved them so.

Gone knitting.

To My Dad

"I want you to know that I built you a home in my heart. A place where our memories live and our love never fades." ~Brigitte Nicole

I realized today that it was the Ides of March and the anniversary of your death. Twenty-seven years have passed. I was almost 27 when you died. You’ve been gone as long as you were in my life. It seems that each year when I light the Yartzeit candle in your memory that the pain and sadness are just a little bit farther away. But when it comes time to really think about (and write about) the reality of living half of one’s life without a father, the tears flow. So, the pain is really still there and perhaps just as raw as it was the day that I got that surprise phone call from mom. I knew something was going on but expected her to tell me that the cat had died. Not you. We’ve missed so much time together. You’ve missed so much.

You’ve missed being here to enjoy your six bright, beautiful, unique grandchildren be born and grow up strong and independent. You’ve missed witnessing the marriage of your two sons and meeting your first-born who is a wonderful man. You’ve missed being here for so many birthdays and lobster dinners, successes and failures, Thanksgivings and school plays. Mom’s Alzheimer’s and pets. We all have missed having you to call about a legal issue or watching you puttering about in the yard with your too-high jeans and white socks. You missed the day I spotted the elusive Roseate Spoonbills and helping us chase the squirrels off the bird feeder in Maine.

I know you’re up in heaven watching over us all. I hope you and mom are getting along as you always expected us kids to do. Pat Kelly and Sam and Nouk for us. Hug Mom and Gram and Ethel. Seek out Rick and Charlottes parents and thank them for raising our big brother. They did a great job.

We carry you in our hearts. Always. I’m working hard to make sure you’ll be proud of me when we meet again.

I love you, Daddy,

Loss of a Mother

My dear friend and my children’s elementary school art teacher lost her mother recently. Since seeing this on her Facebook page, I have felt an extreme sense of sadness in my heart. My mother has been gone now for nearly two and a half years … it’ll be three years in October … and I miss her so much. I’ve missed her for years longer, though, because she suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for ten years before she passed away.

Here are lyrics for a wonderful song that I found amongst my friend’s messages … it’s very comforting, indeed.

Look for me in Rainbows

Time for me to go now, I won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I’ll be close to you.

It won’t be forever, the day will come and then
My loving arms will hold you, when we meet again.

Time for us to part now, we won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Just wish me to be near you,
And I’ll be there with you.

Music and lyrics: Conn Bernard (1990). Vicki Brown