I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

My photo
I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lost Gratitude

Recently a dear old friend's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Pretty serious, pretty drastic surgery required, pretty awful chemo to follow.
This one is my favorite.  It is made out
of baby alpaca yarn and is sooo soft.

I know these people pretty well.  Despite the fact that I don't see any of them all that often, I grew up in their home.  I knew how to unload the dishwasher.  I knew them before they had a dishwasher.  I ate waffles at their kitchen table every Saturday.  I spent Christmas eve with them many a year.  They are also my family.  I didn't like my family much.  Too turbulent, too inconsistent, too not-very-family-ish.  It was in this home I learned about families.  I learned that it could be much more than just a group of people randomly thrown in together in a house.  They took me to church, they let me suffer through their family home evenings, they even took me on a few family trips with them with all of us riding in the truck-bed camper...
Sassy and cabled.

Don't get me wrong...they are not perfect people.  There were FOUR boys in that house after all (which may be part of the reason they put up with me so much...the one girl was so out numbered).

When I heard about the cancer, I was heart sick for all of them.  The mom, my friend, her family.  There really wasn't anything I could do.  I live too far away to be of daily help or comfort.
The mom got through her surgery pretty well but was pretty sad about what the chemo would do to her body.  Particularly her hair.  My friend, Kirsten wrote a pretty great post on what it means to be a woman and how when we experience loss to such key components of our self and our identification as a woman, like our breasts or our hair, how that affects our perceptions of self.  I don't think she'll mind me sharing since she blogged about it and put it out there.

This one ended up a bit on the
floppy sun-hat side of things, but
but I still kinda like it.
Anyway, I got to knitting.  If you've been keeping up, you know that I've been a bit obsessed lately, and thought I could try my hand here.  Perhaps put my new skills to use for good instead of evil in the world.  I found a couple of patterns I thought cute and got busy.  I wanted her to have choices.
I got Anna to model them for me.  I thought they turned out pretty well.  Not perfect (no one needs to look too closely...) but well enough.

You see, I think I missed a lot of opportunities growing up to be thankful for this woman and her family.  I didn't realized the impact they would make on me as a person, and more importantly as a woman and mother.  For many a year I didn't know if I even wanted to have kids for the fear that I would non-mother the way my own did, and I knew just enough about mothering to know that I did not want to do that.  But I did have kids.  You've seen them.  They're awesome.  And their mother is not half bad most of the time (as long as she's rested and fed regularly).  And she learned it from the knee of other mothers.  Particularly this one.

I really liked this pattern.  You can
wear the hat all sorts of ways.
I know a couple of hats in time of need isn't going to make up for my teenage years and how trying we must have been (particularly in pairs...), but I am grateful.  Someday, I'll make sure my kids are grateful.  They have a better life because I had a good experience growing up in someone else's home.

The things is, we (meaning me and all of you who are right around my age) are getting to the age when stuff like this is going to start striking home.  Our parents are the grandparents.  They're reaching retirement age and are going to start having to deal with all sorts of stuff as they begin to age.  It isn't a fun train of thought to dwell on.

Now I'm getting all sappy and sad.  Blame it on the weather.  Or cancer.  Cancer is mean.  But this lady is doing pretty well, and now she looks pretty cute too (although I saw her shaved head, and I thought she could totally pull it off...).

Thank you, Linda.

*I found all the patterns for these projects free.  If you'd like a link to them, just comment below and I'll post it in the response.


  1. La, you made me cry. This is a beautiful post. Well done, friend.

  2. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your talents. Love love love you.