Earlier this year our former neighbor and good friend told us that his mom had breast cancer. It didn't sound like things were good, but she was fighting it as best she could.
I couldn't do anything for the family and it was driving me nuts.
I had met Norma a couple of times when she was visiting them and we were all out in our yards.
I sat next to her while he son was preaching as a guest at a local church.
I remember asking her if she was nervous because he was new to preaching.
I was nervous for him!
No, she said. She was fine. I thought, "Wow! What confidence she has in her son."
And she had every right to be confident in him because he did great.
When he called to let me know about his mom, I thought maybe I could knit a prayer shawl for her. I'd never knit one before, but it just seemed like a right fit for this situation.
I talked to a friend of mine who had knit a couple of them and got some suggestions.
I looked all over Ravelry and finally decided on the tried and true pattern.
The pattern was k3, p3 and the yarn was Lion Brand Homespun.
I've never felt much love for Homespun. I don't know if it's because it's such a 'loopy' kind of yarn or what. I do know it's soft and makes wonderful shawls - we have a couple around here ourselves!
So off I went to Michaels and picked out the colorway.
I'd read about how you should start the shawl with a prayer for the recipient and how you should continue to pray for them while knitting. I am a one project knitter. I know, I know. You probably didn't realize those existed. I'm a rare bird. :) I put away the socks I was knitting, which created a little anxiety for me. I just felt this shawl was important.
Every day I picked it up with thoughts and prayers for Norma.
Every night when I put it back down I was mad at the yarn because I just didn't like to work with it.
I was exhausted.
I just kept plugging away trying to figure out what was wrong with me.
Was it the yarn? Was it the unfinished socks looming over me? What was it?
I finally finished it and delivered it to our neighbors with a little 'prayer shawl prayer' attached to it.
He delivered it to his mom around Mother's Day. She said it was so nice and soft and told him to thank me for it.
I finished the socks I had left hanging and tried to recuperate from that exhausting knit.
I spoke to my friend who had helped me decide to make it in the first place.
She told me I was exhausted because of all the prayers and thoughts that went into it.
The knitting was more than just a physical action. It was also a mental and spiritual one.
June 6th, he let me know that his mom used the shawl all the time and wanted to let me know. She was even using it when he texted that to me. He said I had blessed her.
She passed away that weekend.
When I look back I realize that the pattern was easy, the yarn not expensive, the time easily carved out. But the thoughts that went into that shawl and the prayers made it special for me and, more importantly, I hope for Norma.
It was worth every single bit of aggravation.
I would make another prayer shawl in a minute.
The rewards for everybody involved are tremendous.