Monday, August 16, 2010

The CROCHET Compartment of my Brain

My new habit is to post on this blog every Monday and today's thoughts, although very personal, have been calling to me since last Monday. I am a private person in many ways, but in other ways not. I am about to share some thoughts that I haven't shared with very many outside of family. I usually don't believe that my problems are other people's problems, but it is time to get this out for the therapeutic value.

My husband, Alan, is loosing his ability to speak. It has been coming on for about 5 years and is getting progressively worse. It has to do with deterioration of his cerebellum which controls coordination. His tongue, a very complex muscle, is not able to coordinate words very well. I can still understand him, as can most people; but sometimes it is tough to understand some words. It is a very long story, but after three trips to Mayo clinic and numerous dollars later, we have no diagnosis or cure. They basically told us, "We don't know what it is or what to do. Have a nice life and let us know if anything changes!"

On our drive home from Mayo, we agreed to make the most of life (everyone should, really) and we will just have to cope with what comes when it comes.

What, you ask, does this have to do with crochet? When I am crocheting or designing or promoting crochet, I am in a very happy spot. I relax and I go to a tranquil place when I crochet. My mind drifts and it is usually not to a sad place. I love to come up with fun, silly and clever ways to bring attention to crochet and I have a blast with my minions on my designer group on Ravelry: Designs

Today I posted a crochet video on YouTube. It has been two months in the making and after I saw "Wooly Bullies" which completely bashes crochet, on YouTube,I decided to fight back. It is high time we crocheters get a sense of humor and have some fun with our beloved craft. We also need to promote it to the unknowing and IGNORANT!!! I wrote the script in one day and had some of my cro-buddies critique it.

I didn't tell Alan much about it at all because I felt so conflicted by exercising my sense of humor at a time when my husband is dealing with a very serious condition. "What is wrong with me? I asked my friend over lunch. Her response helped a lot. "There is nothing wrong with laughing. Will the alternative do you or your husband any good?"

Off I went to the Crochet Conference sponsored by CGOA, script in hand and my vcr with plans to recruit actor/crocheters and stage the video shoot while there. It is the biggest captive group of crocheters I coudl think of. My roommate at the conference, Melanie, is a working actress and she agreed to direct the film. The official CGOA photographer, Alex, offered to lend his digital recorder and videographer wife, Irene, to help with the production. I am abslutely and 100% sure that this video would not have happend if it had not been for Melanie and Irene!! I would have caved in to the pressure and given up at the slightest difficulty. As it was, making the video was challenging. We had to find spots in the conference center that weren't noisy, we had to recruit perfect strangers who would risk making fools of themeselves and they had to become "instant actors" and learn their lines in a hurry. Melanie offered terrific guidance and "acting 101" on the spot and Irene was patient as "Saint Cro-alicious" with the many re-takes.

I stepped WAAAAY out of my box and may have ruined my reputation as the upstanding "Mother of CGOA" with this video, but hey, at my age, if I don't start letting my sense of humor out it may never happen. I have to credit Ravelry with the development and/or encouragement of humor. I've been a member at least 3 years and have been putting myself out there with silly avatars that change periodically and expecting nothing but fun at my Cro-Kween Designs group. There is an aura of fun at Ravelry and I have come to realize that crocheters sometimes lack sense of humor. It is high time we got some!

Enjoy the video, "Crochet Anonymous," at

and tell me what you think. Feel free to pass it on to anyone who might be interested.

Alan has been incredibly brave and continues to have a positive attitude. He still works and is a highly productive member of his team at work. Although I will give in to a momentary paroxysm of crying, I must keep a positive attitude for him also. The "crochet compartment" of my brain is where my strength is and it is where I go when I have problems.

Do you wonder why I am a crusader for crochet? It is so much more that the pretty or ugly finished products. It is a process that offers so much to so many. I want everyone to be aware of crochet even if they don't do it. I believe everyone needs to understand the positive and varied aspects of crochet. So, I will soldier on, keep my crochet AND my sense of humor; and through it all, remain strong for my husband of almost 43 years!


robynlicious said...

The video is hilarious! Good work.

My experience with becoming disabled is that humor is key. The only thing you can really control is how you react to the unpredictable changes. It may feel awkward to laugh and smile when things get tough, but sitting around being sad and somber all the time won't help the situation - or either of you. It is important to feel what you need to feel when things get rough, and sometimes that is sadness. But other times, laughing is the only way to get through.

Barbara said...

I think the video is just the coolest thing! I too saw the humor in it and I want to say that crochet has helped me through some tough times as my disability progresses. It has a way of putting a smile on your face and a contented feeling in you as you finish another project. I hope you never give up crochet. My prayers will be for you and your hubby and the rest of your family as you face this obstacle. Tell your hubby he can make it, he just may have to change the way it's made..

Hugs XX
Moore Whimsies

Kara said...

My dear Crochetqueen. Humor is an essential part of life. Let it out be goofy and funny. Never feel ashamed. I've had a rough go at life and if I didn't have my sense of humor I don't think I could make it through. Just remember that laughter is ALWAYS the best medicine. All my best to you and your husband.