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My Crown is Still Tilted, but I'm Back on the Throne!

First let me begin by saying that I've missed being perched up on the throne watching the crochet world evolve and sharing it weekly with you.  All I can say is life and death got in the way!

A long and progressive disease, Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), got the best of my husband, my King; and he died on July 1, 2016. If you want to know the details of this horrible and debilitating disease, you can find it online. If, after you read about it, you wish to contribute to the research to find a cure for this rare disease, thank you!

I've been faithfully committed to this blog since May of 2007; crochet is life to me. It is not my nature to let "life get in the way" of my weekly blog posts: but since my last post on May 5, 2016, I have not had the energy or the time to keep up with it. Although I am a public figure in the crochet world, I am also a private person. You have not read here or on Facebook about this 10-year journey Alan and I were on.

Explaining his condition required way too many words! Little is known about it and even pronouncing the disease is a challenge! Thank goodness, I have a medical background; I'm convinced it helped me stay strong and get through this. It helped me adjust to each step of Alan's gradual deterioration and to figure out what I had to do. Too many questions and too many suggestions led me to just wanting to focus quietly on what was best for us and to seek the guidance of professionals.

I will never forget the care we received from Heartland Hospice in both Illinois and Indiana. The staff's daily care and comfort, honesty, and support was what we needed, when we needed it. Without them, I would not have been able to keep Alan at homeand comfortable until he took his last breath. Sitting vigil by his bedside for 3 weeks as he was losing his battle with CBD was not like anything I had experienced before. I had many mixed emotions; so much time to think; and I was beginning what is calledl the grieving process.

Sitting beside him as he slept; watching his face and his breathing; holding his hand and talking even though he didn't respond took energy; but it was what I chose to do. I was amazed at how the hours went by and how I didn't pick up my crochet. Under any "normal" circumstances over the last forty years, I would not have been able to sit still in front of the t.v. or wait patiently in a doctor's office or a traffic jam! Instead, needing to reach for my crochet for relaxation and tranquility. This time, though,over those few weeks, it wasdifferent, and I don't know why. Perhaps I didn't have extra energy; I didn't have inspiration; or I didn't have the right project on my hook. Now it doesn't matter; I am learning a new rhythm with my hook, and with my life, for that matter!

I am such a strong believer in the therapuetic value of crochet, but I am not going to beat myself up for not reaching for my hook and crocheting away. My hands needed to be holding Alan's more than I needed to hold a hook!

Patriotic Afghan presented by Hospice for Service to our Country

Last winter my crochet therapy WAS at work. I was inspired to create a freeform necklace from mostly spirals. Each spiral in itself was a thrill and a learning experience of shape and color. Bringing those spirals together and filling in the final design taught me more about freeform crochet. The colors helped me smile. At the time, my life was mostly "rush-rush" based on the schedules of Alan's caretakers. On one of my free days, I found the perfect color of fabric with a free-formy embossed texture; and I did the grueling work (for me) of cutting the shape to fit the necklace perfectly.

In April I thought about entering the necklace into the CGOA Design Contest IF I got it done in time. Alas, I finished the hand-sewing of the backing to the front 2 days after the deadline. Seeing as how my memory is not always accurate, I thought I would just double check to see if I had missed the deadline. Lo and behold, it was announced online that the deadline was extended by two weeks! So, I packed up the necklace and our daughter graciously maiedl it for me as I was not leaving the house at this point.

I felt some pangs of guilt that I took my hands away from Alan long enough to do the hand-sewing; and to ready the necklace for something as frivolous as a contest! Imagine my surprise when I was informed that I had won 2nd prize in the Art category! I think it was a sign that I needed to rid my head of guilt and be reminded of the importance of crochet as therapy.

Swirling in Creativity Necklace
Seeing Alan's courage to the very end; knowing that his wish to donate his brain to research may be a small part of discovering a cure; and feeling a room full of love for Alan at his Memorial Service on August 19 has given me the strength to find a new rhythm for my hook and my heart.

He has dropped by twice since his death; first as a lady bug on the edge of my glasses and just yesterday as a butterfly who stayed on my shoulder for 8 minutes. I know he misses me as much as I miss him and is watching over our family!

Stay tuned as I now continue to bring you weekly news and tidbits about crochet as it is inter-woven into life as we know it!


Cindy said…
A beautiful, inspiring post. I am in awe of you. You are quite a woman!

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