In the chapel at our hospice house, where I volunteer one morning a week, there are three little straw baskets. Each hold a simple knitted square measuring about 6 inches squared with three separate designs. A heart, a cross, and the star of David. I’ve never met the ladies who knit these squares. But I have seen people leave holding one. I don’t know who knits them. I only hope that these anonymous knitters realise how comforting it is for a visitor to say a prayer to whoever their God is, and leave with one as a momento of a passing. It’s only a simple piece of knitting. But don’t the simple things tell their own stories? What bought this person to be knitting squares for hospice? Perhaps they lost a loved one there? Why do they knit? Perhaps they are housebound of disabled themselves.
This wonderful quote sums up how those little squares are making difference to lives….
“Knitting may not, on the surface, seem relevant to engines that run the world, but at its essence, it is actually quite vital. For knitting, which can express so many emotions, most often expresses love. And when all else is lost , LOVE is what most often stays with us.” Melanie Falick, Lit. 2002.
Thanking all those knitters who create little squares of love for those who need them. Because LOVE is the real engine that runs the world. Without it, we are all lost.
It’s a familiar saying. But until today I’d kind of felt it was ‘owned’ by our friends in AA.
How wrong I was. Because when we are going through any difficulty, it’s mostly ‘getting through it’, not , ‘getting over it’. And in the struggle, the ‘one days’ turn into ‘one weeks’, and ‘one months’ and so on. Then the other trueism ‘time is a healer’ kicks in, although it may take many years to come to peace and resolution.
Yesterday I saw the true meaning of ‘one day at a time’. I was working the front desk of our incredible local hospice, when I noticed a lady walking slowly with a frame. A couple of visiting kids were being a little boisterous and I hung back in the corridor to ‘watch her back’ and keep them away if they headed off in her faltering direction.
We have many visitors and some are very old so I really wasn’t sure if she was a patient or a visitor. I slowly caught up to her and said hi. This lead to a wonderful conversation about the men’s open finals that had aired the night before and sport in general. I immediately was drawn to this intelligent and humorous woman eager for some conversation. She introduced herself and told me a little of her story. A week ago she had been very sick and told there was nothing anyone could do. Following a simple procedure, something unexpected happened. She felt good. Stronger, and for the first time in months hungry. “I don’t know what is going on with me. But I’m taking it one day at a time”. She also felt that being relieved of the daily worries of running a house, and comforting everyone else about her diagnosis a weight had been lifted allowing her body to start something unexpected. Whether is it ‘time’ or ‘a miracle’ she was grateful for every single day.
So it hit me. Here was a woman so grateful for the simple feelings of hunger and strength. Things that I take for granted all the time. Hunger to me is an aggravation. I’m overweight, love food, and never want to feel hungry again. I suddenly realised that even ‘hunger’ is an incredible gift. It’s a marker of good health. Of your body working exactly the way it should. And strength. I’m a strong woman and think nothing of grabbing the other side of a fridge of washing machine to move it (although the trash compactor did a number on my back this week). I have always taken my strength for granted. It has been useful, but not appreciated.
She’s in my prayers. I’m praying for her continued good health. This wonderful 64 year old woman, who told me ‘this place is like a bloody spa! is living every day. We have a date for next Tuesday. While she is grateful for every day of feeling better physically and mentally, I’m counting the days until I can see this inspirational woman again.
And I’m thanking her for teaching me not to fear ‘hunger’ and take ‘strength’ for granted. To celebrate these two incredible gifts I have been given.