The story behind it all….
This is my friend Gracie. She was the first person I ever crocheted a beanie for. Here she is, wearing that beanie, on our trip to South Korea years ago.
Gracie and I bonded over many shared interests – baking, crocheting, crafts. We used to dream that one day, I’d start an online shop selling my own crochet patterns and she would be my number one pattern tester.
We lost Gracie to cancer in June of 2020. In the middle of a global pandemic. There was a walk by wake, where I had 10 minutes to say goodbye. It wasn’t fair. One minute she is my forever friend and the next minute she is gone.
Grief. The Oxford dictionary describes grief as a noun. A singular emotion; a singular entity. Medical experts describe grief as a process. A process that gives you time to get through all of the emotions that go along with grief – anger, sadness, guilt, anxiety, despair. A process that allows you the space “to grieve”. But this definition, to me, suggests that the process is finite – that there is somehow an end to all of this.
But anyone who has grieved knows that it doesn’t actually end. The pain and the sorrow get better, I suppose. But it never actually goes away. It come in waves, triggered by memories or, in this case, other news of cancer amongst loved ones.
The most insightful definition about grief came to me a few weeks ago, when my husband and I streamed WANDAVISION on Disney+. The character Vision poses the question, “What is grief, if not love persevering?” Love perseveres – how about that? It keeps going. My friend may be physically gone but she is always in my heart and I will love and miss her forever.
This blog is for Gracie. An anthology of my crochet beanie patterns used for donations to medical centers and homeless shelters. The stitches I make help me to channel my tears, my grief, and my love for my friend. The beanies made by you and me are to bring warmth to those in pain or in need. But above all else, to be worn with hope.
The “Smooth and Shiny” line is meant for patients with cancer or other medical patients, using yarns approved by chemo cap organizations like Knots of Love (https://www.knotsoflove.org/). Consider donating to Knots of Love directly or to your local hospitals or cancer centers.
The “Thick and Toasty” line is meant for those taking shelter in between homes or in permanent displacement, needing something to keep warm at night. Consider donating to your local homeless shelter or rescue mission.
Thank you for taking the time to visit. Thank you for taking the time to use these patterns to bless someone in need. Thank you for allowing Gracie to live on in us.
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