Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Story of Waiting

"All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope" - Alexandre Dumas Pere

Well... my wisdom must be freakin running to a low point. We wait, and wait, and hope for our new house to become a reality. Then wait some more.

We have moved again - because the cottage rental where we were is only availalble during the school year, and we found a three bedroom, two bathroom duplex that would take all of our pets. Knowing that even if our house sold, we wouldn't be able to build and move into a new home before summer, we had to leave. So on the coldest weekend in February (again) we moved. If you look back to last year in February, we also moved on the coldest weekend in 10 years to become a family again. Someone has a really bad sense of humor towards giving me crappy situations and frankly, I've about had it.

My anger towards life turned towards my knitting, and with a venegence I worked to get rid of every crappy old project that was weighing me down. Then I knit for myself. That luxury that knitters rarely bestow upon themselves was mine. My choice of yarn, my choice of pattern, and my attitude improved. UNTIL.... the next crappy situation. My mother-in-law having a near death experience. On Easter Sunday we were taken from our family gathering after visiting her in the hospital and realizing that things were not good. We returned to the hospital with the rest of the family to wait for her to die. There was no hope. We waited all afternoon, evening, and night. There was no hope. Her darkened hands and shallow breathing brought us all to tears, and then we were content and ready. We waited. In the morning she woke for a few minutes and gave us a precious gift of more time to talk to her. She said that she felt, "Great!" I watched as my daughters cried at her death bed, then had moments where they were able to have great talks with cousins who they hadn't seen in years. The kind of talk that seems only to happen around death in today's world.

By later morning, the doctor's proclaimed a miracle, and we reacted with anger, frustration, and sadness. My mother-in-law left us many years ago from the dementia brought on by two severe strokes. We were ready for her to leave, and happy that she would have died without having to have lived in a nursing home. Now that would not happen. We spent three days getting her things ready and moved her into her new home while her husband sobbed. He still cannot be convinced that he has not let her down. His COPD makes it impossible to take care of her now that she will not walk, eat, or toilet herself. She looked around the nursing home and told me, "This is a nice place......for the old people." Our hearts and spirits broke.

We try to drive the four hours one way each weekend to see her, visit with my father-in-law and my mother, and take care of the property that refuses to sell. We are going deeper and deeper into debt - two educators with Master's Degrees...working every extra school job we can get our hands on. The gas prices laugh at me as I drive past each station. Up $1.30 from a year ago... and four hours of driving now add up to an extra $40 on gas each weekend. I'm back to deciding how badly we need generic peanut butter each week. I'm tired of life giving me crap so that I can be a stronger person. I'm strong. And tired. Very, very tired. I give up.

My knitting sits and glares at me from the bag. Sandy's chemo caps that should have been done two weeks ago when her chemotherapy started are angry with me; they yell at me and add to my guilt. The stole that I wanted for my daughters' dances is frustrated to still be sitting on needles, and the yarn stash is planning a coup. I think they will run out of the house if it ever stops snowing or raining. You see, they are afraid of ruining their fibers in the bad weather...this is the only reason they stay.

Despite all of the bad things, I like my job - which may not last because I am a new hire and a referendum looming could mean the end of my job - and more importantly it could mean the loss of a decent education for many, many students as I would not be the only one to be let go. If this happens, I can only imagine how many part time jobs I would have to take to be able to buy the generic brand of toilet paper that I know we MUST have each week.

So, I would like to give my yarn stash a little message. Run. Fast. Get out while you still have a chance and get as far away from my house as is yarnily possible because you know things are bad, and I know that even with patience and hope, they are not about to get better any time soon.

But I have no choice. I will have to continue to wait. And hope. If I can.