I know it has been a while since I posted and I know you understand.
We are regrouping around my daughter's situation and that takes time, and effort. She is a remarkable, remarkable person.
As her mother I can't fix any of this for her but there are some things I can do. One of those is to follow her lead and do what she needs me to do. That includes not asking her every day how she is feeling. It's pretty clear that we already know the answer to that.
I wasn't quite expecting how much learning this was going to require of me. I have been so lucky in that for some reason none of us are asking why and are just more or less accepting this. I am in fact just very grateful right now that this will be more something that will require some major life adaptations, now and in the future, rather than facing something even more serious. We have all been affected by the situation of the young girl who lives right across the street from Katrina, who the very same week this all happened was diagnosed with a difficult, but hopefully treatable, cancer. May she survive and may my daughter adapt to a new reality.
The truth is, and we all know this, is that in every family there always is something. Right now this is our thing.
I am also understanding that the most powerful thing anyone can do is keep it normal. You just can't let that be taken away from you. I remember a long time ago in another context really understanding the adage that living well is the best revenge. It is time to understand that again.
I also believe, quite deeply, that whatever lessons you need to learn in this life will come back to you again and again until you learn it. My daughter has always had trouble with uncertainty, she is highly organized about everything to sort of a world class degree, and here she is now asked to learn to live with a long term chronic illness with an uncertain future. The way she is rising to this completely amazes me. Completely.
Me, I have always had trouble with hyper focus on an issue. My general approach is to hit things with a hammer until I fix it. My sewing self education has been a relentless example of this - I keep at it until I understand it, and I have no idea how many people have been left waiting for their dinner as a result.
And now here I am helpless. A test of faith indeed, as it always is when there are no other choices left, which I believe is exactly the point.
Which bring me back to the importance of being normal, or turning my mind away from what I can't do, to what I can. To doing what you would in normal times to make these times normal again.
You know it sort of works.
I am learning that despite the adaptations and the no turning backness of things like this, the more you can be who you always were and the more you can let the person you are worried about be who they always were, the more you can shrink the challenge down to manageable size.
And in all of this for me sewing is no frivolous thing.
After all I have been sewing since I was eight years old. To keep doing that now is to be bigger than anything that happens on the day.
Does this make sense?
So this past weekend I went on a three day sewing retreat where I sewed a lot, talked a lot and saw what other people, my good friend sewers, were making. I wasn't worried about anything all weekend except maybe what ever did I do with that piece I needed for the back bodice that I was sure I packed.
And right now, tonight, I am making a red cape for a Little Red Riding Hood costume for my middle grand daughter named Heidi.
Now what in the world can be any saner than that?
We are going to be alright.
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon