Monday, May 29, 2006


You know, there is nothing like a family. Sometimes they drive you nuts. Sometimes you just love them to pieces. You don't get to choose your family. It just is. From the minute of your birth, until the end of your days. Friends -- yeah, you can choose them. And you can unchoose them if you want. But family is forever.

And there is something else about families, well, my family anyway. We just don't seem to stay in touch very well. I have a sister out west who met my daughter for the first time at my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. The daughter was 12. We don't snail mail very well. We don't even e-mail very well. To make it worse, we don't even telephone each other very well.

Until illness strikes. When my mother was ill, we were talking several times every day. Until we all met at the hospital and spent the last days together there. Then everyone went home and we vowed that we would stay in touch. And we did, for a short time.

And then we slipped into our old patterns of non-communication. Sure, there was the occasional e-mail and the even more rare telephone call. But really? We just didn't communicate.

My sister has had a rough 2006. She spent some time in January in the hospital, culminating in open-chest surgery to relieve the pleurisy. Followed by plenty of follow-up. And she quit smoking!

As part of the follow-up, she went for her (first) annual physical in five years. And they found breast cancer. Fortunately, it appears to be easily resolved with a lumpectomy and radiation. But there is still a spot on her lung as well. Scarey stuff. And she is way out west, a two-day drive from family. I can't be there for her, as much as I want to. So I made this:

The Clapotis that everyone else has made, except that mine is filled with prayers for healing, good health, and love. Lots of love. Lots and lots of love.

The yarn is Sirdar Supersoft Toddler Aran, acrylic and washable. It seems my sister is allergic to wool. Wouldn't it have been awful to have made the shawl in wool, only to have her break out in hives on top of everything else? I wouldn't do that to my sister, even on a bad day. The garden belongs to my neighbour, and it is as beautiful as it appears in the photo. Thanks, neighbour, for the loan.


Lene Andersen said...

Families are like that - nothing matters but the love.

I'll keep your sister in my thoughts. Clapotis is bound to help, wrapping her up in love and healing vibes.

Jacqui said...

What a beautiful post! And it does ring true. As close as we once were my brother and I don't speak for as much as a year at a time and we live 15 minutes apart! We also have come together in times of crisis and are now getting better at communicating more frequently.

The clapotis is beautiful, I love the colour you chose. Your sister is bound to feel loved as she uses it.

flowers said...

This was a LOVELY story,,,and SO true. I am from a big family... 7 children, scattered from London Ontario to Vancouver Island & several ports in between...we don't get together much either, except funurals & (sometimes, if we;re lucky) weddings. MOST of us keep in touch fairly often, but we didn't, untill mom died,...then we smartened up somewhat.
I am sure your sister will injoy her clapotis, and it will help her recover.
But...I MUST ask, What IS a clapotis exactly? I've never heard the word befor.

Elizabeth said...

Your clapotis is beautiful. I'm sure your sister will appreciate it.
My family is not that close either, we simply don't have that much in common.
You know I just finished a felted bag with the same Paton's colour wool in your last post. If you don't want to thrum, it felts really well!