My family has known the Parker family since way before I was born. My mom and their dad, Ben, went to the same school in southern Cal back in the 1930s — they were even classmates, although they didn’t know each other at the time, Ben being the BMOC, and my mom not. The Parkers have three daughters, and two of them are almost the same age as my brother and I.
Sandy, the middle child, was the same age as my brother Randy. As our families used to live across the street from each other, Sandy and Randy went off to kindergarten together for their first day of school back in the 1950’s.
My friend Sandy was a Godsend last year when my brother, Randy, died unexpectedly. Sandy brought a wonderful dessert – her Raspberry specialty that should be on grocery shelves across the United States – to our family and friends gathering, and told fun and cute stories from their shared experiences so long ago. Sandy is the best.
So, it was very hard news when I heard that Sandy has been diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. Sandy, like me, doesn’t have kids and isn’t married, so these things can be all that much harder. Fortunately for her, Sandy’s sisters live close enough to be of help.
Sandy and I had talked for a long time about her coming up to visit me — it’s only a one-hour flight away – but we always say that we’re going to do this at Christmas when we see each other, and then we never do. I’m still hoping that there is a way for Sandy to visit at some point. Obviously, right now she can’t, and because this is Lent, it’s not in the cards for me to visit her right now.
But this is where the solace of knitting helps. Providentially (I am a Calvinist, after all), I heard about Sandy’s diagnosis on the eve of Stitches West. At first I thought about making a chemo cap, but then I realized that I wanted to make something bigger and more substantial. But it can’t be really heavy, since she lives between LA and San Diego.
Hence, the Julia’s Shawl by Alison Hyde, in Primero by Brooks Farm:
Sandy was supposed to start chemotherapy on Monday, but now it has been delayed because of some complications. She’s in the hospital to get things worked out to start on the next part of her journey. The shawl is getting closer — about 17 inches long — I’d like it to be 20 inches, so I’m going to try to power through tonight and tomorrow to get it blocked out in time to send by the end of the week. My prayers are there, right in the stitches.