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  • Ann,
    I am so sorry to hear of your friend’s worries. This post is beautifully written. I think we’ve all at some point been blindsided by bad news and not known what to do. Picking up knitting needles and thinking about the recipient while chugging along on a project can be a great source of comfort. I’m sure she’ll appreciate the scarf and your thoughts.
    (P.S. Glad squeaker didn’t get away!)

  • ann- how lovely. (and boo-hoo, too, but that was pretty much a given). xoxo

  • Just started reading your blog . . . very touching post. And I can say from experience that receiving something thoughtfully handmade in a tough and confusing time does help even though it can be hard to say thank you. A little bit of love can go a long way. This woman is lucky to know you!

  • A very sick child is a mother’s waking nightmare. A handknit scarf is a lovely thought. A frozen casserole when the first wave of help has passed is good, too.

  • A handknit is a very touching gift – I’m sure she will appreciate that someone is thinking of her. When something like that happens, everyone always says “let me know if I can help,” but it’s hard to ask for help, or to even know what to ask for. Just knowing that someone thought about you and took time to do something nice is so uplifting.

  • I have made a scarf and a triangle shawl for situations similar to yours – and I call them my hug projects — for the time that the person needs a hug – they can put it on and feel the love you made it with.

  • Oh I hope she will get better!
    The scarf is a beautiful gesture.

  • And it represents effort, and attention, and care. And hopefully it brings some comfort.

  • That’s a hard one: the gesture of comfort when there is no comfort to be had. Sometimes the best that can be had from a situation is the knowledge that there are goodhearted people standing beside you.
    Brings to mind Susan Gordon Lydon’s writing about knitting in face of the abyss. It ain’t much but it’s something. xox Kay

  • My friend with lung cancer (mom in her 40’s) says she feels the “healing vibe” from the socks I knit for her. I’m not a cook, so knitting socks is how I express my support and caring. She’s defying the odds, so we’re up to five pair now.
    The scarf is a great idea.

  • How terribly sad. I hope the scarf helps her and you. And I hope their daughter heals. Just heartbreaking.

  • I still remember with shame how I reacted to a neighbor who had similar news years ago. I avoided. I couldn’t look her in the eye; if I saw her coming down the street, I would dip into a store….I just couldn’t speak to her. I felt that she would be SICK AND TIRED of talking about it and I was afraid that I would say something trite and stupid. I wish I had been different, and I wish I had been a knitter then – because it is definitely the reaching out that is important. I learned so much from that experience and I want to try to do better if it ever happens again.

  • You inspired me. Instead of waiting for a time of trial, I decided to remember some people now who are doing a wonderful job of helping others. I read your post and immediately started casting on a spring ribbon scarf for a nursery caregiver at our church to let her know how her gentle touch has helped so many little people. Prayers for continued good times will be knit into it.
    Lots of thoughts and prayers for you and your friends’ family.

  • What a heartfelt gesture. Sometimes it’s the things we say with no words at all that have the most meaning.

  • After going through a little crisis of my own, it was really nice just to know that people were thinking of me. It didn’t change what was going on, but it did help give me some extra strength to go forward. Hopefully that handmade scarf will help your friend in the same way. I always like to think that handmade scarves provide more than one kind of warmth.

  • Ann, I’m sorry, I know how that feels.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about this sick little girl. And I was incredibly touched by your gift of a scarf and your posting about how you’d like to give time to this woman. Lovely writing, from someone who clearly has a lovely heart.

  • I read this blog all the time. It’s one of only two that I check daily. Lots of times I laugh out loud when I read it. Today was the first time I wept. It was so beautifully written, so aptly put. Well said, Ann. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • It is a beautiful thing you are doing!

  • so sorry to hear about your friend’s llittle girl. It would be a comfort to the mother to know that she is adrift amongst people that want to do something even if none of it changes a thing. too sad but time is the most precious gift.
    ox P

  • What a beautiful thought in regards to the scarf. You’ve put it so perfectly. When you just don’t know what to do….sometimes people just knowing you’ve been thinking of them so much is enough. It touches them……

  • What a beautiful thought in regards to the scarf. You’ve put it so perfectly. When you just don’t know what to do….sometimes people just knowing you’ve been thinking of them so much is enough. It touches them……

  • My heart aches for this mother, for her darling little girl. I want to wrap up my time and send it, too, if only that would help. My prayers go to them.

  • Oh, thank you so much for your post today. Time is all we really want, isn’t it? It is SO difficult to make contact. For me it is especially hard when I know it is what is needed. I feel that I will flub it up and make it worse. Your scarf is lovely and will be perfect for your friend. A huge hug and many good vibes to the little girl, her family and you.
    Much love.

  • I too have found myself wondering what I could do to help some people I care about. I turned to the one thing I knew that I could do, knit. I made hats for their heads for when and if they lost their hair to chemotherapy or radiation. While it might not seem like enough, I think just knowing that someone took the time to think of them and to show that they cared is a great show of friendship and thought. That scarf will bring her many hours and days of comfort as she wraps herself in the warmth of your gift.

  • That’s such a lovely thought, Ann. It’s a helpless feeling being close to someone at a difficult time, wishing you could just wipe the bad things away.

  • wow, speechless, our thoughts and prayers are with your friend and her family.

  • Oh Ann, how eloquent you are. Knowing that the moment of normalcy that mom had admiring Clif’s guinea pig meant a lot to her, and wishing as we all do that there were some tangible THING we could do to help a such a dire situation.
    The scarf is lovely; I’m sure it’ll be a comfort. Best wishes and love from Arizona to the girlie and her family and all you who are there to care.

  • Ann – your words really touched me. As you may know, I’m in a similar position with my own daughter at the moment and I have found huge comfort in the support of friends. Gestures like yours really help and sometimes we need all the help we can get.

  • Yes, a lovely thought…and she will love it and it will be exactly enough of everything they need but cannot ask for. What a difficult thing: to watch friend go through something difficult and you just wanting to love them. And, so you do in the best way you can- silently or casseroles or babysitting or cards or knitting…and God takes care of the rest.

  • your heart is in the right place, ann. you have wrapped her in healing hugs….and positive vibrations.

  • A quick e-mail to her, or a card would also be appreciated. These can be easier than a face-to-face meeting for those of us who never know what to say, or lack knitting/cooking skills. It’s nice to know people are thinking about you, even if they never say anything.

  • She will cherish it. She may never wear it; it may be too painful for many years. But TRUST ME – she will cherish it – especially if you copy the last paragraph of your post and put it in the card that you enclose with the scarf. I wish someone had done something like this for me last year when my son was diagnosed.

  • I just discovered your blog and right away read this post which really speaks to me; my mom has just been recently diagnosed with lung cancer, and I have been using all the free-fall feelings and conflicted what-to-do’s that are rattling around inside of me to dye, spin, and knit hats for her.
    You can see pictures of the hats on my blog at livejournal.com, username glassgirl7.
    I know for sure that your scarf will send its own very true and caring message to its recipient. A friend of mine gave Mom a prayer shawl she knit, and Mom (a lapsed Unitarian at best, athiest perhaps) asked me, while cuddled up in the shawl on my couch recovering from chemo, “when you wear a prayer shawl, do you need to pray? Or does the shawl do the praying for you?”
    Mind you, I’ve never ever in my whole 44 years of life heard my mom say the word “prayer”.

  • Ann, being the chairperson of a Prayer Shawl group I can tell you that you could give this mom a garter stitch shawl in Lion’s Brand Homespun and she would treasure it for all of her years. Your post brought tears to my eyes for some reason, thinking of how she will wrap herself in your good wishes when times are hard. Like a giant hug that never leaves her.
    And for Martha, the idea is that love and prayers or meditations or whatever works for you for the recipient are knitted into the shawl. We almost never know exactly who we are knitting for, so we say a short general prayer as we begin knitting, then knit away. It is amazing the power that they have. Martha’s mom is feelign it.

  • I was in a similar situation a few years back, when my best friend was diagnosed with a serious illness and we had just moved 1300 miles away. I couldn’t help in any practical way … so I made her a scarf and hat out of the softest alpaca I could find. Your thoughts and prayers for your friend and her daughter are in every stitch of that scarf … and she’ll feel them every time she wears them.

  • I know this helpless feeling all too well. The scarf is perfect.

  • Well put.

  • My sister-in-law’s three-year-old granddaughter died a year ago after a liver transplant. At the hospital chapel was a table of “comfort scarves”, anonymously knitted, with a sign letting people know they could have one if they wanted. She wears her soft lavender scarf whenever she’s grieving especially hard, and runs her hand along it as if she’s running her hand along little Erin’s hair. Of course I hope your friend’s daughter comes through, but I wanted you (and anyone who’s knitted for charity)
    to know that you couldn’t have given a more meaningful gift.