Monday, January 07, 2008

Reflections on 2007

Girlie and ZimDee went back to school this morning after two weeks of vacation. Sproutie is wandering around the house like a lost soul, searching for his playmates. I have to admit that I am, too. It has been beyond wonderful having them home with me all day. Now it's back to regular routines. A good time for me to reflect on the year that has just gone by.

2007 started out in a blur, a sentiment expressed to me by most members of my family. Losing my brother David in November of 2006 was something that forever changed my life. Grief is a difficult road to walk, and no one else can do it for you. Thus 2007 began with my making my first tentative steps on my journey back to me.

January 1st started out with a bang of three knitting assignments. Knit Picks asked me to knit a pair of lace socks. My cousin James' wife Shari, whom I adore, asked me to knit a yellow sweater for their adorable daughter Jessica. And my dear friend Mamma and I embarked on some pirate knitting--that is, knitting a pair of socks with some yarn called "Black Purl" (get it?) while we watched the Pirates of the Caribbean series. I must mention that Mamma and I live in different states, so this was virtual knitting at its finest.

I will say here that you might see a theme emerging. Knitting was an essential part of my healing this year. The repetitive, meditative motions were healing to my soul, and produced beautiful finished projects for my efforts. When I couldn't deal with the emotions that bombarded me during that time, and when deciding what TV show I was going to put on mute to ignore or which pair of pajamas to wear became too overwhelming to deal with, knitting was a constant. It held no judgment of me. I wasn't letting it down in any way by not being able to participate fully; it was just there waiting for me like a long-lost friend whenever I could get to it. Each stitch I knit was a memory, a prayer, a shared perspective, a childhood lost and then regained, a stepping stone on my way back to the light. The sadness was always there, but it was starting to be covered with peace and acceptance and love.

The lace socks for Knit Picks were finished, to be replaced by yet another commissioned work of knitting for the company (for a total of six time-consuming projects this year). One pirate sock was completed; the mate abandoned when Mamma finished her complete pair two weeks before I finished my first sock. Not to worry--it's waiting patiently below deck for me to get back to it someday. (Keep to the code and all that). The yellow sweater for Jessica was complete, and received with much excitement. Shari told me that Jessica did not ever want to take it off. Shari also confessed to me that she asked me to knit something yellow because she had read that the color is soothing to people who are grieving. She had lost a brother herself some years ago, and thought to reach out to me to help me in my healing the only way she could think of: through my knitting. Wonderful angels like that came and went throughout the year, just when I needed them most.

Another part of my healing relating to knitting was joining the board of the Tigard Knitting Guild as co-newsletter editor. The monthly board meetings in addition to the regular guild meetings were very good for me. It was something positive that got me moving and out of the house when I wasn't sure I was ready to venture out. To be in the company of cheerful women with a purpose was very healthy for me, and I made some new friends that are "keepers". I will continue on with the board in 2008 as secretary.

In May I traveled to Washington DC with my mom and sisters for Police Week: a memorial tribute to my brother and other fallen officers. It was powerful yet extremely overwhelming. I WILL return to Washington DC and to the wall that bears David's name, but not during Police Week again. It will be with loving family who will trace the letters of his name with their hands and remember, always remember...

Sproutie turned two years old in June, and he has become my "busy" child. It never occurred to Girlie and ZimDee that so many toys could be broken and scattered. We call Sprout "the De-Struc-Tor". If there is a mess to be made or something to be broken, this child is behind it. But one look in those big brown eyes and that clown smile and my heart just melts.

ZimDee turned five in July, and much to my dismay, started full-time kindergarten this year. Emotionally I wasn't prepared for it and had my doubts that he was ready, but he has flourished in school. His teacher is wonderful, and I'm grateful that she has laid a positive foundation for his future education.

Girlie turned ten in October. She started 4th grade in the fall, and also has a phenomenal teacher. Girlie has become quite a young lady, and soon will tower over her dad and me. She already wears a bigger shoe size than I do. She's always been a peace-loving child with a wonderful imagination. I'm thoroughly enjoying the privilege of being a part of these sweet children's lives.

A big constant in my life has been the love of my family. The Count's patience during this year helped me in my healing process, and his willingness to work on deep-seated issues have made our marriage even stronger. The love of my children is my daily medicine.

When I sat down with myself and looked at my life in front of the Christmas tree this year, I found that I am exactly where I want to be.

It has been a year of sadness and loss, healing and love. When all is said and done, it is the love that remains.

I'm looking forward to sharing 2008 with you, my friends.


Jennifer said...

I wish for your happiness, peace, and love this next year. I know how hard this last one has been.

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing how you've journeyed through grief and love this past year. It is heartening for me to hear this, as I lost one of my closest friends to a short and painful battle with cancer just a week before Christmas. It's good for me to hear about the ups and downs, and for the angels who can surprise you along the way. Peace to you this year.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your reflections. They were insightful and it was good to see how far you have come this year. God bless you.