This was not the post I thought I’d be writing today. It’s actually probably the last thing I expected to be writing, but I also feel compelled to do it. I started working on this scarf about a week ago. I’ve been working on it with every spare minute I’ve had, including lots of times while balancing the Cub on my chest in order to free up my hands and knock off a couple rows. I went to bed last night thinking I would finish it off today, tuck the ends in and give it a light steam blocking so I could get it in the mail tomorrow or Saturday. It was a scarf for my aunt, who right before Christmas, received a diagnosis of lung cancer and the outlook was less than stellar. She started her first round of chemo about a week ago and I immediately raided my stash so I could make her something to keep her warm during the treatment and time in the hospital afterward. I had an uncle who passed away of the same disease several years ago and I always remember he said the chemo was very cold and he often wore scarves that I made for him to keep warm. I wanted to do the same. I wanted it to be like I was giving her a hug from far away.
So I was feeling pretty good when I went to bed knowing that hug would be on its way very soon. Instead, no sooner had I drifted off that I woke up to DB leaning over me and handing me the phone, “It’s your Dad,” he told me. My aunt passed away last night, suddenly, unexpectedly, so much so that in many ways it just doesn’t seem real. Didn’t I just talk to her? Didn’t she just “like” pictures of the boys on Faccebook? She couldn’t be gone already. It’s too soon. We didn’t get a chance to see her. We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. As a family, I think we’re all in shock. As I tried to find sleep last night I just kept kicking myself for all the phone calls I never made and the visits I never took or wasn’t able to take. I felt so angry, and I still do, and I wanted someone to blame so I started blaming myself.
But the more I thought about it, the more I started to think about all the time we did have together. My aunt had no children so she spoiled me and my brother, and has been spoiling the Bear in the same fashion. Going to her house was always a treat. She always had a pool to swim in and a ice cream in the freezer. She was always encouraging and supportive of any and everything that I did. She was a social butterfly who loved singing, dancing and entertaining. She loved to go shopping. She loved clothes and wore miniskirts even though she was in her 60s. She made the best stuffed peppers. She drove everyone crazy. When I try to think of a way to sum up her life, what I keep coming back to is that she liked to have fun. She was fun to be around. She enjoyed life, and as a result she will be loved, remembered, and missed by so many. I miss her. I can hardly believe she’s gone.
And now I’ve got this huge unfinished scarf that feels as big as the hole in my heart and I’m not sure what to do with it. I wonder if finishing it will help me say goodbye. But I think for now I need to take a step back, remember our happy times and hug my little ones a little closer today.