Thursday, June 16, 2016

Throwback Thursday - The Full Measure of Courage

Tomorrow marks the nine month anniversary of my friend leaving this Earth all too soon.  May she be at peace, but, knowing her, she is probably talking up a storm (and teaching everyone she meets) in that next plane of existence.

And, no doubt, she will be crocheting and knitting.

She is not forgotten.

In July of 2015, in her final months, I blogged this:

The Full Measure of Courage

They say that the full measure of friendship is being able to go long periods without much contact.  Several years ago, when a dear friend was a caregiver for her elderly mother, we had a period like that.  Now, I am moving into that role (her mother is deceased) with my mother in law.

I want to repeat a post I wrote a couple of years ago about that friend.  I've blogged about her several times over the years, have posted pictures of her Brooklyn garden, but have never quite thanked her for her loyal readership.

That friend needs all our thoughts right now, as she is engaged in her own battle with a relentless illness.  Her spouse, who I also wrote about below, has been the most wonderful caregiver to her, both when he battled his own cancer, and now.  Both my friend and her spouse have shown incredible courage in these years of trial for them.

I wanted them to know they are not forgotten, as they both demonstrate the full measure of courage.

So here is a post from the summer of 2013, when my friend, already undergoing chemo, sent an email to friends and family:
I brought the fruits of my knit/crochet project to the pediatric oncology department today. Grand total was 2 baby blankets 7 hat scarf sets, 2 plain hats, and 9 infant/toddler hats. The nurses were so excited and happy. Some good came out of some bad. I hope some children like the things I made while waiting.

As one of my other friends from childhood said "cancer and children should never be in the same sentence."  In fact, I know someone whose grandson is battling pediatric leukemia right now. [2016 update; he remains in remission.]  I think what my friend has done is so beautiful and I hope you will send encouragement to her and her husband in the comments.

My original post follows:

"The spouse of my friend in Brooklyn has to spend a lot of time in doctor's offices to be treated for a medical condition.   My friend normally comes with  him and waits for him while he has his treatment - sometimes waiting an hour (or even more).

Out of boredom, she started to do her needlework while waiting.

She does beautiful crocheting and knitting work - and, recently, has been working on projects for pediatric oncology patients.

I crochet but I do not knit, and I wanted to show off her work because I know quality work when I see it.  I think the work, and the cause, is fantastic. 

A crocheted blanket and some knit hats.
Another crocheted blanket.
And finally, some hats and scarves.

Aren't these beautiful?  (Lately, she has had some yarn donated to her but I suspect enough of these projects were done using her own money.) We have the cliche "lemons out of lemonade" - this is about as lemony as you can get.

I've done a handful of crocheting for charity but never anything like this."

So again: Thank you, dear friend, for allowing me to publish a post  how awesome you are.


  1. Beautiful blankets and hats and scarves! What a wonderful thing to do while in a boring waiting room! Also, so very kind and generous. I crochet, too, and, on occasion, have made "comfortghans" for people going through cancer treatments. Apparently, they feel very cold. A lady at church knits many hats and scarves to give to children and homeless is good to know that there are kind and generous people in this world.

    1. They do feel cold. From my late friend, I know, too, that it is a cold that nothing helps - no amount of clothing, no sitting in the sun. The comfortghans are good ideas, though, for many other reasons. There are kind and generous people in the world - we tend to forget that at times like these.

  2. Beautiful remembrance. Beautiful friend.

  3. Some people leave an indelible impression in our hearts with what they do in the face of struggle... Such wonderful people worth emulating and keeping them in our hearts forever...

    1. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  4. Hand made items carry so many hopes, good wishes, prayers, and good energy from the maker. Your friend put her beautiful presence out into the world in each of her creations, and you amplify it by remembering her this way. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, in turn, for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

  5. Very nice tribute to a friend. Good friends can't be replaced, they can be added, but never replaced. I've recently gone through my own health issue where my wife stood by wonderfully through my ordeal. Having that support does so much to help pull us through difficult times.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thank you, Arlee.I hope I can be as brave as they were when my time comes.

  6. Big hugs. I'm so sorry about your loss. I think the thing we would want most from all of our friends is that they merely remember us when we're gone. And you're a true friend because you're sharing her beautiful creations with the world.

    1. Thank you so much. It's a hard time for those who loved her, as her birthday is coming up later this week, too.

  7. What a wonderful gesture and how good I feel reading your post Alana. Kindness is never forgotten. sorry for your loss. Hugs and what ever you have is equally commendable.

  8. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. What wonderful memories and lessons she left behind her, though! Thank you for sharing her. <3


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