A dear friend of mine recently passed away at the age of 93. She was a bright, smart, pragmatic woman. She insisted on being called Mrs., becasue this was how it was done in Germany, her land of origin. Once you became her friend, you were given the privilege of calling her by her first name.
She was also a patient of mine, who came to see me every 4 months at the office. When she came, she would bring a knitting project she had completed or I would smuggle my latest project into the exam room to share with her. She sent me a hoodie pattern that was a long standing favorite. We would talk and laugh about current events, people in our lives, the latest struggle we were experiencing. I must admit, I looked forward to seeing her as much as she looked forward to coming. She would laugh during her visits and say “Imagine looking forward to coming to a doctor’s office!” I would laugh and reply “What we do behind closed doors remains a secret.”
Her heart started failing. She called to tell me, “Lita, I just wanted to let you know… my health is heading West and I wanted to let you know how much I have treasured our time together. If my health does not hold up until my next visit, I hope someone has the common sense and decency to let you know.” She came one last time to my office against my advice, so tired that any little movement made her gasp for breath. We again laughed and talked. She said “you know… they told me the other day that my heart is getting worse. I am so overjoyed. What am I going to do at 93 anyway? I am ready.”
I then went to see her one last time a week later after she had been transferred to a hospice facility. She was asleep when I entered the room. I sat for 20 minutes in silence absorbing her presence. Then her eyes opened and suprise and pleasure flooded her face. We talked for awhile and she said, “You know… I always wanted to have you come and eat lunch with me and we could be friends.” My reply: “We are friends, we have always been friends.”
What else can you do to honor a knitting friend? Except knit a hoodie for a baby who has entered the world – to complete the circle of life.