Blight always seems to come in waves. Back in the late '80's, the ranks of my friends and aquaintances were ravaged by AIDS. Every time I turned around (or so it seemed), another person was sick, dying, dead. And since I was living on the East Coast, it was particularly hard; most of my friends from college were like me - trying to scrape by, working several jobs, and didn't have the time or money for long distance telephone calls. These were the dark days before the advent of wide-spread email, text messaging, BLOGS, and disposable cell phones. By the time I heard of another person's illness, they could in actuality be dead.
But now everything is instantaneous. As soon as someone gets bad news, they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on. . . (another reference to times long ago. If you don't get it, don't worry. I like young folks too.) Now that I finally learned how to be friends with GIRLS, breast cancer is all the rage.
Most recently, one of my best friends emailed me that her mother had some suspicious activity in breast (I think it was a routine mammogram that led to that discovery), which led to the recommendation that she have a double mastectomy. My friend, Dre, is crazy, brilliant, beautiful, neurotic, genuine and fiercely loyal. Of course it would take a special person to make her that way.
Dre's mother, Ms. G, is beautiful, intelligent and gracious; to me, she is the epitome of class and style. If it weren't for some weird fart of fate, our paths most certainly would never have crossed. We don't travel in the same circles, to put it mildly. But you know what? In all the times we've been together (usually for family-related events, like Dre's wedding, where the Wee MonkeyGurl was the flower girl, the babies' birthdays, etc.), she has always been the most kind, generous, warm, welcoming person to me and my family. Which is why I was crushed to hear of her illness.
I think I cried more about it than I would have if my own mother was diagnosed. It just doesn't seem fair. Too many good women keep getting this cancer. Out of 5 sisters, Ms.G is the third to be diagnosed. Dre is considering having testing to see if she has the gene. I guess it's good, people are catching it early and dealing with it proactively, but it just seems to be the scourge of the oughts.
Anyway, the *good* news is they hopefully caught it early enough where she won't need chemo or radiation. And that she is at arguably the best possible facility to receive treatment. So for my own consolation, I made her a couple of caps. I didn't know what else to do! I made the lace cap out of a beautiful silk. I've never handled anything so sumptuous - like knitting with clouds. I figured she could actually wear this, post-surgury, when she doesn't feel like bothering with her hair (people like her actually *care* about how their hair looks!) The colorway is gorgeous, and will look lovely with her ginger-colored hair and fair skin. I'd like to show you the picture of it, but BLOGGER HATES ME.
Okay, apparently Blogger only hates me between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Gofigger.
Please ignore the apparent lumpiness of the model's head. Wee MonkeyGurl had a kicky little ponytail that didn't lend itself nicely to photography.
I just *had* to show the top. I love this spirally thingie. So did Ms. G.
The second was more symbolic. It was the fourth strong women dance cap I've made. It was made out of a beautiful cotton/silk Noro Sumile. The picture does NOT do it justice; the colors are so vibrant (I made it in pink and teal) as to almost be obnoxious. GOOD THING BLOGGER HATES ME, so you don't get your retinas burned.
Guess your retinas are burning, after all.
I told Ms. G I don't care if she wears it; all she needs to do is see the colors and know we're all thinking about her. I'm such a mush-head I actually got all choked up and had to really try hard not to cry. Good thing we were outside and I had my sunglasses on.
I was whining to my BFF@W that way too many people I care about are getting sick again, like it was in the '80's. She said that is what happens when you care about people. And it's true. For almost 20 years (TWENTY YEARS! I graduated college TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!) I survived by insulating myself from others. It grew to be quite comfortable. Then I somehow met the most amazing bunch of people that refused to let me sit in the corner by myself. And somehow, their friendship allowed me to expand my horizons even more. I'm not saying it's easy. It certainly isn't. I kinda miss the days when I was numb. But, as this is yet another *compelling* chapter of my life, I guess I have no choice but to embrace it.
On that note, please make it a priority to get your exams (breast, prostate, whatever), particularly if you have a family history or disposition. Because I like my friends healthy and well.