Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Year

So today's one of those days where you don't know how to mark the passage of time. What's appropriate to honor a loved child all too soon gone?

One year has passed since having to say goodbye to our child. In a way, I'm amazed it didn't break us, and in a way, it's a relief. We made it past her original due date, and all the holidays without her, and what would have been her first birthday, and all the memories constantly coming to mind, and the frequent tears in private and in public, and we're still here. We feel as weak as all get out, but we made it through each day and we're both still here, both still together.

One year ago today, I was having an amazing morning. Although the doctors hadn't yet seen fit to discharge me, I started feeling more myself. The lethargy was still there, the dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, but my head wasn't as foggy as previous days and I could actually wear my glasses again with some success.

With my sister's aid, I was able to walk to the NICU, get a good report about Katherine from the nurses, and touch my little girl and get a glimpse of her eyes as she opened them. Everyone remained "cautiously optimistic," and that was catching. I was believing that this nineteen-ounce girl was our miracle child, serving as a testament to skilled doctors, advanced medicine, and a gracious God.

And no more than three hours later, we were being called back down, being asked to do what no parent should ever be asked. Take our child in our arms and say goodbye. The first time we held her was to watch as she left all too quickly.

I won't admit it's been easy. It's been a year of being fragile, feeling uncomfortable in large crowds, even when I know every individual. Fearing new relationships and casual conversations. Trying not to ask the impossible question of why. Allowing ourselves to be transparent when the need calls, and not feeling guilty when we find joy in life or when we need to distract ourselves from the pain.

I'm not sure how God is using this. And we will always miss our firstborn daughter. But scars and all, we made it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Recently Finished Projects

Even with the (infrequent) warm weather this summer, I've still found time to create. There have been a string of washcloths, as well as a cozy for my french press -- I suggest you keep your snide remarks to yourself, as my coffee stays warm longer now!

The main theme for the summer seems to be "small," due to both weather and portability issues. To the right is the baby vest "Pebble" (Ravelry link). It was made in June, as our knitting group had a knitalong where the theme was "baby." This pattern has been marinating in my queue for a while, and while using this yarn for my french press cozy, I realized it would also be ideal for the vest. Fortunately, I had enough yarn remaining to accomplish both.

I followed up Pebble with "Cabled Baby Vest" (Ravelry link). This was the first time I used Blue Sky Alpacas cotton, and I relished it. It's soft and in spite of the yarn being loosely plied so that it can easily split, the results are quite pleasing.

I also tackled this squid hat (long story, made for a friend of a friend) (Ravelry link). I wouldn't recommend the pattern for anyone unless they're a confident knitter good at troubleshooting. Since I've made hats before and have been knitting six years, I could tell early on when something wasn't clear or correct in the pattern, but it could be a frustrating venture for someone who needs straightforward directions.

And after a coworker knit several of them, I just had to make myself a striped fish (Ravelry link). Everyone should be so lucky to have one of these happy guys in their possession.

My youngest sister is in the middle of her week-long visit, and we're spending the time living life much as usual, albeit without having to go to work. She's acclimating back to the States after having been in China for nearly a month, and I'm doing my best to help by taking her to Harry Potter as well as indulging in general crafting and a possible trip to the beach.

Here is a dress made for a friend expecting a daughter at the end of the month (Ravelry link).

And I finally got around to sewing this picnic blanket. With 16-inch squares, it came together quickly, and other than the backing, embroidery floss, and curved needles, I had all the materials at the ready.

My favorite part, aside from the happy, mismatched squares all co-habitating together, may be the pockets in the corners on the back. The intent is to insert flat rocks to keep the blanket from blowing away.

Even with the fluctuating weather, not all of the summer has been spent indoors or with knitting in hand. Here's one of my short-lived beach creations.

Mere seconds after this photo was taken, we poured water in the moat and then giants crushed our city to pieces.