Sunday, December 14, 2008

Guts: n. courage

Facebook banter:

Me: I'm knitting. Scarves.

LS: Me too!

Me: I didn't know you knit! What are you knitting with?

LS: Beats me. Some kind of yarn that looks like long skinny intestines.

Me: Lovely. You're knitting guts.

***

I grab my knitting on my way out the door - a ball of cotton, some metal needles. They stay in my bag at the nursing home, in the ambulance.

In the emergency room, there is hockey game on the TV, most chairs are empty. There is yarn that combines the colours in those sunsets that are so impossible to catch on film. There is the slide of needle on needle, the pull of yellow through orange, pink through rose. There is measurable progress, a chanted order. Purl, Knit, knit, knit, purl. This could be my living room, Hockey Night in Canada.

I falter.
"71 years - pretty good for someone with CP."
"On a scale of 1 to 10? The pain is 10."


Her hand shrinking into mine in the ambulance, her eyes wide, like a frightened animal. "Don't hold your breath. Try hard to breathe through the pain." My voice is calm, even. I can't stop stroking her hair.

Is this it? the last time? Is this the answer to my prayer "Please don't let her die alone?"

I shake my head, pick up the sunset lying quiet in my lap. A stranger's husband nods at the work. "Settling in for the night?"

I look down, pull a loop through, sure, steady, familiar ground.

No, I think, I'm knitting. Guts.

6 comments:

QOTW said...

I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you and she are going through this.

Kay Day said...

knit all you want, Susan. You can't escape it; you are a writer and poet.
Made me misty.

Still praying here.

jbondsgirl said...

Oh my dear. I'm praying for you.

xoxo
Flicka

Kassi said...

Me too.

Slow'n'Steady said...

This needs to be published. Others need to know they are not alone. You aren't. Nor is your mom if you go to Manitoba. Call me. I told you I'd adopt her.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

Sorry to hear what happened, but this is beautiful writing. Will be praying.