Sunday, August 26, 2012

Knitting is so Therapeutic!

In 1973 Grandma and her friend opened up Needlepoint Junction in Skokie, IL. She was so unbelievably exited about it. Aunt Roni and I worked there and loved every minute of it. We would watch soap operas on the TV in the back room where all the ladies would meet and Needlepoint together.

After several years of selling Needlepoint, Grandma began to sell yarn for knitting when it was all the rage.  You were just a few years old when we would go and visit her at the store and you would play in all of the rooms which housed everything from frames to hundreds of beautiful and brilliantly colored yarns.   Grandma taught you how to knit at a very young age, but you really didn't take it seriously until you got into your late 20's. You always did your own thing, for sure when it came to knitting, you never used a pattern or anything like that. I think that your true knitting career was strictly for therapeutic purposes.  I remember Roni, who is a fantastic knitter and is the only one of us who can really knit well, tried to help you make things look more professional, but you weren't interested.

As you spent time at home and especially when you were forced to spend time in the hospital against your will, (I might add), you would pace back and forth in your room and knit.......all day long...for months! You were so adamant at being there it was all you could do to not go crazy. The knitting kept you sane...

Needless to say we had lots of scarves, homemade creations by Monica! I remember so many trips to the yarn store to get you more yarns. When you were at the last 2 hospitals all you did was knit.  You even made scarves in which the hospital gift shop displayed some of them in their store to sell to the public. I am also posting some of the many items, mostly scarves, in which you created.  I found the knit bandanna for Niblet and also the grey dress you made.

When we were in California at The Compassionate Friends Conference one of the workshops was a beginning class in Knitting. This wonderful woman, who reminded me of a young Grandma brought a starter kit for all in the workshop and taught the people to knit as a form of grief therapy. I am thinking of taking it up myself and knitting more, in between my other projects and art...I just need to find the time. 

  Here are a few cards that were sent to you by your friends at the hospital in Missouri.

Here you are at Grandma's store one day.

In the upper right hand corner is the dog sweater you made for, I think, Star. Also leg warmers and the bandanna for Niblet is on the left.
Grandma would have been proud of you!

You are greatly missed.....every day......m


Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Few Artistic Items Made During Time Spent in Prison, I Mean Rehab!

It has been a while since I have posted and I apologize, but we have been doing a bit of traveling and I've been away from my computer. I am also planning on putting more of my time and efforts into writing the book I am so determined to complete. I have found that blogging is rather addictive, not to mention emotionally draining, so the book has taken a back seat, which I am not happy about.

I was going through your "box" earlier today to retrieve some of your things to put on this post tonight and found some artwork that I saved while you were in treatment at one time of another. You really weren't in a residential situation that many times considering how many years you suffered from your illness. Looking at the big picture I remember one of your many therapists used to say to us that she had some patients with eating disorders that would be admitted to an inpatient hospital sometimes 22 times before they actually turned things around and wanted recovery. You just never know how many times it will take. 

In any event here are a few of your many pictures you created while being stuck in the hospital. You had so much patience and made some amazing intricate artwork. Here are a few I found.......

This one opens up into a box made out of paper, it's decorated on the other side, as well.

Here are a few cards you gave to me and Chelsey, also known as B.S.  (baby sis)

I remember one day coming to visit you at one of your stays in the hospital and you had made this sign on a piece of paper and taped it to your wheelchair. The doctors forced you to be in a wheelchair so you would be sure to not burn any calories whatsoever during the day, even by walking. You were definitely Hell on Wheels! It seemed that everyone either loved the shit out of you or really couldn't tolerate you when you were in treatment. Very little in between...but I will say I still have relationships with some of the staff from a few places you made your mark over the years who absolutely adored you. 

Last but not least here is one of your famous poems you wrote to me for mothers day. I will cherish it forever!

We miss you tremendously.......m