Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Twist on the Prayer Shawl

I think most of us in the yarn community are familiar with the Prayer Shawl. In case it's new to you, it's when a knitter (or group of knitters) makes a shawl for someone who is sick and prays for the recipient while working on it.

The other day I got a note from an old friend, Emma. I met her just about the time I bought Lorna's Laces. She's a painter and before she moved to St. Louis, she had the studio right across the hall.

Emma and I shared a cup of coffee most mornings and got to know one another little by little. Over time, I learned that Emma is a breast cancer survivor. When we first met, she had just hit the one year post-diagnosis milestone. Like everyone, I know many people who have fought cancer, but she's my one of a very few real friends that have faced the disease.

Six years later, after having been clean for over five, Emma's cancer returned. This time it's metastasized to her bones and the prognosis isn't good. She's undergoing a long series of chemotherapy treatments, but it's palliative rather than therapeutic, they are trying to give her good quality of life for as long as they can.

Emma has always been a knitter, but it's become a bit of an obsession lately. It gives her something to keep her mind off the cancer. Even more than that, it's given her a purpose. Her goal is to knit a substantial piece for everyone in her family as a remembrance. This way, no matter what happens or when, they will always have a way to feel her hug.

How cool is that? It's like a reverse Prayer Shawl.

8 comments:

punkin said...

That is very touching. A reverse prayer shawl. A remembrance.

I wish her all the best.

Kim Werker said...

I love the reverse prayer shawl, though I'm so sorry that she has to knit them. It's like sadness all around these days; I'm glad she's creating beauty out of love in the face of it.

Jersey Shore Deb said...

That is a lovely idea. One of my dearest friends is now going through a recurrence of cancer as well, and I'm knitting her everything I can (chemo caps, fuzzy socks--made with Lorna's Laces Angel) and next, a Clapotis--my version of a prayer shawl. To me, it feels good to knit my love and prayers into these gifts for my friend.

momsue84 said...

Coming out of Lurkdom to thank you for this beautiful story. I think the Reverse Prayer Shawl is a wonderful idea. Emma sounds like she is a very special person. I will keep her in my prayers.

Gina said...

My best to your friend.

Jenn said...

I love this. I know I have things from family members long gone that make me happy.

Mari said...

This is sort of what I've been doing for the past 5 years. I don't have much family, so I knit shawls and lap throws for my regional cancer centre. Whenever I see someone in the waiting area or treatment areas wrapped in my prayers, it's like paying it forward. It's kept me going these past few years. My thoughts and prayers are with Emma as she also pays it forward.

coolmoonyogaknits said...

Oh, wow! Makes me want to cry! And to continue to knit things for people even though they might not always wear it or like it.....wow.