Saturday December 05th 2009, 8:51 pm
Filed under: "Wrapped in Comfort",Friends,Life

And then there are the days that make up for the other ones.

When I was designing and knitting a shawl for my friend Lisa originally, I realized it wasn’t quite her color–and that became part of the story in my book. My friend Gigi loved that pattern best of all and, as a thank you to her for helping with the test knitting and simply for being a friend, I gave it to her and made Lisa something else. Besides, the original was a bit dark for the photography.

So I reknit that pattern in a slightly redder, lighter shade, still a bit dark but that still matched the story, and that was the shawl I sent off to my publisher.

I met Gigi and her daughter Jasmin when they took spinning lessons with my daughter Sam and me the summer our girls were 12.  Fast forward to… This past summer, Gigi and I were both facing surgery.  Hers wasn’t scheduled yet; mine had to be.

And so I was in the hospital during Sock Summit.

She just got out of the hospital last week after five weeks in: heart surgery with  complications that just seemed to drag on and on and had us all on the edge of our seats.  But she’s finally home now and recovering.

She called Thursday, to my surprise, to ask, was I going to Purlescence that night?

You’re coming?!  Oh honey you bet I am! Nothing on earth could keep me away now!

It was SO good to see her! She was exhausted but had needed to get out–boy, tell me about it, I so get that.

I sat down on the floor next to her so I could be close enough to hear over the room without her having to exert herself.  She took a deep breath and decided to tell me something she hadn’t been going to.  But she had settled it out rationally in her mind and was proud of herself, and rightly so, for her attitude over it.

She had taken that burgundy baby alpaca shawl to Sock Summit.

And someone, apparently on the housekeeping staff, had stolen it.

Many inquiries were made, a great deal was made over it, but it was not returned. And here her friend who had made it for her was in the hospital.

She was devastated, as you can imagine. She told me how her boss had liked to tease her when she flung the end over her shoulder; that one has a nice wide neckline to it and she liked to wear it as a long curving wrap. But it was gone.

She had had, I’m sure, much time to think it over during her own hospital stay.  It had helped solidify for her how she wanted to feel about it: that someone somewhere out there must have really needed that shawl. Someone out there must have needed that feeling of warmth and love, too.

I heard her, but it was still true, I told her, that nobody could have that good feeling for having taken it. But, we agreed together, maybe they could give good feelings with it to someone who didn’t know it was stolen. We can hope.

I was quietly dancing inside. I knew, I knew…

I got home. I checked. Of course it was in there. The one that had been at the publisher’s. In baby alpaca. In that pattern she’d liked so much.  And, just to remove any doubt in my mind, although she had had no idea that’s what she was doing, she had worn a pair of handknit fingerless gloves to the shop that night that were redder and pinker than her shawl had been. The shade change would work. Now I just had to get there.

Richard and I went on a date this evening, and the first thing we did was to drive down to San Jose.  Jasmin’s husband Andrew opened the door and smiled in recognition when he saw me standing there.  I immediately started caroling, to the tune of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” for his mother-in-law’s sake, “We wish you a happy Ramadan, we wish you a happy Ramadan, we wish you a happy Ramadan, when it comes ’round next year.”

He cracked up.

And I handed him the bag and asked him to give all of them my best and told him what it was. And I knew, seeing the warmth in his face, that he meant that thank you with all his heart.

And to all a good night, as I climbed back in our car and thanked my husband for driving me down there. He’s a good one too.

11 Comments so far
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What a lovely story. I say that in spite of the fact that theft is never acceptable, it at least allowed you twice the pleasure of giving and the pleasure once again to your friend receiving another shawl from you.

Comment by Joansie 12.05.09 @ 9:27 pm

I just love it that when you have a good heart the way is made clear for you to act. Here’s warm fuzzy hugs back at you!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 12.05.09 @ 10:01 pm

You had me confused there for a bit, and I had to go back and re-read your posting. If I understand correctly, the one you gave her the first time was not the one you sent to the publisher. Let’s just say that you can’t hide from the Hydes.

Ok, fun time –

A young boy climbed into Santa’s lap and shared his wish list. Later that day, in another store, there was Santa agaiin. “And what would you like for Christmas?” he asked the youngster. The boy shook his head, sighed, and said, “You really need to write these things down.”.

Comment by Don Meyer 12.05.09 @ 10:08 pm

What a wonderful story. (you have soooooo many) The love in your heart sure shows through. Pat

Comment by pat flores 12.06.09 @ 3:20 am

Sounds like a great start to a date.

Comment by RobinM 12.06.09 @ 4:29 am

Awesome! I know how hard it is to admit you lost something handmade, even when it was stolen. So it all worked out in the end – your shawls seem to have a way of “meant to be” even if you don’t know it at the time.

Comment by Margo Lynn 12.06.09 @ 7:55 am

He’s a good one, and so are you.

Comment by Sandra 12.06.09 @ 2:14 pm

I love a good story and this is definitely a good one. And you’re a good person, Alison. XX

Comment by Karen 12.06.09 @ 2:15 pm

Perfect :-}
It’s not abut a dust-free house, or the beds all made, it’s about the right gesture, at the best time.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 12.06.09 @ 5:14 pm

Richard and you must have been beaming during your date after such a wonderfully kind gesture!

After my grandfather died (over 10 years ago), I inherited one of his winter hats and wore it proudly all season long. One day, I lost it in a bus and my call to the “lost and found” yielded nothing.

My grandmother’s reaction? Somebody must have needed it more than I did. It was hard to believe, but if SHE could say that, I could try to let go.

It’s a very different story from this one, granted (shame on the person who stole the shawl). I just never thought I’ld hear (read) somebody else have that take on things…

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 12.07.09 @ 6:48 am

There are no coincidences, but you know that. I love that deep color too. I’m glad MJ is reading an email aloud to me; my new 22″ monitor allows her to see too well whatever I’m viewing, and she’s just added two cowl/mitt sets to the Christmas knitting I wasn’t doing, and a third set of mitts for a mutual friend… but those will HAVE to be after Christmas!!

Comment by Channon 12.07.09 @ 8:13 am

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