Well that took a turn
Saturday May 13th 2023, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Life

I finally went back to the 64/36 cashmere/cotton afghan I’d started before our trip. I’d put it aside, debating on a blue for the recipient, but this finally won out and I started into the main pattern two days ago. Notes: size US8, two strands dk, 271 stitches, 15 repeats, and it’s coming out 60″ across which is a bit more than I’d planned for so it’ll have to be quite long to match. Because knits shrink lengthwise much more than widthwise.

I like the look of a seed stitch edging but that part of the fabric has a tendency to look stretched out compared to the rest.

So I compromised with myself: I’m seed stitching but only on the wrong side rows. ¬†Right side rows, knit straight across there. There’s surely a name for that but I’m too lazy to look it up.¬†This may well be my new go-to.

I typed the above and then Richard, having answered the phone, walked into the room to tell me: his Uncle Duane passed away last night.

The rush of memories! When I miscarried my first baby with 20 hours’ labor at 12 weeks (they finally did a D&C) the day before a big family get-together, it was Duane who’d followed me a moment after I’d fled down to the basement and away from all those cheerful greetings: Doesn’t anyone know?! I cried at him.

Yes, they do, he told me: but my sister told us not to mention it, thinking it would be easier on you.

He heard me out, and then he told me of their baby who’d been stillborn at seven months. He cried. It had been twenty years, but the tears still came so easily to the surface.

He totally saved me.

At a niece’s wedding, the first time we’d seen each other in probably thirty years, I asked him, Do you remember that day?

OH yes. OH yes. And I knew it had meant as much to him as it had to me. All these years later, I can see that his ability to comfort me had comforted him by giving meaning to what he and his beloved Joan had had to go through: it is so we can know how to be there for the next person.

Duane was an amputee who took the experience of losing his leg and turned it into helping Haitians who’d lost limbs in their big earthquake get prostheses. He took great care of his wife throughout her Alzheimer’s. He was just a very, very good man.

The three of us started reminiscing: at one nephew’s wedding, I had heard of Aunt Joan’s diagnosis and went up to reintroduce myself to her and she smiled, Oh, I know who YOU are! as she reached for a hug.

At the next wedding two years later, she told me with just as much enthusiasm, I don’t know who you are but I know that I love you!

My sister-in-law said Duane had been afraid of having to be institutionalized if his brain were ever to go like his late wife’s had. He never was. There was a “sudden event,” was the description, and he was gone. It was a blessing to him, hard for all of us who love him, all the mixed emotions. We’re glad for him that it was fast and over with and that he’d gotten to live on his own terms to the end.

A DKO, Michelle said, after we’d told each other how we loved that man so much and he us.

We looked at her.

Y’know, a DKO.


Dude Keeled Over. (Looks at us as we burst out laughing.) What?

(Richard grabs his phone and starts Googling the abbreviation.) “Divine KnockOut.” He kept looking. She offered another possibility off the top of her head.

And with that we gave Uncle Duane up there a story to laugh with his wife over. As they would.

4 Comments so far
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Sorry for you loss. May his memory continue to be a blessing to all of you.

Comment by Anne 05.13.23 @ 11:28 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss, but how wonderful to have these stories, and laughter, as you remember him!

Comment by ccr in MA 05.14.23 @ 6:48 am

I’m so sorry for your losses, and hoping you feel a hug from the warmth and laughter of your fond memories.

Comment by DebbieR 05.14.23 @ 10:21 am

Oh what a terrible loss for you all. But what wonderful stories to sustain you.
Blessings on you as you grieve.

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 05.14.23 @ 2:28 pm

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