I had a sad awakening today. Because last week was very busy and semi-frantic, I had not gotten much sleep. I was finally able to allow myself an alarm clock-free morning today, so I slept a while. Just before noon, I received a phonecall from someone I hadn’t heard from in quite a while: a neighbor I used to carpool with to the library every Tuesday for our knitting club. I had attended the club for probably a year or two, but since my life has become pretty hectic of late, I had not been back since probably about June.
I was in the middle of another weird dream and not ready to wake up yet, so I let the call go to voicemail. A couple minutes later, I listened to her message.
As it turns out, the librarian who had led the Knitpickers (the name of the club), Mary Duncan, who had been suffering with her second (or third?) bout of cancer, had passed away over Labor Day weekend.
I couldn’t believe it. Mary was always a woman of patience, humor, and kindness. (I believe she fostered sheltie puppies.) I was left feeling tremendously guilty because, on the occasion that I would stop by the library and see her very briefly, I would tell her I’d be back as soon as I could. I had no idea it would be too late, and unfortunately, there was no wake or funeral services (most likely because of lack of family). So, without an outlet to pay my respects, I write this post in memory of Mary Duncan.
Mary, I’m sorry I didn’t make more of an effort to be there during your final weeks on this earth. My heart goes to you for your struggle and discomfort, and if Knitpickers continues on, know that it will be your legacy — though modest, know that you are in our memories with love and light. Anything we will knit from now on will always carry a part of your memory within their stitches. Thank you for your lessons, the laughter, and for all you did in our little community. I am comforted to know that you are now without the pain of your final battles and that you are at peace. We love you, Mary.
I also wanted to take the opportunity, while we are on this note, to send out love and remembrance (albeit a bit late) to those who lost loved ones eleven years ago to the tragic events in New York on 11 September. To me, it was not a crime against a country — for a country is nothing without the individuals that occupy it — but against humanity. When I get home tonight, I will light two candles: one for Mary, and one for the innocent lives of 11 September, 2001. If you’d like to do the same, please do.
To our healing,