I know he didn’t mean to make me cry.

But I have – and will again.

Paul, Christopher’s father, gave me several books for Christmas. He knows my tastes well. I seldom read fluff. He also knows my passion for knitting. He has socks and a hat as evidence.

One of this year’s books is The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. The plot is very similar to the author’s life experience. She lost a young child to a rare illness and suffered the unbearable grief that accompanies death of a loved one. The author and the lead character both discover knitting during their grief as a soothing means of coping.

Being at odds with the book I was reading, I picked up Knitting Circle the other night. Maybe I should say the other morning – at four. Hood’s writing is elegant and from the heart. As I read I kept thinking about my sister and brother-in-law. I learned to knit the first week of December 2006. Within a week I was teaching my sister, Londa, over the phone how to make her first stitches. They were in the car and driving to a spend a few days away to consider their options. Roger’s cancer had returned.

Over the next few months I remember sitting with my sister in the hospital knitting. In the chemo suite knitting. She went quickly from scarfs to socks on dpns. In the hospital she never left Roger’s side. When a nurse accidently broke one of her five #2 needles I went to Loops, the yarn store conveniently located across from the hospital and bought a new set. My sister called the time she spent knitting her “sanity moments”. Her hands stayed busy turning heels and kitchenering while she and the love of her life fought to spend a little more time together.

I can’t imagine knowing what she went through. I know this though – Roger was always in my life. They met when I was five and as she fell in love with him, I did too. I think we all did. He was as much my brother as my sibling Eddie. Roger and Londa taught me to swim. When I toured a college campus, it was with Roger by my side. So many memories….Pickles at the Skyline Drive In. The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Halloween. The nickname that no one else is allowed to use.

Last week Hillarey and I went to spend a few hours at Londa’s house. She had yarn in skeins so I took my swift and winder. Londa had on great socks, a soft tan and cream in a simple rib knit. Her classic pattern.

My sister knits socks almost exclusively still. December 20th would have been Londa and Roger’s 39th anniversary.

I miss him. More than words or tears will ever convey.

(xmas 1976 – from left to right Denise, Sheresa, Roger, and Londa – as I recall we were wearing new socks)

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