Thursday, 17 October 2013

My part in the War on Cancer

Chemo Caps   
Written for and featured today on Nana Teresa Bell Kindred hosts this website and for the entire month of October all of her articles draw attention to breast cancer.  I encourage all of you to click on the link and spend sometime reading the articles.

 Why am I making chemo caps?  

 My Aunt Marjorie taught me to knit.  As a child I would spend a week of summer vacation with her and my Grandfather.  In the evening we would sit outside on the large front veranda.  Grandpa in his chair reading the paper and Aunt Marjorie and I sitting side-by-side on the swing as she taught me to hold my knitting needles and thread.  On one of these occasions I wondered out loud where Aunt Marjorie learned to knit.  Her answer surprised me.

Aunt Marjorie learned to knit at school as part of the war effort.  School children were taught to knit bandages for the Red Cross.  While I no longer remember the number of stitches I can still see Aunt Marjorie casting on the requisite number of stitches and without pausing being the process of making her bandage.  
“We knit the bandages whenever we had spare time, we were doing something important.  We would talk about how our bandages would help to save the lives of the brothers, fathers and uncles who had left us to fight in the war.”

Like Aunt Marjorie I make chemo caps because it is what I can do to help in the war against cancer, it gives me a personal way to help.  I imagine the women who will wear the cap in her personal war against the cancer within her.  With every stitch I pray for her recovery and that she be surrounded by love and support.

Though I will never see her face, I do see other faces:
  • Aunt Audrey standing in the lobby of the funeral home crying as she attends the funeral of a family friend and my longing to wrap my arms around her and knowing I could not because she had just left hospital having had a mastectomy.
  • Audrey T. a woman of immense spiritual courage, bald from the chemotherapy comforting a young woman who had been a foster child in Audrey’s home.
  • Aunt Adela a woman I knew as child.  She would make us Barbie doll cakes for our birthdays and a woman who died before I could tell her that I loved her.
  • Kristi my administrative assistant.  A young mother who spends long hours at a computer terminal typing all the time wearing a full arm and hand compression bandage.
  • Eunice my sister-in-law who never speaks about her two battles with breast cancer and the personal cost.
These are the faces that I see when I am doing my part in this war on cancer.  I do it because I am grateful that I have never had breast cancer and to work through my survivors guilt.  I create chemo caps because I have to do something and  
this is what I can do.

Again I will put out my challenge to those among my reader who sew, knit or crochet.  Will you join me in this task?  Click here to return to the October 2, 2013 blog post where I talk about Chemo Caps and provide links to free patterns.

The colour pictures used in this blog post where taken by my Grandson James.
Grandma Snyder

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