Friday, June 22, 2012

Seven Small Shawls for Seven Spiritual Sisters : Christy

I've mentioned my Seven Small Shawls idea in the past as i talked about the evolution of taygete.  I've finally finished taygete and am ready to talk about this idea and this particular project and the special person it is for a little more in detail.
So, I have been blessed by several women walking along my path with me during my life.  Some during difficult times, others during fun, carefree times, some for short intense periods, some for the long haul, some are so gentle and caring, some so wise, some so uplifting, some so so strong, all so special. I dont know where i would behad they not passed through my life.  On the days my faith is not at the bottom of some mire, i thank God for their presence in my life.
When i saw the 7 small shawls book based on the pleiades (at the time, it was only a couple of patterns with the others to be released to those who had purchased the book as the designs were finished) i thought, hmmm... i might buy that.  you know i'm a sucker for patterns based on stories, especialy collections of patterns based on stories :D . also, i had already knit brandywine by romi for my bff kendra when she was going through a rough time a while back.  so i knew romi's patterns were not only beautiful but also well- written.
Well, before i could purchase the e-book, I won a contest the knitmore girls were having and the generous and talented rosemary hill  (romi), who also creates the most incredible shawl pins(i love the name rosemary, i love the name romi - dont know which i would go by if that were my name ;) )donated a full copy of her book for the contest :D
Since then a 2nd series of  7 small shawls based on the muses has been released.  I of course purchased that, but have yet to even make the first 7. eyes too big ayone????
So anyhow, back to book 1.  I decided i would make all 7 of these and gift them to the women in my life who have been such blessings to me.  It's not much in return for all they've done but unfortunately i dont seem to be able to be a giver.  I mean by that that i always seem to be in need, always sucking life force out of others and i would hope that others can feel free to do so in return but either they are strong women and dont need to unload or they feel i'm too fragile to unload on or maybe they dont feel comfortable enough with me or they know im too much of an airhead to be able to give sound advice. or maybe they do reach out and i'm too stupid to notice?
whatever, i feel i havent been able to return their blessings.  so in an attempt to at least do something, i'm knitting these special women a little shawl.
I've talked about the shawl enough in the past i think, in fact you're probably sick of hearing of it.  If you want specific details on yarn used, how ridiculously long it took for me to knit it, etc... you can look here on my ravelry page.
That out of the way, on to Christy.  Some of you might remember her.  But for those who didnt know me at the time, here you go.
I've had a chaotic past with my husband.  I met him my junior year of college as i was studying here in montpellier.  I fell for him like a brick!  He was strong, independant, determined, capable, wise in a down to earth way, talented, handsome.  As my school year ended, we had to say our goodby's but it was with the promise that i would come back for christmas and that as soon as i finished my college degree i would return to be with him.  That is exactly what we did (well, more or less, there was one little bump in the road in june where he, with much more foresight than me, told me not to come, that it would be to hard, that i'd never be able to leave my family friends country ... forever, that it would be better to call it all off and though it would hurt, we would both heal and move on - when he called back in august to say he couldnt live without me, i jumped on the next plane, leaving behind a job i really liked and a shell-shocked family, i'm sure.  i'm ashamed of that.  i let my family down.  and i probably made the worst decision of my life on that one day, a decision that has affected who i've become ever since).
Anyhow, august, i'm in france.  It was as hard on me as christophe had envisioned, and though we loved each other madly, our relationship was difficult : he tends to be verbally abusive (i think he's getting better about that day by day), i tend to be agressively over-defensive (um..i'm not getting anybetter about that), and i had (and still do have) a deep deep pain from being away from all that made me me.  I got pregnant a little over a year later, even though i was on the pill.  That was quite a shock to say the least.  I found out when i was home for a visit at christmas.  I could only stay in france legally for 3 months at a time.  which, though expensive, was a wonderful excuse for me to go back home ;).  So i would return long enough to save up money working at walgreens for the next round-trip ticket.
Please forgive me - this is supposed to be about christy but i'm only talking about me.  but i think it's important to get the background so you know just how God-sent Christy was to me.  I'm getting there i promise.
Ok, so here i am, 23, living in sin (southern girls arent supposed to have sex before marriage you know) in a precarious relationship, in a precarious financial situation...and i find out i'm pregnant...
I took 3 pregnancy tests.  The first by myself. "Oh MY GOD this cannot be true. this has to be an error".  the second with Kendra.  "um, becca, i'm pretty sure it's positive" 'but it's sooooo light! you can barely see it" "yes, but it's there" And the third with allison.  "becca it is definitely positive."
I called christophe who told me to have an abortion and never come back and promptly hung up on me.  he did call back the next day after i balled my eyes out all day and said he was sorry and to come back and we'd get married.
i did go back.  we set a date and called his brother and the neighbor over to be our witnesses on said day.  but before we got to the mayor's office, we got into a huge fight and his brother, not wanting to hear it and thinking he'd teach us a lesson and scare us into our senses left, knowing we had only a few minutes to get there. he came back ten minutes after our scheduled "wedding".  i guess we still could have gone, but, with all those emotions high, we didnt. and on the next day i was heading back to nashville. 
I wasnt very well received to be honest.  my dad and step mother were horrified to have an unwed mother in their brood.  cyndi told me (or did i hear of it through dad - i dont remember) that she didnt want me coming around and being a bad influence on her daughter.  mom gave me the meanest looks ever if i tried to ask her questions about my pregnancy, or talk to her about it (apparantly because of meemaw???).  Dianne, Allison, and Kendra : Thank God for them!  Thank God! But, wait, this is for Kristy.  Di and Allison and Kendra will get their turn ;) . 
I lived with Dianne for pretty much my whole pregnancy.  She helped me so freakin' much in everypossible way i cant even begin to say it. 
but my God! was my heartbroken! and i was so scared. and i felt so saddened by the fact that i couldnt share this magnificent miracle going on in my body with anyone.  i wanted christophe to touch my belly and feel him moving around inside.  dianne did.  but it wasnt the same (sorry dianne). i wanted him to see the baby and hear his heart beat at the ob-gyn visits.  allison did.  i wanted him there at the lamaze classes.  dianne and kendra were there for me.  i wanted him there at birth. it was dianne, kendra, and mom.  i'm grateful for them.  i feel bad like i'm implying it wasnt enough because it was.  it was just not what i had hoped.
Gosh, i'm talking about every one but christy.
We've finally made it though.  We have the climate set up and it is during this sad lonely time where i was crying daily and leeching onto my poor sisters and bff that she comes into the picture (to be leeched onto by me as well :"P)
I happened upon the crisis pregnancy center in murfreesboro.
A wonderful ressource providing support and guidance for pregnant women facing emotional diffuculties relating to her pregnancy (teen pregnancy, abuse, financial problems, unplanned pregnancies, single mothers).
Christy was my "mentor".  They team you up with a mentor when you come and that mentor will accompany through the pregnancy.  There was a team of i think 5 mentors for my group.  and they were all absolutely incredible.  so devoted, caring, professional, helpful, empathetic.  Christy embodied all of these charactersitics and so much more. 
I believe it was probably difficult for her to maintain profesional distance with me as whe was close to my age (a year younger in fact if i remember correctly) and had been through a similar circumstance already inspite of her young age.  She had been a single mother to a precious little girl though by the time i met her, she was married.  So maybe our positions made it impossible for her to call me her friend but she sure was a friend to me. 
She accompanied me and the other fledglings with whom she'd been paired during our classes on breast feeding, changing, and swaddling.  She encouraged us in our day to day lives (encouraging a teen mom to stay in school, another to find a job, giving me a shoulder to cry on).  She informed us of  and went with us to expositions centered on baby stuff (safety products, food, clothing, etc...)  She was so full of God, not religion, but really God, and was a beacon of light to us, guiding those of us who wanted into prayer and devotion. She had a gift to truly lift people up, edify them rather than tear them down.  She encouraged us to be our best, helped us find the strength, courage, and faith to face our problems.  She gently prompted us into making positive choices in our lives that would benefit us and our future babies.  She never judged any of us, never thought herself above us.  She never disrespected any of us or made us to feel embarrassed, something that can be difficult in counseling where emotions and defensiveness can run high.
She had faith, wisdom, and experience that belied her age.  And the sweetest kindest disposition.  She was a loving and patient mother. A gifted and natural counselor.  A great inspiration and role - model.
I keep referring to her in past tense.  I'm very ashamed to say i havent spoken to her in years.
And for a very stupid reason.  Because i'm ashamed. See the viscious cycle.  And the thing is, after all i just said of her, i know she would forgive me and move past this in love, but...i'm ashamed :P
Why?  Because after probably 6 years or so living here in france, i sent her a letter to tell her how much she meant to me and how grateful i was for all she had done.  She was so sweet and immediately answered.  I rewrote back and she rewrote sending a gift!  A devotional journal.  How sweet and kind!  I decided i had to crochet something for her! I hadnt started knitting then nor had i discovered nice yarns.  I found some cheapo nasty-o acrylic at the supermarket and a book called 200 crocheted squares and set to work planning and crocheting.
I guess i was thinking id get that dude whipped out in no time and send it along with my thank you letter. But the months dragged on.

I soon ran out of steam with such a huge project that i wasnt really liking the look of in spite my planning.  and then comes ravelry, knitting, fine yarns... and there was no way i could continue that project which has since become a baby blanket for alex' dolls.
The thing is, by now, many many months had passed since her gift had arrived.  And not  aword from me.  I'm sure she was all excited at home thinking "i wonder if she's gotten it yet!" "i wonder if she likes it." Then "oh no, did it get lost?" then " how rotten of her to not even acknowledge it!"  I know how excited i am when i'm in swaps for my partner to get her package! 
I should have just sent her a letter then but i was too embarrassed.  And as months turned into years... There was just no way i could write her again.
That's probably the main reason i couldnt finish the shawl - how on earth can i send it to her. not only because i'm not sure her address is the same, but because i dont know how shell feel about me contacting her after all these years without a single word, not even saying thankyou for her gift or even letting her know i received it.  Not asking how she and her kids (she's had a son since) or her husband are doing.  Not asking what she's up to.  Nothing. 
So my first shawl is done. It has an owner.  But it's just sitting here. For how many years?
bad me :(


Tini said...

What do you have to loose if you send it? Just write exactly what your wrote above and end the letter with "I'm still grateful for what you did for me back then. Thank you!" You have NOTHING to loose! So get your feet onto the ground and walk!

Rebecca said...

i might borrow your exact words ;)

Liana said...

Rebecca, I truly feel for what you've gone through. It's a shame that there has to be so much heartache in life. I think my Mom went through that somewhat when she left her beloved France and moved to the States with my Dad. She missed her family and friends and who she had become growing up in France, all to marry an American soldier.

The fact that you are still there and you have 2 beautiful children speaks to your resolve to make this work. I'm sorry he's so verbally abusive and all I can say is that it's not you. It's part of his personality and he needs his own counseling to control it. You could be 100% perfect and he would not change.
On to Christy, as Tini said above, just send the package. If you can verify that she is still at the same address (I have ways to do that if you want to contact me on gmail or thru Rav) She knew you when you had issues and she will always understand. You will feel so much happier once you do it, and you will be pleased with yourself.

Rebecca said...

thank you liana for your empathy. it is a shame but then again , i honestly shouldnt gripe - i'm actually quite fortunate. i'm not sure why i see everything in black. i dont like that about myself. i guess you really can understand some of myheartache though, watching your mom go through homesick pains. i am going to send it - i have to now lol. just waiting on getting up the courage ;) thank you again for your kind words. big hugs

ChelleC said...

Rebecca, what a moving story. You are a wonderful person. And I agree, you have nothing to lose in trying to giver her the lovely shawl.

You are a loving mother and wife . . . and though you didn't plan your life, to become a mother so young etc, but GOD did have a divine plan for you.

Happy Belated Birthday. And many blessings to you my friend. Chelle