Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Power of Friendship

About nine years ago, my Mom's friend Sue started a knitting group. Mom and I have been part of the "Cultured Purls" ever since. I even went knitting the night before I was induced and the knitters were probably some of the first people my son ever met. The group has met almost every Thursday night for the past nine years. Three years ago when Mom's dementia made it so she could no longer knit, they still welcomed her in the group anyway. I think she took the same ball of yarn and needles with her every week for at least a year and her loving friend Sue (our knitting leader) always helped her knit a few stitches each night.

Unfortunately in the last year and a half, Sue got sick, Mom got worse, and the knitters met intermittently, but they always took care of each other. The knitters have been meeting at Mom and Dad's house now for a while and this Thursday night we got together for the first time after Sue passed away this Monday.

When Dad told Mom that Sue died, many might think she would not understand, but she did and it made her sad. As we sat around the table talking on Thursday, Mom said to me "feels sad" and I know she knew that while we were reminiscing about Sue and telling fun stories, people were sad at the same time. Even in the midst of this loss, the girls made my Mom laugh and come alive in a way that she is not able to do most of the day. Just look at Mom's face in the photo below, she is smiling and happy as we laugh about some good times in our knitting group. Sue was always looking on the bright side of things and so her spirit was definitely there helping us all have fun together.

Pat, Gretty, Jackie, and Mom
This group of women, this group of friends, have been through so much and they take care of each other no matter what is going on. They are some of the few people who can make Mom smile and bring out her personality, which is never lost, just heavily covered in the fog of dementia. They talk to her instead of talk around her and they have never treated her different because of her dementia. Mom feels the emotions in the room and knows her friends love her. Fortunately these friends have allowed Mom to experience joy, happiness, and love on a regular basis.

Never underestimate the power of friendship to beat dementia!

Chris and the rest of the girls.

Thank you to the Cultured Purls for being so amazing and may we continue to carry on Sue's legacy of knitting, love, optimism, friendship, fearless determination, and joy.


Rev. Katie