22 January 2012

A Gift and A Goodbye

I finished this Damson in December as a gift for a friend.  This woman is the mother of one of my daughter's best friends.  We've known each other since out girls were four years old and in juniour kindergarten.  She's a teacher, a dancer, a mother.  Our kids have slept at each others homes countless times.  They've shared classrooms and milestones.  Together our families have shared many meals and celebrated many birthdays, Halloweens and graduations.  Who better to knit a gift for?  So, when I saw my friend yesterday at our dance class I gave her this gift.

Tomorrow, I will see her again, along with many other parents and children, under much sadder circumstances.  One of our own has died.  Chris, one of the mothers from that juniour kindergarten class, lost her life last week while driving on an icy dark road in the Western province where she moved two years ago. Tomorrow is her Toronto memorial service.  
Our children attended a small, closely knit, primary school and though our group has spread somewhat, its members moving on to different high schools, universities and cities, we still consider ourselves to be family.  We still keep contact with each other.  I last spoke to Chris last spring at a school concert she was in town attending.  She was happy, enjoying her new city but glad, at the same time, to be visiting old friends. I was looking forward to the next time I might see her but now that next time will never come.  It's remarkable how fast a person can just be gone.  This is my first experience of such sudden loss.  For my daughter and many of the young people, this is their first experience of loss of any kind.  I worry about how that will affect them tomorrow. 
Much of this weekend has been spent phoning and emailing among ourselves, making sure everyone knows what happened and where to be.  So many of us mothers seem to have the same instinct - to gather our babies to us and go support Chris' babies and her husband tomorrow.  She was a glorious woman and mother (wise and loving as they wrote in her obit) and they loved her so much  At times like this I realize that, no matter how else I define myself as a woman, an artsworker, a knitter or whatever, it is as a mother that I am in my heart's true community.
Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day.

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