Monday, September 21, 2009

Sandy Nash R.I.P.

In addition to dogs, knitting is an important part of my life. I am fortunate to live a mere ten minutes from a Wonderful Knit Shop--Yarning for You. Yarning for You is the dream and creation of a remarkable lady, Sandy Nash. Yarning for You is much more than just a place to go to buy beautiful, high quality yarn. It's a place to go for help when you get stuck or lessons on basic and advanced knitting techniques. It's the first place many women go when life gets to be too much to bear alone, or something wonderful happens that must be shared. Spending a morning or afternoon knitting at Yarning for You is better than hours of therapy, as far as I and many other women are concerned.

Sandy's Right Hand is Diva Debra, her complement. Sandy is an instinctive knitter. Debra is a techno knitter. Sandy knits Continental Style. Debra knits English Style. Sandy says, "Maybe no one will see that mistake." Debra says, "No one will see that mistake, because you'll never want to wear it." Carol and Laurie and Frontine rotate in the shop to be sure that someone is always there--to talk patterns, suggest yarns--and to share the welcome of the place.

We all knew that Sandy was gravely ill. Not from Sandy, but from Sandy's ever more frequent and longer absences from the shop. Not. A. Good. Sign. I tried to reassure myself because whenever I asked how she was feeling, Sandy would say, "Good!" and flash a smile. Thursday, September 17, 2009, her last day on this earth, Sandy was still responding to doctors and nurses who inquired how she was feeling with "Good!" and a smile.

Sandy's family and her knitting family gathered at Yarning for You yesterday to comfort each other in our loss of this wonderful woman. Each of us feels a very personal connection to Sandy because Sandy was that rare person who could take your concerns and worries seriously but still convey her conviction that "things will work out."

Sandy, who was already fighting a life-threatening condition before lymphoma struck her, could listen for hours to other people's health concerns and never extract "equal time" for her own. A "cat person", Sandy listened to my agonies over the deaths of two Greyhounds with profound sympathy and passed the Kleenex.

One of our last conversations, if not our last, was about a knitting charity that she had just added to her list of charities: Knitters for Critters. In honor of Sandy, Knitters For Critters is now an official charity of Friends of Portia. I will say more about Knitters for Critters in a later post.

But now, all I can say is Thank You, Sandy. You are and always will be a reminder that life should be lived with optimism, gratitude, and generosity.

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