Monday, May 04, 2009

The kindness of knitters (and crocheters)

I don't intend to make a habit of posting the smae thing on both my blogs - what would be the point of having two, if I did? - but this week I am sharing the same story again in both places, on my Still Life blog because it is a wonderful example of human generosity, and here because it involves knitters being generous!

My mother lives in sheltered housing in York, just around the corner from my sister. On April 27, just after my sister had gone on holiday, my mother was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit at York District Hospital with chest pains. Mum only allowed the hospital to tell us on the following day, when they established that it had been a small heart attack, and not the indigestion she had hoped it was.

My brother couldn't come up from Luton till Friday, and Mum refused to let my sister leave her holiday early. There was never any chance of my going down there. I was terribly upset, thinking that she would be alone with no family around her. Without much hope of anything coming from it, I posted messages in four UK groups on Ravelry, asking if anyone in York could pop in and see her, and maybe take in some fruit.

I expected, at the most, a few kind messages saying that they hoped she was well again soon, and these I got. I also received six offers of practical help, four of them from total strangers.

The next day, Mum had a visit from one of these strangers, bringing fruit and soft drinks. She sat with Mum for half an hour, and then emailed me to say Mum was in the main ward now, and in good spirits. She refused to be reimbursed for the shopping she had done – 'It was the least I could do,' she wrote.

Another woman who worked in the hospital was all set to visit her that evening, and I had other people lined up for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Luckily, Mum was discharged on Wednesday afternoon into the care of the warden at her sheltered housing, so I didn't have to call on them – but they were all prepared to go out of their way to visit a sick old lady, whom they had never met, just because they were asked to.

I was also inundated with kind messages of support, and enquiries about how Mum and I were doing, after she came home.

I would have expected this from my online friends, who are like penpals to me – we know so much about each other, and our families. But I didn't expect total strangers to do this for Mum and me, and I was very humbled by the whole thing.

1 comment:

Mary Sharpe said...

It's incredible isn't it! I have more to do with garden bloggers than knitting ones - but the camaraderie that builds up and the sense of 'knowing' people seems the same.

But the arrival of people with whom you have not previously been in contact really is a surprise.

Do they 'know' you already through your blogs . . . except silently because they don't comment so you aren't aware of them?

I do hope all goes well with your mum and that she continues to get better.

It must be awful for you that you can't go down to see her yourself.

Best wishes