Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thank you

First I want to thank you all for your comments and e-mails. All the kind words have given comfort to my exhausted heart. I did not think it was possible, but it is. When I wrote the post and hit that publish button, I was having second thoughts but I do not have them any more. Thank you so much for being there.

Just a few more words on that subject before I move on to knitting.

It would be great to be able to share only the success stories or the stories of battles that have been won. And maybe I did not show such a good taste in writing about epilepsy here. I don’t know how many people around the world have to deal with epilepsy but there are way too many. D has had seizures in shops, in class rooms, in the streets, in the swimming halls… all over. Some people stop and stare, some people come to ask if there is anything they can do to help, some people walk away like they had seen nothing. On those unhappy situations, I have hold D, seen the people around and still felt like alone in the world, once again have been afraid of losing her, when the seizure has stopped have been relieved and torn and tired, have collected the belongings and walked slowly the way we were walking before all this happened all of a sudden. After those occasions there is not much privacy left. Your whole being has been open to all the passers-by. There are times when I would have loved to explain to the passers-by what they had just seen or sometimes if there had been an erase button I would have pressed it, for all our sakes, because those situations are scary to all. Here I can control what I say and what I will not say, there in the public, in the actual situation, you can’t control anything. Here you can control what you want to read and what not. Life touches us all in many different ways and none of us get to choose the kind of hardships we want to deal with; it is only human to reach out for a friendly hand, so thank you for all of you for reading and commenting.

But that is enough of that for now.

The knitting symposium this summer is held in Joensuu Finland and it has been in my thoughts a lot. I’m looking forward to it already. Few weeks ago I received this little Japanese book. Somehow it is like a diary of the past symposiums. It has small items, mostly hand wear, from the countries that have had the Nordic Knitting Symposium over the past years. It features e.g. wrist warmers that have the “fur” tape and I have many times looked at those and even though they don’t seem very practical, they are so very beautiful. So inspired by this little lovely book and this pure cashmere I was lucky to have in my stash I started this… (This is not the same as in the book, but the inspiration came from the book. And there will be the fur tape.)
It is still very winter up here! But the sky is blue.


  1. Oh Tina looks so happy!
    What a beautiful blue sky!
    And the white cashmere knitting looks like fluffy white new snow.
    Thank you so much Lene for sharing all your world with us.
    You inadvertently help me cope with my own life trials and I always feel uplifted after reading your posts.

  2. Lovely wristwarmers in a wonderful yarn I used to mittens.What a feeling to use them.
    My best regards
    Ulla in the north of Sweden

  3. Your new sock is so lovely--simple but so very elegant! :-) I can only imagine how soft that pure cashmere is.

  4. julie19:54

    Ooooh, that cashmere - I just want to pet it. I'd like to pet happy little Tina too! :)

  5. Hi Lene...
    I didn´t comment yesterday, I was too deep in emotions.
    First of all, I have to say that it is really important that you stand by your daughter.
    I occasionally suffer from depressions. Like, BAD ones. Every time I'm between the episodes I hope that it's for the rest of my life. Maybe it is so - but the statistics are against me.
    Now I'm old and toughened so I'm ready and I know what to expect. However, the first time when it hit me was when I was around 15... and no-one helped. For all the people around I was just a mean and bothersome teenager, for me it was like dying slowly in an awful way. Later on I realized that most of them are just knowingly ignoring - it's easier than thinking about the others.
    My mother's view was that I was just annoying on purpose. My nervous breakdown was also commented like that.
    Guess what all this did to my future relationships to people and the world in general.....
    And, I would happily delete so many times when I was mean to people just because I couldn't help it. I deeply understand you in a certain way.

  6. mfitch20:12

    Dear Lene: Thank you for being bold in sharing your heart. I am glad you have found some comfort from all of us out here. I feel like you have a friendly hand, too, and I am so happy to be able to reach across the world and also receive comfort in a moment with you. Your blog is like a mug of warm milK and hot rolls from the oven! Blessings to you from California. :)

  7. It is so hard to be an adolescent. They are so afraid that everyone is looking at them and judging them when they do not yet know how to be the people they will become. My heart goes out to Daniela for having to bear this extra burden, and to you Dear Lene and your caring, loving heart.

  8. There's nothing worse, in my opinion, than feeling so out of control. It puts me in a panic - literally.

    Thank you again, for sharing. I think it makes the world a better place for us to know that EVERYONE is human. Everyone has their own weight to deal with - and even through that pain and suffering - such beautifulness can be born.

  9. What beauty! I love the cashmere... writst warmers? Gloves? I'll wait patiently to see :)
    When I was in high school, a friend (Kadi) started having seizures. Her first was in math class, where she sat next to me; it was very frightening. We attended a very small school, so after a time her episodes became part of "normal" life, and she was less embarrassed. My heart goes out to D, and to you. I have thought of you both much in the days since your last post.

  10. Hei Lene,

    Luin edellisen kirjoituksesikin tässä vasta samalla kuin tämän uuden. Halusin sanoa jotain, vaikka en ole varma, mitä.

    Ainakin sen, että perheesi on ajatuksissani. Olen usein ihaillut sitä viisautta, jota kirjoituksistasi huokuu, ja ajatellut, että lapsesi ovat onnekkaita. Kirjoituksesi käänsi kyllä hieman perspektiiviä. Toivon, että jotain voitaisiin vielä tehdä tyttäresi sairaudelle. Lääketiede kehittyy kovaa, ehkä ratkaisu löytyy piankin.

    Meillä kaikilla on omat ristimme, mutta teillä tuntuu olevan erityisen paha. Toivon, että se ei lannista teitä silti koskaan. Toivon, että sinä pysyt yhtä viisaana ja tyttäresi yhtä iloisena.

    Tämä kuulosti hieman kököltä, mutta kuten sanoit, on hyvä, että sanoo silti jotain, vaikeneminen on kuitenkin pahinta.

    Meillä Tampereella muuten näyttää aivan erilaiselta kuin teillä! Ei lumesta tietoakaan, ja sinililjat kukkivat!

  11. Ellen in Conn02:22

    Dear Lene,
    Thank you always for what you share. I know how hard it is to write and to properly convey what is in my own heart. Communication is always so important, and yet always so bothersome. If you say nothing you are misunderstood, but if you say something, someone is bound to take it all wrong, and if you say a lot, well, I never do, so I don't know what happens then. Oh, am I going on too long here? ;) Well, just thanks and always peace and best wishes to you and your family.

    ps. When you took your bus trip, I was worried about your marriage, and then you said nothing about the husband for a long time . . . so you see about saying nothing. I was wrong. None of this is, of course, any of my business, but I care about you, and I can't help but wonder about people, who-ever they are and whatever their "issues".

    pps. is that a cashmere mitten? Delicious!

  12. I worked 12 years with a neurologist who specialized in epilepsy.
    I would be the one to stop and kneel and gently help in protecting D. from getting harmed by the surrounding environment and hope for the best with you, to give you quiet comfort.
    I know, I've done this before.

    Beautiful Tina! Beautiful cashmere.

  13. Lene, You are like a well crafted quilt: Adorning life with beauty, you bring gentle comfort and warmth, while the stitches running through you give strength.

  14. I'm constantly amazed at the big difference between the north and south in Finland. In Helsinki it already looks like summer! Hard to imagine that a "few km" north there's still snow!

    Isn't my timing on the symposium great? Last year when it was in Iceland, I was in Finland, and this year, when it is in Finland I'll be in Iceland! Voi voi.

  15. You summed up beautifully the feelings of dealing with a seisure in public. I am constantly amazed and humbled at how beautifully you write and how you share with us what you are feeling. Sending you and D. virtual hugs.

  16. M. Gail19:55

    The cashmere mitts are lovely and elegant. How I'd love to pat the beautiful little Tina!

    I'm glad our words have given you , and perhaps D, some comfort. Your wonderful posts give so many of us a sense of comfort and well-being every day.

  17. I've been reading since the beginning and I just have to say (finally): I love when you post pictures of Tina. We have a Norwegian Lundehund and the things you talk about Tina doing, how she's so active and loves her little house, her independence, and her love of birds all remind me so much of our little Lundie, Oslo. Hearing about Tina makes me wonder if the next "dogbaby" we add to our household should be a Finnish Spitz!

  18. We had a teacher in my high school who had grand mal epilepsy, when I was a teenager. I only wish he could have taught your daughter, so that she could have such a wonderful adult who was a fellow epileptic around her and who could, by being there, help her feel more a part of "like everybody else."

  19. i wish i had been able to comment sooner, but things in my world have also been trying.

    sharing the sorrow is not selfish or bad taste. without sharing our sorrows, we remain strangers. it is sharing of the dark as well as the light that allows us to offer each other our bravest of human gifts - compassion and support when we cannot 'disappear' the pain.

    through my own travails i have come to realize that denying others this opportunity is not selfless for the giving of succor brings strength to both the giver and recipient.

    you are right. there are no right words. but please take comfort in the knowledge that friends and strangers alike are sending you their love and support, that you do not have to carry your burdens alone.

    your bravery in speaking of your shadowy spaces is a gift worth treasuring.

    thank you.

  20. Margaret08:23

    Is that a picture of a happy dog spinning on her side in the snow?? My dog is almost exactly the same color, and he does that any time he gets to play in the snow (which isn't often around here). So much fun. And what beautiful fingerless gloves! I love them!

  21. Pretty dog, pretty sun,pretty sky.

    It's funny, the day after your last post, I was at work (where I am a manager) when a gentleman collapsed with a petit mal seizure. We called an ambulance, one of my employees (male) kept the guy (who was alone) from hurting himself while I just kept an eye on the situation. And I quickly realized what my primary job was -- to redirect the gawkers. I would step directly in front of them, meet their eyes, smile, and say "Was there something I could help you find today?" It gave me a little pinch of pleasure to see them realize they shouldn't be staring, they should move along, that this was something so naked and personal and terrifying that they should not be just watching it like it's the nightly news.

    The one man who brought tears to my eyes was the one who looked right back at me and just said "For a moment, I thought that was my son."

    I smiled at him a little more real than the others.

    Love to you and D and your family.

  22. That Nordic Knitting book looks fascinating!
    Stay strong and happy knitting,

  23. maureen05:22

    hi lene,

    is your pattern for the beautiful mitts available?

    on the epilepsy front: my younger brother (now 50) has epilepsy. the first time i encountered a seizure in a non family member they were bowled over by my helpfulness, kindness and compassion. i could not believe it! we live in the 21st century, not the 18th! at that time, 30 years ago, i could not believe that anyone would cringe when viewing a seizure; i now realize ignorence surrounds us. good luck to you and your family - you will prevail!

  24. Could you share the ISBN # for the Japanese book....

  25. Suzanne/New York, USA20:58

    I am unable to express my feelings after reading your blog. I've sat for an hour, reading and reading. We all have pain and life situations that are difficult...but most of us are unable to find the words to explain. You have done it so beautifully with your written word. I wish your daughter health for the future and a golden halo for you...her loving mother.