Last year was a very challenging year for me. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan. He was there for eleven months and it was the first time in our then sixteen years of marriage that we’d been apart more than four months. That deployment was our first and thank God, our last. I don’t think I have it in me to go through another one.
I expected the separation to be hard, but I severely underestimated how hard it would be living every day without my best friend. I had to find ways to cope with the sometimes soul-crushing loneliness, other than crying myself to sleep every night for the first three months. I had decided before he left that I wasn’t going to develop any bad habits while he was gone. No chocolate binges. No Coach bags (although, I’m really not a Coach or any other name brand type of girl).
During that time, I found comfort in two things: prayer and knitting. I expected prayer oft-used tool in getting through the deployment, but I didn’t expect knitting to play such a vital role. Something so simple, but it was my balm.
Because of that time, knitting is very emotional for me. Yes, I love knitting, but it pulls out other emotions, like contentment. Or determination (which you need when you block your projects on the floor. Ouch!). It brings out melancholy when your project isn’t going right and when you can’t find the right pattern for the right yarn. Knitting makes me feel life in colors as rich as the yarn I knit with.
And right now, writing this, my knitting has made me feel grateful. I just wound a cake of Miss Babs Yowza to start a Juneberry Triangle (by Jared Flood). I bought both the yarn and the pattern last year while my husband was deployed. Before he drifted off the sleep, my husband tried to help me decide what I was going to make next. And he did it from right beside me, not halfway around the world. Right beside me. And that’s worth getting emotional about.