As is normal, I went to my LYS on Friday. I was met by my friend the owner's mom. As y'all may recall, my friend is suffering from cancer.
She had a clear PET scan last month. This month, the 3 tumors are back. They're in her brain.
She's talking to the radiologist, who wants to irradiate her brain, and the oncologist, who says that they can't do that if they want any hope of having any other treatment. Seems the brain is an odd duck. It doesn't like chemo, and it doesn't take well to being irradiated.
My friend's mom informed me that they were closing the shop. In all reality, it's a melanoma that's spread to the brain. Anyone can tell you that a "cure" is beyond hope, unless the Creator has a heck-of-an impulse to perform a miracle on par with the Immaculate Conception.
The store will close at the end of December. I'm sad. I'm sad because there are very few Local Yarn Shops around; the era of the small shopkeeper is waning, and the Big Box "don't know anything except that the yarn is in aisle 3" mega-stores are what we can expect. Except for e-tailers where you can buy the yarn, but you can't touch it beforehand - so you could be buying a pig in a poke, though most of them are good at handling returns and such.
I'm sad because she's my friend. She's a year older than me. That puts so much in perspective.
I'm sad because we're losing a knitting community. She was the glue that kept us together. We may *say* we are going to keep knitting together, but ultimately, where? The shop atmosphere, the yarn, the help when you need it, the kvetching over the "idiotic" knitting patterns that you sometimes see in magazines (Who wears that stuff anyway??? And why does it have to cost $300 for a shrug??), the possibilities - that's what adds the fun dimension to knitting together. Hanging out at each others' homes is impractical. Heck, Hubby works from home - between his work and the dogs we have scattered around, we really have no space for a group of chattering knitters! And I don't think the local coffee shops would like us to sit and knit for 4 or 5 hours; besides, we can't afford their drinks anyway! We spend all our money on yarn.
I'm resigned to finding another shop sometime down the road. I'm hoping to find another community of knitters where I'll fit and where the vibe is good.
And I'll always have my friend. She made me a knitter. Her maxim is "You are only knitting one stitch at a time." That's a good rule in knitting as well as life. One step at a time is advice we can all latch onto, isn't it?
Hug your friends close and tell them what they mean to you. It's important, because often, they don't know till you tell them.