A nurse who knits…

August 15, 2007

Bonding w/ strangers in Borders

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnnut @ 10:37 pm

I went to bed thinking that my Wednesday knitting group was meeting in the morning so I got up earlier than normal and headed over to Panera’s at 9 am. No one was there so I emailed Suzanne who emailed back that we meet every other Wednesday and that I’m off schedule. Hmmm…. makes sense. Thanks for reminding me Suzanne. I’ll see you next week 🙂

After figuring out that no one was going to show up, I went home and started crocheting. OMG… I haven’t picked up a hook for anything other than making provisional cast ons and weaving in ends in years. But I went to a sale at Yarning for You in San Marcos yesterday and came home with some Berroco Merino that I thought would be perfect for “Short N Sweet” from Happy Hooker. I downloaded the errata like a good girl and started. It all comes back to you ladies if you’ve put down the hook in favor of needles. The only snag was some front and back post crocheting which I’d never done before. But I think I figured it out. I’ll post a pic tomorrow after I make some more progress. At noon, I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. Thank goodness, I get to keep my teeth. I had a substitute dentist today. I never realized that dentists cover for other dentists while they were on vacation. I just figured they’d shutdown the office. She said that my teeth and gums look great and to keep up with what I was doing.

Then I went to Borders to pick up the Fall IK. I’d been hearing so much I’d really just thumbed thru it in Borders and like these designs:

  • Minimalist Cardigan
  • Cobblestone Pullover
  • Belle Cardigan
  • Counterpane Pullover

So… like any pattern hoarder, I snatched the magazine in my little hands and headed over to the craft section of books.  There was an older lady sitting on a wheeled chair.  It wasn’t a wheel chair but kind of a stand with wheels that has a cushion to sit on.  She asked me she was in my way and I replied no.   Here’s the rest of our conversation.

Lady: “Do you crochet?”

Me: “Yes but I knit more often.  I’m buying the new IK.”  I offer the magazine to her and she starts looking at it.

Lady: “Those designs are beautiful.  I like to crochet more.” She shows me the book that she was looking at.  It was full of crocheted skirts and shawls.

Me: “Those are nice too.  You thinking about getting this book?”

Lady: “No, it’s too expensive.  I live on a fixed income.  I’m only here because my daughter has to work and it’s too hot for me to be without air conditioning.”

We talk a bit more and I ask her if she’d like to have a cup of coffee and look at books together.  We spent the next hour talking.  I felt very sad for her because she told me that she felt like a burden to her family.   That she can’t take care of herself.  She wished that she’d die so that she wouldn’t be such a burden to her children.  She was really lonely and she said “God bless you for talking to me.  I feel so much better.  People ignore you when you’re old.”

I had tears in my eyes when she told me that.  She then asked me what I was doing at Borders on a week day and I told her that I had the day off and that I’m a nurse when I’m working.  She said, “That makes perfect sense.  Nurses are the nicest people.  Can you come work for me so I can talk to you?”   I told her that I couldn’t work for her but that if I saw her at Borders, I would buy her a cup of coffee and that we would talk.

Does medicare reimburse elder day care??? What happens to old people who can’t afford to go to retired living communities?  Do they lead lonely lives?  It makes me sad to think of this old lady.  She told me that poverty keeps her from doing many things.  If you do anything today, please say hi to an older person that you meet in public.  They would probably love to talk to someone.  You can learn a lot from an older person.  Like when crochet was the big craze.  Not knitting.



  1. Oh my goodness, this kind of thing MUST be a ‘nurse’ thing. I’ve done that myself, with elderly people, handicapped people, etc. I think that as a nurse you learn to look beyond the obvious and we see the need in their eyes, y’know?

    I have no clue about what medicare pays for but I bet it doesn’t pay for elder care. It so sad really. . . .at least this lady had a family. My heart goes out to the elderly that don’t have family anymore (widow, widowers without children, etc.). . . . .

    You didn’t get “off schedule” sweetie. You were MEANT to be there for that lady today.

    Comment by knittingnurse — August 15, 2007 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  2. That is so sad. I am glad for both of you that you had that time to talk. There’s no way you’ll ever really know how it impacted her life, but you can be sure it did. I work a lot with underachieving kids, many with parents who aren’t available to them, and I’m often surprised by how even small, insignificant moments (to me) end up sticking with them and making a difference in their lives.

    Maybe you were meant to be there for her today. See you next week.

    Comment by Suzanne V. (Yarnhog) — August 16, 2007 @ 2:57 am | Reply

  3. You scored a lot of points on the Karma scale today, Gail. If I’m ever old and lonely like her, I want you to be my nurse too. 🙂

    Comment by Sharon — August 16, 2007 @ 3:17 am | Reply

  4. Wow – and you never said a word tonight – you have to be one of theose Angels on Earth people! I adore you so much and I know you made a difference in that woman’s life! I’m SO glad we found each other!

    Comment by GeorgeAnne — August 16, 2007 @ 4:29 am | Reply

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