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  • So scary. Thoughts with all of you.

  • Oh wow — what a terrible thing. I sadly know from experience how quickly it hits. I hope the young man comes through it!

  • Oh, Ann. I’m thinking of you and yours. May all be well.

  • I was working on a pair of socks when my mother had a heart attack. The second sock was finished as I sat in the ICU and later in the cardiac care wing of the hospital — it ended up being a size smaller than the first one. Same yarn, same needles — clearly, more tension.

    Blessings be with your son’s friend and his family — and with you and yours.

  • My older son got this as a teenager. It was two weeks of serious scariness. Sending healing thoughts to that young man and his family.

  • Like so many others, I’ve been there before and know that the knitting helps. With each stitch you’re holding yourself together and focusing your thoughts on your friends and your son. Part of the horror I think is the realization that this can happen to any of our children no matter how diligent we are and that some things are out of our control. And maybe that’s why the knitting helps, it’s the one thing we can control in all the chaos. I also think it helps you breathe your way through tragedy and move forward.

    Thank goodness we live in a place where we have access to medicine and health care and hopefully Cliff’s friend will recover, though I’m sure this day will stay with him a long time.

  • Scary times in the biggest way. Prayers for your friend’s family and yours, too.

  • Sending prayers for your friends family and yours too. I hope all will be well.

  • Yes I know this knitting .
    I hope your son’s friend will get stronger everyday.

  • I recently spent many hours knitting in hospital rooms & waiting rooms. The only thing that gave me more comfort was the friends & relatives who called or dropped by.

    This is a disease that can cause huge damage so quickly. Could you use this opportunity to let people know that there is a vaccine to prevent this? Many colleges require it for admission, but if kids get it when they are 12-14, it protects them at camp, on scout trips, & school trips.

    • Thanks for putting the heads up on the vaccine out there. My son who is a HS senior was just required to get it, and it wasn’t on the list when he got all his boosters before freshman year so there are probably many of us who haven’t had it and don’t know to get it.

      Hope Cliff’s friend recovers fully and quickly!

    • This vaccine is now routine at age 11, among those who vaccinate. My own 13-year-old son got it two years ago, as did my 11-year-old daughter a few months ago. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf

      As we all know (me included, as my vaccinated husband got pertussis this past winter), vaccines do not always provide complete protection, but they are better than not vaccinating, for sure.

      • Thank you for sharing this information. I am relieved to know my boy is in line for his vaccination at 11.

        Ann, thank you for reminding me a little pee in the pants of a newly minted 6-yo due to Lego obsession is probably the smallest deal in the world, and it probably has nothing to do with our mothering skills.

    • Yes, thank you for the thought about vaccine, Anne. Clif did have his vaccine in 2013, so this is one of those times when I’m really grateful for that.

  • Wow. We totally forget how good mundane and normal are, don’t we? Sending wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery to the young man and strength to all those who are worried sick about him.

  • I hope your friend’s son comes through this okay.

  • Sending thoughts and prayers for all involved. Yes, vaccination has been available for some time, pls check into it if you haven’t already done it. I suppose there is a chance they’ll want to wait for a period after possible exposure. I knew a young man in college who had this. He was lucky enough to recover, but it’s shocking how fast a strong, healthy young person can be so ill. My best to all of you.

  • The thoughts of so many mothers.

  • A lot to put on one sock, isn’t it? Looking forward to good news on all fronts.

  • Best wishes for the young man’s full recovery – with full strength of youth.
    Thanks to the commenters who mentioned the vaccine for teenagers. Let’s spread the word.

    Yes indeed on the worry knitting!
    I spent Monday knitting in a hospital emergency room.
    Just a broken elbow for my boyfriend in the end but initially there was concern over a possible head injury.
    When my dad was in and out of hospitals for a number of months I knit a great deal in emergency rooms and waiting rooms and hospital rooms.
    I always took a book along but the knitting was much better.

  • The knitting of hospitals, like when my husband’s lung collapsed for the second time just months after we were married. Though this was now 15 years ago, I still remember the plain garter stitch scarf I worked on in the hospital. Good vibes to your son and his friend!

  • Will send prayers for this young man’s quick recovery! Also as an FYI-there is a new meningitis vaccine available in addition to the standard one that has been available for over a decade. It is called Trumemba or meningitis B- it covers the one strain that is not included in the current meningitis vaccine. Ii is currently recommended for college students as there have been some outbreaks on college campuses in the past few years.

  • Sending my thoughts and prayers your way. I know this type of knitting, too. It resulted in many dish cloths and a (much) too big hat to keep my mom’s head warm during one of her stays in the hospital.

  • It reminds me that life can change in the blink of an eye or a heartbeat.

  • Sending prayers and good thoughts to you and your friend and her son. Sometimes this is the best we can do besides knit. Take care.

  • I’m praying for Clif and his friends.
    Peaceful thoughts to all.

  • Beautifully written, Ann. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I am guessing the writing of this blog post was just as helpful as the knitting of the sock, reminding us all just how fragile our lives and health are. Prayers being lifted for the young man and his family and his friends.

  • The worry knitting did help, just not enough. Socks work well for the task, as they are so portable, but even something larger or more complex would have a hard time helping someone through something like what you, Cliff, and this young man’s parents have been going through.

    I’m keeping you all in my thoughts. May the young man make a full and speedy recovery, and be hanging out with Cliff and their buddies again soon.

  • They likely gave him prophylactic antibiotics. My spouse worked in an ER for over a decade and was exposed many times. She always took the pill and never came down with it.

    That said, Cliff and his friends might want to eat yogurt over the next few days. Those pills are pretty strong.

    Good thoughts to you and all of the families involved.

  • I do pray – and so I shall add Clif and his friend to the top of my list. Beautiful post.

  • I hope your son’s friend recovers quickly from this and your son stays healthy. So scary! I didn’t realize how serious this illness is until I worked at a college. We all opted to have the vaccine as did my son when he went off to college. Knitting has saved my sanity in so many crucial times of stress.

  • That is a powerful sock. Positive thoughts to all involved. I read every blog post you write. I think you pray all the time. I suspect you might be like me and call it something else… Still counts, just so you know.

  • I’m with LauraJ above — many of our everyday actions and thoughts are prayers. That young man has a lot of good energy going his way, whatever anyone calls it.

    Decades ago when my father was in the hospital having quadruple bypass surgery, my mother knit four cardigan sweaters for her four granddaughters, all different sizes, all from the same pattern — navy blue, with stripes on the yoke of yellow, red, white, and green. My younger daughter was the youngest; eventually she got all of the other three sweaters as hand-me-downs. Made with love, for sure, but gosh, we got kind of tired of that sweater!

  • Wow, that’s awful & scary. Sending good thoughts for your son’s friend’s improvement.

  • Yeah. I gave a wee afghan to my MIL last fall after her almost-year in the hospital, and pointed out a couple of areas of lumpy pattern divergence. “This was when you were in ICU.”

  • Oh, I’m so sorry to read this. And I of course thought of EZ’s “prayer.” “Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.”

  • Thinking of you, Clif, his friend, and his entire community hoping for a full recovery. Thank you for the reminder of the “simplicity of a day where absolutely nothing happens.” I would do well to keep that in the front of my mind daily.

  • I’m praying for all of you, too. You capture a mother’s thoughts exactly. I think a plain sock is about all I could knit at a time like this. I tried to knit on a lace scarf during my son’s minor surgery a few years ago – bad idea, couldn’t concentrate. Had to give it up after just a few stitches.

  • Prayers for Clif and his friend. Knitting is helps focus all of those prayers.

  • Preemie hats are my hospital/ER knitting. I figure I might as well use the time to make something for someone being worried over by someone else while I’m worrying over my husband with chronic breathing problems. Although I did knit most of a Campfire sock during a particularly long day of nuclear injections, scans, and consultations…

    Prayers for the young man and his family, yours too.

  • Lots of prayers…

    • I can’t be half as articulate as the many others above, so I’ll just say I’m knitting with you, Ann. Peace and prayers.

  • Prayers for you all. You’re right, life can change on a dime.

  • BTW….. I could never manage socks under those circumstances. I would be knitting teddy bears. My socks need total concentration, and even then, it can be tricky.

  • Just plain scary. Sending good thoughts to all: you and Clif and Clif’s friend and his mom, dad and brothers. I hope it will soon be clear that he is on his way to full recovery.

  • The sock of no help reminds me of the blanket the Call the Midwife ladies work on when Chummy is in hospital after having her baby and surgery. Busy hands are like a prayer sometimes.

    I’m obsessed with the little blue baby hat in this picture:


  • Love. Sending you love, Amanda

  • I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  • Thank heavens for modern medicine! Best wishes and healing thoughts for the sick young man. I hope by this time next year it will be a dim memory, long distant from his happy life.

  • Prayers for the family!! I know that day all too well!

  • Oh, Ann – I remember when you emailed me not too long ago …offering love and hope for my daughter who is battling stage 4 colon cancer (and is the mother of 4 and 7 year olds). I just finished the huge garter stitch shawl i knitted for her and gave it to her tonight…a huge hug from her mom with a prayer knit in every stitch…and doused with tears. I do pray…a lot…and will send healing grace and blessings to your son and his friends. The carefree lives we live unfortunatly change on a dime and I’m heartsick at hearing your devastating news. No mom should have to suffer the worry and heartsick she feels when she hears such frightening news about her child. Some days we can’t breathe from worry…but please know I’ll pray just as hard for Cliff and his friends as I am for my own Alison. Hugs and prayers to you, dear lady…today and always. Please keep us updated, Ann – love and God bless. xxx

  • Praying xx

  • Awful. Thinking of you all.

  • Healing and healthy thoughts keep being sent your way…

    Hope. Health. Hugs.
    Purling. Peace. Prayers.

  • I have a prayer shawl on the needles, and although I knit on other projects as well, it seems to help with the worrying when you can’t do anything else.

    I’m an RN, so I will reinforce the recommendation that you have your child vaccinated against bacterial meningitis at age 11 and a booster at age 15. I have worked in pediatric hospitals my entire career and have seen first hand how deadly this disease is. A child can be fine when they get up in the morning and dead 24 hours later. I truly believe prayer can help and I am praying for Clif’s friend that he will recover completely.

  • Ann, sending healing thoughts for you and everyone touched by this freight train.

  • It is wonderful news to hear that Cliff’s friend is on the road to recovery. Such a scary situation.

    Meanwhile, I wanted to mention the wonderful non-profit group, Project Knitwell (projectknitwell.org). The mission of Project Knitwell is to teach knitting and provide knitting materials to people in a variety of stressful situations. It operates primarily in hospitals and serves patients, families, and staff, but it has programs in other settings as well. The therapeutic benefits of knitting are well-documented, and Project Knitwell serves to bring them to people who need it most. Please, if you are in such a situation, know someone who is, would like more information, or would like to help us in any way, contact us at [email protected]

  • Thank god for knitting to see us through these times. May all be well.