Finally. I joined my first book club. Actually, it’s the first book club for all of us in the group. What an appropriate read we chose for our first venture — The Knitting Circle. Ann Hood writes about a group of almost exclusively women who weave their lives back together with the support of each other and their shared stories.
We all agreed on the book, I think, before any of realized the story revolved around grief and loss. I eagerly bought my copy and rushed home to read the foreward with concern. I still face and have only now been able to recognize and fully comprehend my own grief over the loss of my Reason. I wasn’t sure I could read about the subject.
To my surprise, I cried only once. The sentence stopped my breathe. Mary was talking to Beth about how the lives of her husband and her children would go on after she was gone. I closed the book and bawled. Yet, I was able to pick it up the next day and continue reading. The last time I read for several hours and finished it.
Each chapter introduced a different character’s sorrow to the main character Mary who had suffered the loss of her five-year-old daughter to a deadly form of strep. Mary had no idea if or how she could survive without Stella. Keeping her hands busy with knitting, Mary allowed the woman of The Knitting Circle to reach into her heart and hold her hand. Exposing and accepting the depth of her misery in the company of others’ was the only way Mary could return to herself, to her new self who understand the importance of forgiveness.
Five of us met at our wonderful friend Nina’s home. Bertha, Nancy, Sonja and myself. Our friend Wendy was out sick. Just like The Knitting Circle, our group of women understand and discussed the unfortunate side of life. We all lose people we love. We all lose parts of life, that we wish we could keep forever. Nothing is permanent…the hardest lesson for me to learn yet.
It was our first book club meeting, but the second time the group of us has gathered at Nina’s. You could see each of us reaching out just enough to one another, but still hesitant to expose too much of ourselves. Sharing reactions to literature and art join us…the humanities. I am grateful for this opporunity to explore books, myself, each other, and the friendship of women.