A quality of love

One of the features in the Ravelry forum area is that anyone can make a group about anything and anyone can join any group they want. Of course this sometimes leads to “BUT SHE MADE A GROUP ABOUT HOW STUPID I AM!!!” or some such nonsense, but that’s not the point. The point is that after much time threatening to shove people and their mothers into my pants when among the general population it was suggested that perhaps I should make my own group and shove people into my pants from there.
And so I did. And the group is “Bubbo’s Pants”. Everyone in the group is in my pants. There are few rules to the group. We don’t have topical or thematic constraints. You can discuss anything and not have to tie it back to a central theme (though tying things back into my pants is pretty awesome).
I have been very lucky with the members of the group. We keep the anger and the infighting to a minimum. There is snark, but not malevolent snark. It is a group of smart, kind, fun and witty people who come together to talk, to play and to be supportive. They are even amenable to my occasional push to try to be nice to people (something I’ve had to work on lately).
My trip to Chicago was intended to let me have some time away from my troubles and to give me the opportunity to meet some of my pantsters for real. As excited as I was to meet them, they had secret plans for when they met me!
When they first heard of my troubles they got together and formed a secret group. They were concerned about my well being and they wanted to help. So they secretly and not-so-secretly gathered information on stuff that I liked. They even managed to contact David to get some suggestions. And soon little gifts started showing up. Pink sparkly things, chocolate, yarn, hippos, glitter and letters, some of the kindest letters I’d ever read started to show up. On more than one occasion I was brought to tears by the concern and kindness of these people I had never met.
And I go to Chicago and I stay with Lisa and her family. She is one of my pantsters, another example of sweet charity and support. She just invited me into her home with her children and husband and accepted me as friend with no questions asked.
Saturday morning in Chicago I woke up to an ansty dog in the kitchen. Poor Crede the giant St Bernard had been sick in the night and made a semi-solid advertisement to that fact on the floor. Still not feeling well, he very much wanted to go out. So, I saddled up and took the monster out and he finished up the rest of the mess in the yard. I found some beer cans from the night before and marked the spots since they would have to be cleaned up before the kids hit the yard, but were well beyond the power of a plastic bag and prayer.
Back inside I assessed the situation and managed to find paper towels and cleaning supplies and set to work. The family was still sleeping and I could have left it there for one of them to clean, but that’s so wrong. No one wants to wake up to that kind of mess, not on a morning when things are going to be very busy anyway. Cleaned and anti-bacterialed to death, I washed myself and started some coffee so that it would be ready when they awoke.
After much prep, shuffling, moving, reshuffling and packing, Lisa, Fiona and I were headed to Schaumburg for Stitches! We made quick stops for coffee and at O’Hare to pick up another pantster. We met our fourth pantster at the hotel and headed up to the room to celebrate the sheer pantsness of it all and to dump our luggage. Then I was ambushed as i came out of the bathroom.
I was told to sit in a chair facing them. Though I was hoping for a pants related lapdance, I got something much better. Beyond the gifts I had received already, there had been more gift collecting! More pink sparkly things, barrettes, a tiara that perfectly matched the purple in my hair (by all magic coincidence!), origami, light up flip flops and more notes of love and encouragement.
There is a tradition in crafting groups regarding members that need support. The members of the group each craft a square, in this case they knit or crochet the squares, the squares are sent to a central member and that member stitches them together to form an afghan. The Pratchghan is one very famous afghan made by Ravelry members and presented to Terry Pratchett. As you can see by looking at it, with every square made by a different person, it ends up forming a beautiful and unique end product.
My pansters did this for me. They made squares, each one different, and they made them into a Pantsghan for me. To say I wept when I was presented with this gift would be an understatement. In some ways it is very hard to describe what it means to me. This isn’t just a single blanket. This blanket is made up of squares and those squares were crafted by so many different people. Each one of those people sat down and chose to make something specifically for ME so that I might feel comforted. Each person, wanting very much for me to feel better, poured their concern into a project that would become part of a greater whole.
This blanket is not the sum of its parts. This blanket is so very much more than that. Trouble shared is trouble divided, love shared is love multiplied.
I have since been invited to the secret group and I got to read through the process of organizing this feat.
It is a truly humbling experience to read such messages. I want to argue with them, tell them that I do not deserve such attentions, that they each have more important issues that need their help. But who am I to argue with them? I do not pick fools for friends. These women are each smart and independent. I trust them with so much, to argue them down from this would be to say that I do not trust their judgments r their choices, that I somehow know better than they do what is important.
It is overwhelming and humbling and gratifying to know that people I’d not ever met had put forth so much effort for me. ‘Thank you’ seems inadequate for the situation, but it is all I have.
My pantsghan is not folded up and hidden away. It is not being preserved. It is being put to work providing comfort for me (and the dogs!). It lives on the bed for the moment, the perfect size to cover me and a dog. When I am not in bed the dogs fluff it into a cozy and nap in the middle. Much love went into making this blanket and much more love is being derived from it.
To all my Pantsters, I say thank you. Thank you for not letting me get lost, thank you for giving to me and thank you for being the best damned group of people anyone could hope to find in their pants.