The Violence to Healing


I have been, for the last two days or so, feeling so so much better! Not only better from the intense pain I came home from surgery with, but better than I felt PRIOR to surgery! It has made me think about how I got to this.

I hold knitting needles in my hands. And it’s the same with my crochet hook. Knitting and crocheting seem all so fuzzy and fluffy and comforting and relaxing. But I realize there’s violence afoot as I watch the needles, the hook, jab-poke-pierce, over and over again, in and through the soft colorful wool. A beautiful scarf, sweater, or blanket does not happen unless there’s piercing, numerous…no countless…times!

The human body/mind has an incredible capacity for adapting. Prior to this 3rd cutting-open-to-fix-what’s-not-right-inside, I had begun to “adapt” to how my body dealt with the problems. Even as I myself asked for this 3rd surgery to rectify what was ailing me, I was also thinking–“Surely I could just live like this? Surely I can just spend my evenings homebound with a bathroom close by. Surely I can get used to the ongoing pain and lack of sleep? After all, my mornings and early afternoons are OK! I could just live life in the daytime and not go anywhere or do anything in the evenings. Right?”

Somehow I knew that I could not settle for half a life. As much as I love to blog, draw, knit and crochet, I know that was not all I wanted to be doing in the evenings. I wanted to teach knit & crochet classes at night without landing in a bathroom numerous times. I wanted to be able to go to my daughter’s choral concerts, my son’s swim meets, and visit my family out of town. There was SO much I didn’t want to miss out on in life…and I knew, in order to do that, I had to choose the cutting open and being stitched back together once more!

I didn’t plan it this way, but with each surgery, I’ve had a knitting or crochet project going on. I wanted to be making something while I healed. Each project is a beautiful representation of the healing I’ve received, albeit at the price of many piercings, cuttings, and stitchings. Each one was begun just prior to surgery and completed during the days and weeks following.


The first one I called Resurrection Shawl. You can read more about it here if you like.


The second one, I called Adventure Shawl.


And for this third surgery, I began a crochet Ripple blanket made by Lucy’s instructions.


But since I couldn’t very well haul all the yarn to hospital, I also chose the Hitchhiker Shawl to knit using a gorgeous hand-dyed yarn by AndreSueKnits. Her blog and Etsy shop are a delight!


My Crochet2Heal blanket now covers my belly and legs as I sit crocheting with the rich saturated colors by the Christmas tree, healing with every stitch.

I can honestly say that I’m glad I’ve gone through the “violence” once again.  I’m hopeful that this time will be the last for this chapter of my life. I already, 11 days out from major surgery, feel relief from everything that was ailing me prior to the surgery. I am SO grateful! I realize that not everyone who endures surgery receives the relief they were seeking. But I knew that to even have a chance of being able to live my life fully again, I had to endure this violence.

It was the only way. It was and is a miracle.  Each shawl and blanket is a testament to that miracle.

Now, if the stitching on my belly could be just as lovely as the stitching of these yarn items….that would be great…Ha!

0 thoughts on “The Violence to Healing

  1. Dr Cornelius Snorter says:

    Hello Jennifer. What great news that the surgery has helped. There are times when you think ‘Is going through all this worth it?’
    Of course it is but when you come out of the operation feeling so ill…eh?
    Wonderful painting and fantastic photographs. When I recently came home from hospital, I couldn’t move much and of course, it is quite cold in England at this time of the year. Luckily, my wife crochet a beautiful blanket to put over my legs.
    Merry Christmas and a Hospital Free New Year 🙂

    • jenpedwards says:

      Thank you Stew!! I am praying for the same thing for you! Health and a hospital free Nee Year! Theres something about a handmade blanket…I think they have extra healing in them! So glad your wife crocheted a blanket for you! I sleep under a quilt my mom made for me and a crocheted blanket i made. Warm and soothing! I hooe toubare able to move around a bit more easily and pain free now. Please keep me posted…i am prayin fir tou daily. Merry Christmas Stew!!

  2. captelaine says:

    Such good news that you are healing and the surgery has helped give you a better quality of life… keep knitting those lovely things, you are healing your body and your soul. Take care of you.

  3. whimseytopia says:

    I’ve not been following you long enough to understand this post, but I am glad you have gotten relief from your surgery and that you are healing both physically and emotionally. Knitting is therapeutic for some; not so much for others. It depends upon your abilities, and my abilities are not that great. Nonetheless, I spend time in a knitting group because I know the camaraderie is healthy and fun, and I love watching everyone else create beautiful things while I suffer the circles of my silly hat – which will be felted anyhow.

    Happy Holidays. I hope you continue to heal and feel better. I know I’ve said this before, but I LOVE your avatar. You are adorable. Patsye

  4. freebirdsings says:

    Whew! I am so glad you are already feeling relief. It sounds like the difference between my husband’s quadruple bypass and his kidney removal. As much as it hurt right after his sternum had been broken apart to reach his heart that was a healing surgery and afterwards his heart could get more of the oxygen filled blood all through his body so although it was quite painful he could feel a sort of relief.

    That wasn’t how it happened with the kidney which turned into a cancerous organ and needed removal. For that surgery a major organ was now missing and his body instead of getting relief, had to learn to function on half the filter capacity it had before. It took much longer to heal and hurt for much longer too.

    I say this because it sounds like this time, your body has already learned it is missing a piece and it didn’t like what was added in the second surgery so to your body, this third surgery is taking away the problem piece, is used to the already missing part and now is feeling a bit of relief! I am so glad. Your life is going to feel much like “back to normal” I think very soon! I’ll keep the prayers going just to be on the safe side!

    Love the colors of your afghan and that is an intriquing bit of knitting with the zigs and zags. I’ll have to take a look at the site to see just what it is! Keep knitting and crocheting and keep healing!

    I think you will be having a merry Christmas this year after all! Hooray!

    • jenpedwards says:

      Hooray indeed!! Thanks so mich Timaree for the prayers and well wishes! Im glad you’ll keep them coming…i do have a ways to go. But im so grateful for how well it is going! I do hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

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