Dear C & W
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Karen, a lifelong resident of New Jersey. I "met" C's sister, A, through work. When Hurricane Sandy hit NJ last year, my parents lost the first floor of their Long Beach Island home. Like you, they lost a lot. Due to health reasons, I was unable to visit LBI to help my parents empty our lifelong memories out onto the curb. My husband, son and in-laws were able to go down, and the photos of devastation they brought home were beyond anything I could have imagined. Fortunately, their 1950s bungalow was not their primary residence.
When our lives started to get back to "normal" I was able to talk to A and she told me about your home and the total upheaval of your lives.
It was during this period that I knew I wanted TO DO something to help besides donate to the Red Cross. Since I have allergies to molds, etc, I couldn't volunteer down in the effected areas.
Then an idea struck me! I'm a knitter! And I know lots of people who knit! Why not make something for the folks I know directly and indirectly, right?
So I posted on twitter and on Ravelry (a website for knitters) and invited my friends to help me create 12" x 12" squares that I have been piecing into blankets (so far we've donated one, and will probably receive enough for two more!).
In addition to those squares, I received an email from one of my dearest friends, a designer, K. K's mom, Mrs G, had started an 8" x 8" mitered blanket in approximately 2006 or 2007 as a gift to her husband Dr G.
Unfortunately, Dr G passed away before she could finish, and the squares were packed away in her home for several years. To say that Dr and Mrs loved each other would be an understatement. They spent over 40 years together and raised a wonderful trio of daughters, all who are creative and nature-loving.
Mrs G grew up in Rhode Island and would often talk about "the great hurricane" from her childhood whenever storm season would hit the eastern seaboard. She then lived in New Jersey for 30+ years and often donated her time to charities and people in need.
In mid-October 2012, Mrs G fell ill and wound up in the hospital. She passed away two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, on the day my husband, son and in-laws were on LBI with my parents. It was one of the saddest days for me.
In the weeks that followed, K and her sister's began to go through Mrs G's possessions and found the mitered squares she had knit 5 years before. K, knowing of my blankets, spoke to her sisters and they unanimously agreed that I should take them and finish the blanket to donate.
I personally knit the last few squares, seamed them all together, added a border and carefully reinforced any weak yarn/stitches I could find...But most of the extra love and TLC knit into this special blanket were provided by Mrs G herself.
It is with great pride and honor that I present this blanket to you both. The residents of Oceanport are fortunate to have two such extraordinary residents during this difficult time. I hope this blanket can help (literally) wrap you in some comfort and help you begin to feel a new sense of "home".
All our best, from my home, K's family, and knitters everywhere!