Knitting for Roxanne


In April I learned that the midwife who was with me for the home births of all three of my children had passed away after battling cancer.  She was a well known figure in our community and had not announced her illness– I think so she didn’t have to answer questions everywhere she went.  Roxanne was an amazing person who supported and empowered women with a seemingly inexhaustible strength.  When I read the news, I wept, even though I was on a shuttle bus to the airport among strangers.

In the last month, I’ve been trying to come to grips with the idea that I wouldn’t see her again in the community, that she would never again remember my oldest son as her best child midwife at the birth of a younger sibling.  A home birth is an intimate thing.  It’s you, your partner, the midwife, and perhaps an assistant.  Roxanne was a part of the fabric of my history of creating a family.

So I designed a shawl for her that I have been knitting.  Each stitch pattern and its arrangement has a meaning for me and is a way to work my way through my grief.  I brought it with me to Roxanne’s memorial and even though I didn’t work on it there, it sat at my feet and I mentally wove the stories of her life with the stitches.  It’s a celebration, not a lament.  The color is bright and full of life and hope– the same things that Roxanne brought to me and left with me.


About Heddi Craft

Heddi Craft is a lifelong fiber artist and crafter. She has been designing shawls since 2014 and enjoys working with simple shapes and unique design features. She currently lives with her husband and three children in Santa Cruz, California, a coastal town with a mild climate that inspires her work.
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