finlaggan11

I’m having one of those reflective mornings. I got up early to start knitting (I am making something special). With a cup of tea I watched for the hare that comes by our window at first light, and listened to the final chapters of Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk (worth reading). I think I might look back on these months and find them interesting: it seems a time of changes, some larger, some more subtle. In terms of my post-stroke well being, I think its interesting that I have recently felt some improvements in recovery: I find I do not need quite as much sleep as I did previously. That is to say, where I definitely needed ten to twelve hours to stay on an even keel, I find I can now just about get by with eight. Though I still have the odd day in which I’m laid low with weird, unaccountable fatigue, these are happily much rarer. My body feels less tired too: actions such as descending hills and steps seem less clunky and troublesome, and two weeks of daily swimming in Portugal has made my left side a little stronger. Having enjoyed swimming in the sea once again, I intend to try some open water swimming closer to home. But I have to say that none this means I am feeling like my ‘old self’ or ‘as I was’ or anything. In some ways, the more ‘recovered’ I feel, the more profoundly aware I am of the distance between me and my post-stroke body. That is to say, that now, five years after my stroke, I have come to accept my body, but I never feel completely comfortable in it. I feel like I am inhabiting it, but it never feels like “me”. I think I thought I would stop being conscious of the difference of it, that its actions would become unconscious, that I would perhaps be able to stop making an effort to tell it what to do, but this has never happened. I honestly don’t think it ever will. I often wonder whether this sensation of alienation is just about the fact that I feel mild physical discomfort most of the time (because my body is uncomfortable, I am aware of it) or whether its because part of my brain is missing (the neurons that controlled my left side no longer exist, and the left side of my body now operates by grace of the same bit of my brain that controls my right). Either way, I suppose I am starting to get used to this body, even though I often feel removed from it.

But this is definitely a time of positive changes. The photograph at the top of this post is of Finlaggan – a place that is very special to Tom and I. In a few weeks time we shall be married there. After sixteen years together, and unable to imagine ever being apart, it is probably the right moment. Bruce will be there too, of course, and I shall be wearing something I’ve knitted. I have never really been that bothered by weddings – I’ve never had a hankering for white dresses or occasions – but I have to say that knitting my thing, and thinking about marrying Tom this morning is making me very happy. We are setting the seal on a life we’ve built together. In some ways little will alter, but it also feels quietly momentous. I promise I’ll show you the thing I’m making after we’re married. The yarn I’m working with is pretty special too.

Back to the knitting. Have a lovely weekend. xx

219 thoughts on “

  1. What a reflective journey: so much has happened since that horrible blog posting by Tom that you were in hospital. I can’t help but tear up – so many congratulations are in order.
    Better health, new wool, Bruce, getting married, new home …. that is all so lovely! Thank you for sharing all this with us.

    And … thanks SO much for the mention of H for Hawk. I’ve just downloaded it and it is something I need at the moment: calm, slightly introspective, and ever so interesting to a “I know nothing” wannabe naturalist! PLEASE share other books you might like/listen to!

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  2. Congratulations to you and Tom. I am glad you are doing what makes you both happy in whatever way works for you. My husband and I got married on our 11th year together and it was surprising and marvelous. I am sure it will be for you and Tom as well. I look forward to your knit thing, mine was just something to wrap around flowers.

    Thank you for all that you have shared about your health over the years. I find it inspires me to remember to treat myself with more care than I tend to. I’ve had some much less severe issues over the years but they have had permanent chronic effects. Most would never know I often feel limited, or not myself, with all that I do, but it is something I think about every day. The way you have approached things helps me remember I can be frustrated but getting mad at myself is not at all helpful. Also that I should remember to enjoy the things I can do and not focus on how much more I used to do in a given situation. Thank you!

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  3. Kate, congratulations to you and Tom. You’re right, it is “quietly momentous” to say those words and make those promises in front of the world – did it myself and was taken aback at how much it meant to this old cynic! I wish you all the best XX

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  4. That’s wonderful, I am happy for you, Kate. It’s been a long way, so great you make that step now, too. Congratulations!

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  5. Congratulations, Kate! I am a great admirer of you way of life, courage and (of course) wonderful work. This is a very special occasion and can’t wait to see your new project. Wishing you to remain as happy as you look now!

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  6. Most heartfelt congratulations to you and Tom. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and knitting your designs for years, and followed your journey through and beyond your stroke. It has been a privilege to be along for the ride–creative process, personal recovery, vicarious travel, and fun doggy adventures, too. Thank you. Currently my aunties and I are all knitting Fantoosh! We will raise our needles to you and wish you and Tom all the happiness in the world!

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  7. That is really the most ☆☆wonderful☆☆ news, Kate! Both myself and Hubby Duncan who is also a fan of your blog (he knows I have been following you for years and took to reading it himself) send you and Tom many wishes of happiness for the future.

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  8. Ahhh, this has made me a little misty-eyed. Such a lovely post. I love early mornings (although fewer hares more foxes round this way…) and I love to think of you knitting something special at that time of day. I am pleased you are still seeing improvements (open water in scotland though, brrr). The discomfort must be so disconcerting and odd that I still have everything crossed that it will ease in time but it still must be very frustrating.
    BUT congratulations! I’m so happy for you both. Sounds lovely and super special. Let us hear it for true love! Lxxx

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  9. Kate, I find your commentary on your continuing post-stroke recovery tremendously interesting. I am sorry, however, to hear that you still don’t really feel like “yourself”…I hope that one day, despite your misgivings, that you might feel more comfortable in your own body again. If you are interested, you could look into alternative therapies to see if any might help. Personally I am a particular believe in Jin Shin Jyutsu should you want to try something along those lines — it is based on the premise of harmonising ourselves/our bodies, and has been very effective for me.

    And all the best to you and Tom! Hope the ceremony is lovely and looking forward to seeing your special knitting.

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  10. So happy for you both. I hope the new ‘normal’ continues to improve and that there’ll come a time you feel like you again. I look forward to seeing the precious made thing xxx

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  11. Oh, congratulations, Kate and Tom! I’ve read your blog for years and, although I’m usually a lurker, this post is worth a hurrah! Joy to both of you!

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  12. I had the fun today of listening to you 😊 (I loved it!)
    Congratulations on the joy of loving & being loved! I hope your day is beautiful & you’ll share stories & pictures. Bruce, of course, has to be there.

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  13. Kate, I find your observations on your post-stroke body to be profoundly interesting. I hope that someday you might someday feel like yourself again…if you are interested, I highly recommend you look into alternative therapies for healing. The one I would most recommend is called Jin Shin Jyutsu and is about harmonising our bodies and our energy…for me, I feel, it has worked wonders–with time and patience and love.

    And all the best to you and Tom! Hooray! Looking forward to seeing your special knitting project. :)

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  14. Many congratulations on your upcoming wedding. And what a beautiful setting! Wishing the three of you a wonderful day and much happiness.

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  15. Congratulations to you both, and best wishes. Standing by each other through thick and thin, that’s what you’ve been doing all the time, isn’t it? Seems to me that you already know what marriage is all about! Double cheers to you.

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  16. Congratulations! We got married two years ago this August after being together 14 years. We wanted to be “more” to each other. Cannot wait to see your knitted thing. So happy for you. He seems like a wonderful man for a wonderful woman.

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  17. Congrats. That is so exciting and special. I (selfishly) find it especially lovely to learn about it when I’m sitting quietly drinking tea on the morning of my own anniversary and looking forward to my husband waking so I can greet him. I hope you will both enjoy many, many more lovely years growing together.

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  18. just visiting your blog for the first time (I have been to your design pages very often). Such a lovely post–thoughtful and eloquent. I have a feeling you are in for a treat with your wedding day and wish you the best and a continued recovery!

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  19. Many thanks for all your blog posts all these years. I think I found your blog about four years ago and have found them interesting and inspiring. Your photos of Bruce are lovely, he is such a wonderful dog. In fact all your photos are beautiful. I also feel that you have been exceptionally generous in sharing your post stroke journey with me and for that I feel most grateful, because a stroke is something that can happen to anyone at any time and I think if it happened to me your story would give me hope. Many congratulations on your forthcoming wedding, I wish you both every happiness for the future.

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  20. All wonderful things for you and Tom. We married this April after 22 years together – no white in sight, but surrounded by happiness and love, it was a fabulous day. We never thought a piece of paper would make a difference to our relationship, but it really does. Wishing you many years of joy together!

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  21. Congratulations to both of you on this momentous occasion! The place you have chosen for the ceremony is beautiful. Wishing you every happiness!

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  22. Comrade, what a lovely post. You reminded me of the two hares I saw together when I was doing my walks around the A4074. I met them at dawn and watched them run around and around the field together, I was not sure if they were chasing each other or playing or a bit of both, but their energies were marvelous and these animals always remind me of you.

    Your words about your own experience of your body five years after your stroke are moving and honest and I can relate to some of them.I feel strange when I see old photos of myself with straight toes and fingers and I know that having becoming disabled in my twenties I will never again experience the amazing sensations of invincibility and ease which I enjoyed beforehand. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean by “me-ness” but that is what me-ness means to me.I really miss not having to think about my energy levels or pain, and the amazing optimism and fearlessness that attended my pre-arthritis life and I am sure the same is true for you.

    The only sort of silver lining that I gained through becoming disabled is that it forced me to be much clearer with the people who love me about my needs and feelings. It was embarrassing and difficult to have to learn to ask for things for which my former invincible self would never have asked, but in my case developing these skills through disability enabled me to build the most supportive and equal romantic partnership I have ever enjoyed.

    Love cannot fix the horrorshow of serious illnesses but I think that epic things come of finding someone who can survive them with you, who can support your recovery and who can share the milestones and triumphs as well as comprehend the completely shit parts.

    I feel you and Tom were destined to be life partners long before you had your stroke but I think that how you have handled everything together after it is a true testimony to the strength of your partnership. You are both amazing and no amount of big white dresses or expensive wedding planning could be a greater statement of your love than the story you tell here.

    Huzzah for keeping it real, for building a life and a love worth celebrating, and for the grace and honesty with which you share it, you really are amazing and inspiring. xxx

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  23. All the best to you and Tom, Kate. This really is a culmination in every sense of the word, and may you continue with long and happy lives together.

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  24. Congratulations to you both, may you have many, many happy years together.//I also would like to thank you for being so forthright about how you feel, you are helping so many others that also do no longer live in the same body.//All the best wishes, Anne

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  25. Congratulations to you and Tom – I hope you have a wonderful day. I can recommend married life – we will celebrate our 29th anniversary next month!

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  26. Such a movable post and so wonderful news. I’m so happy for you and Tom (and Bruce). My husband and I have been (happily) married for 25 years this year and I would do it again! Wishing you many more than 25 years of happiness together.

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  27. Dear Kate, blessings on you and Tom as you move on to the next stage of your life. Your reflections brought to mind the thought that although your body is not the same, the essence of Kate is still very much unchanged, the beautiful soul of you. Thank you for making us part of your life. It enriches all of ours.

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  28. Congratulations! Both on some post-stroke improvements and on getting married. Wishing you and Tom many many years of health and happiness.

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  29. Congratulations Kate and Tom, I’m looking forward to seeing your knitted dress! I can empathise a lot with you over your post stroke recovery. I have similar physical difficulties but the cause is different. I too have had to adapt to a different life and come to terms with not getting the old one back. What is paramount is acceptance – not only to minimise the physical and emotional pain, but to be happy going onwards. You may not be where you thought you’d be and it is frustrating not physically being able to do things you want to do, but a different life brings its rewards to such as a different career for you that brings so many people you don’t know joy, and your relationship with Tom which I’m guessing has been strengthened by what you’ve both been through. On a lighter note I’m getting two more raised beds in my garden for planting veg – will nearly have as many as you! When I had a life without chronic pain I wouldn’t have thought that growing things would give me such fulfilment, but now I love eating what I’ve grown and also get a real sense of achievement when I’ve knitted one of your patterns and have a beautiful home-knitted new garment to wear. The last one I finished was Owligans – now I’m on Catkin.

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  30. As another long-time (15 years) co-habitee who doesn’t ‘do’ weddings, your post has made me very happy- because I love other people’s! Congrats and good luck.

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  31. Wonderful news! Congratulations to you and Tom. Can’t wait to see the dress and the pictures. Hope you’ll have great weather, too!

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  32. Congratulations!
    My best wishes to you, Tom, Bruce and the cat (hope he is well…you did not write about him for a long time…)

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  33. Congratulations Kate. Something does change when you get married, it is subtle but it is deep and curious.

    Bodies are strange creatures. When they change slowly we barely notice but the radical changes which come from injury, illness or even childbirth make us self conscious anthropologists in our own skins, always watching and noticing whilst living with the ghost of our previous body like a shadow.

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  34. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Looking forward to seeing your wedding knit project. My first guess was a beaded shrug but I think it will be something a bit more complex.
    Thank you for writing this blog. I am enjoying reading it.

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  35. Dear Kate
    I have read your blog for years and i just want you to know how happy i am for you and Tom. Congratulations!!!! And yes, what a beautiful place to get married. And Bruce being there will just be awesome!

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  36. Congratulations to you and to Tom! My eyes filled with happy tears as I read your post. Your courage and your determination to embrace life has my utmost admiration. May you share many more years of happiness and love.

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  37. Wow, congratualations on yours and Tom’s forthcoming event! That is big, very very special indeed. I can’t wait to see your knitted ‘thing’. I also was married this year, in March, to someone I celebrated a 20 year anniversary of ‘being with’ only last summer, and I must say, it just set the perfect tone for feeling everything in it’s place.

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  38. Thank you so much for your honesty. Luckily I count myself to the group of people not having your experiences. For us it always seems so easy to say: what do you want? You are alive, you survived a stroke, you are not bond to a wheelchair… But I suppose being trapped in a body which maneuvers so strange in many ways is definitely hard to take. And feels definitely strange. So with all these parameters to count in, I appreciate your decision to marry the man of your life. Take my warmest wishes.
    And show us your garment. Soon. Please.

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  39. What wonderful news Kate! Congratulations to both you and Tom. Every time I visit Islay, I make a journey out to Finlaggan. It is such a beautiful, atmospheric place and I am sure it will make a lovely setting for your nuptials. I find your posts about your recovery very illuminating. Your determination is integral to the positive changes you have experienced and is very inspiring. All the best.

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  40. Dear Kate,
    What a lovely post! I think you are exactly right that momentous occasions–in this case such a happy one–can make us reflect on all aspects of our lives. Your reflections are, as always, so thoughtfully and beautifully written.
    All best, Marina

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  41. Thanks, once more, Kate, for a very thoughtful, insightful and informative piece about your life post-stroke. Thank you for having the courage and will to write about your experiences. You help more than you can possibly know.

    Best wishes to you and Tom on your upcoming marriage. I love the expression “setting the seal” on a life together. When one finds a like-minded partner to go through life with, it is immensely satisfying to acknowledge such a partnership. The act of marriage affirms to the world that you two are now one, shoulder to shoulder, to be there for each other, always.

    Congratulations.

    MaryB

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  42. Felicitations to you and Tom! Our daughter had a stroke at age three. There is always ‘What if…’ but we would not change her. She has made a beautiful life as you have with Tom, and of course Bruce. May you have many years of happiness.

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  43. My heartiest congratulations to both of you and! of course, Bruce! I look forward to seeing this special project and a photo or two of the very special occasion!

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  44. Great that you two are going to tie the knot. I can recommend marriage, just about to celebrate our 45th anniversary.
    Great that you can do so many things again.
    Great that you are alive, you can think, speak and move around… And knit!
    My beloved friend, Barb, at 76 had a brain haemorrhage in January. She will never recover like you have.
    Your body will always be different than before, but our bodies change with age anyway, so just see it as a hurdle you have got over and keep positive. You are young and that’s probably why you have recovered so well.
    Spare a thought for Barb, whose right side is completely paralysed and who can’t articulate at all. She just talks gobbledygook with a few recognisable words, but nothing makes sense.
    Cheers and keep on knitting.
    Jeanie

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  45. So deeply glad for you and Tom. Marriage changes nothing and everything. May yours be blessed.

    Having marked my own 5 year anniversary of brain injury this spring, I too have been reflecting. I have come to accept – most of the time – that the new normal is not quite the same as the old, and that you can never go back. Given the remarkable improvements that you and I have both experienced since our accidents, however, I’d never put a limit on the brain’s continuing capacity to adapt.

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  46. Warmest congratulations Kate! Looking forward to seeing that special knitted creation
    Thanks for your truly beautiful post…

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  47. What a quietly special post. Wishing you so much happiness in your anticipation and on the day and beyond, and can’t wait to see your special knitted something.

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  48. Huge congratulations! What wonderful news – wishing you and Tom much happiness as a married couple. There is something very nice about being married, I find. I’m sure you will too – you already have many happy years behind you, so the very best of wishes.

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  49. Llongyfarchiadau! Congratulations from Wales Kate and Tom, not forgetting Bruce. I love reading your blog and I love your knitting too – you have inspired me to extend my knitting skills. I hope your wedding goes off wonderfully and that it will be an occasion to look back on together in the years to come.

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  50. Tous mes voeux de bonheur pour votre prochain mariage Kate et Tom ! Très heureuse pour vous ! Love love love and good health are really the most important in life.

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  51. Many congratulations to you and Tom. What a celebration of a wonderful relationship together. Looking forward to your photos and hearing all about it!

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  52. Congratulations Kate and Tom and Bruce . Delighted to hear the news and eagerly looking forward to photos of your wonderful day in that special place.
    I yearn for another trip to Islay,health & happenstance have meant 3 years absence from that very special island.

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  53. Your happy thoughts, reflections and appreciations are infectious and ripple through your readers. Thanks and have the happiest if days. Can’t wait to see what you’ve knitted!

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  54. Congratulations! We too were married after a 15 year relationship and this year celebrate our silver wedding, for us the wedding wasn’t the start but a lovely affirmation. Have a great party, can’t wait to see the ” thing”.

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  55. many congratulations on your upcoming wedding! while I have only observed it from afar through your blog, yours and Tom’s seems an excellent, loving, and mutually supportive partnership to me. Your wedding sounds like it will be really lovely. And I look forward to seeing the knitting… :)

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  56. ♡ Congratulations to you both, and to Bruce, of course! ♡ May the happiest and best wishes always be yours for many loving years to come! I am glad you are feeling more adjusted, per say, and especially glad that improvements are still coming.

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  57. Wonderful news about the impending wedding. My husband and I have been together sixteen years too, but got married at nine and a half years. I hope the rest of your lives together are delightful, long and comfortable

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  58. Oh, Kate! I’m so delighted for you both that I just burst into tears. It’s going to be the best knitted something that ever there was. So pleased.

    I was going to mention something about your body awareness but I’m not, because I’m too pleased about your news.

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  59. Many congratulations to you both on your forthcoming wedding. I am so pleased for you even though I’ve never met you. Bruce will make a perfect page boy :)

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  60. Well it looks like the perfect spot for a wedding. Congratulations! Having your dog at your wedding is essential to a long life together. We had our German Shepherd named Ginger at ours and we have been together for 37 years!

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  61. I’m so happy for you! This is just lovely news – many congratulations, and I can’t wait to see what you’re knitting for that important day.

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  62. Congratulations to you! As someone who doesn’t set much store by weddings, but has been married for 40 years – I do believe in marriage. Though when I fill in a form, or am asked I answer, ‘Partner’ as he is my life partner. As you two are as well. I wish you continued life and happiness together xx

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  63. You have come a long way. It’s a frustrating road to follow but life ahead looks good for you. Strokes are fearsome events, and you have conquered much. Congratulations on your full life.

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  64. It’s so funny that you wrote this post, as I woke up this morning thinking about your story and stroke and progress, etc., and was wondering how you are doing on that front. Perhaps you were in mind as you’ve been posting frequently in recent days. I’ve been following your blog for a long time, although I’m not a frequent commentator. I wish you and Tom all good things. I am going through physical changes related to a couple of injuries and one illness five years ago – nothing as grave as a stroke, of course – so I am often thinking about how my body doesn’t always seem quite like “my” body, which has always done what I wanted it to do. Aging in general is a strange thing though as one doesn’t feel middle-aged on the inside.

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  65. Congratulations Kate. Thank you for sharing. You are an amazingly talented, strong, and beautiful woman. I wish nothing but the best for you, Tom and Bruce.

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  66. Lovely picture and beautiful words. Mille grazie for sharing your thoughts and your wonderful news about the forthcoming nuptials.

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  67. a lovely posting. H is for Hawk is a most special read. Finlaggan looks like a perfect place for a wedding. Kate, keep walking, keep swimming; and you and Tom please do have a long, happy life together. Bruce can come too.

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  68. Kate, how wonderful! Congratulations and all best wishes for many happy years together. And thank you for explaining so clearly what it’s like post-stroke; like a number of your other readers, I have a close relative who has suffered a devastating stroke, and your description makes it so much easier to understand what is happening.

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  69. My very best wishes for a wonderful day, your day! I am glad to hear that you see small improvements in your physical progress, and I hope you see many more of them.

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  70. This is such good news this morning and congratulation to you both. Perhaps Bruce will give us all an update with photos of the wedding? He’s a good writer too!

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  71. Congratulations, Kate! Warm wishes from an appreciative fan…who loves your patterns, your words, and your honest heart. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. Best wishes for a beautiful wedding day!

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  72. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. And thank you for sharing your thought on your post-stroke recovery. My brother had one over 5 years ago and it really helped me to understand what he went through by reading your posts.

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  73. Congratulations!

    1. I thought you were already married, to be honest. :-)
    2. I’m glad Bruce is included!
    3. I hope you’ll share a pic of the three of you on that day.

    Enjoy everything.

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  74. Heartfelt congratulations to you and Tom! Your blog is one of the first things I read every morning both for the knitting and the insights you offer. I’m sure the wedding will be lovely and with Bruce’s assistance, exciting. Can’t wait to read what you and he have to say about it in the future.

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  75. What a place to be married in! A few years ago, DH and I visited Finlaggan and encountered a small group of friends who often travel together. There they were on Finlaggan with whisky from the nearby distillery, just a bit of mist, and they had brought a piper with them. It was truly the most magical drinks party we had ever witnessed. We came away knowing we had just experienced true serendipity. May your day–and your life–be magical.
    And know that recovery continues for a very long time. So you will always feel improvements, and it could be that one day you will escape that “strange body” feeling.

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  76. Congratulations Kate! How very happy I am for you and Tom. May your life continued to be blessed with the happiness, comfort and support you have found in each other.

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  77. All the best to you and Tom!

    I love your description of marriage as the seal for the life you’ve built together.

    Have a beautiful day. Sounds like it will be my favorite kind of wedding: one where there are no distractions from what people have gathered to celebrate.

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  78. I can’t imagine anything more romantic! Sitting knitting something for your wedding to be held in such a stunning setting! I always enjoy reading your blog and along with all your other readers, totally admire your honesty and bravery in dealing with the effects of your stroke. It is such an insight. Wishing you and Tom a wonderful day and continued happiness together. Congratulations!

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  79. Much love from Wendy in Qatar, who just shed some happy tears for you. I’ve followed your blog for years now, and you inspire me (not only to travel and knit). Wishing you a glorious day and many more years together.

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  80. What lovely news. Congratulations! I don’t often post on your blog but always read it. Lots of love to all of you for a wonderful day and a very long and happy life together.

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  81. Kate- Mazel Tov! Congratulations! Such wonderful news! Regarding both your recovery and your wedding. My Paul & I are about to celebrate our 7th Wedding Anniversary and we’re going to your city to celebrate – Philadelphia! We were in our 50’s & 60’s when we married. And I feel so blessed that we found each other at our Temple. Our relationship has gotten richer and deeper. I wore a shawl that I had knit when we got married. All the Best to you, Tom and Bruce!

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  82. Having red your blog for years, I feel as if I know you, Kate. I cried when I read your latest post. Best wishes to you and Tom. And much much happiness.

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  83. Many congratulations to you and Tom! I never have been into weddings or occasions myself (even my own – haha!) but marriage is a very different thing. So glad you are able to do it in a way that suits you. CANNOT wait to see your knitted thing! Glad to hear you are starting to feel a bit better too x

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  84. Congratulations to you both! What a wonderful place for a wedding. We visited Islay last year, in very hot weather – travelling across on the new ferry – The Finlaggan. Then we visited Finlaggan one morning, it felt like such a magical place. We did have the added entertainment of a sea plane trying to take off on the loch. We thought we would stay and watch, but the man cutting back the grass said that the pilot had been trying for hours. It must have worked eventually as we saw the plane overhead on our way to the Islay woollen mill. The peace of Finlaggan was still evident luckily.
    We must return to Islay, but this year it will be Orkney for the first time. If the weather is good we may take the small plane to North Ronaldsay to see the seaweed eating sheep.

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  85. What lovely news of your upcoming wedding. Best of everything to you & Tom. I’m sure Bruce will make an outstanding best man or ring bearer. Thank you for the thoughtful post about your post-stroke life. Each time you tell us more about how it is affecting your life, it helps me be more understanding of what my own husband is going through with his recovery.

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  86. Kate, I am sure you must know – or at least I hope you know – what an impact and motivation you have on your readers. I am currently on long-term disability due to cancer, and I can understand somewhat about being in a body that doesn’t feel like your own. Each day is a crap shoot, so to speak, in that I may be able to use my body and do what I’d planned to do. You have done -and continue to do – so much. I am so impressed.

    I admire you and wish you and Tom continued happiness.

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  87. Congratulations Kate!!I wish you and Tom all the best . I always follow your blog and your work and now you are like a good friend. Have a wonderful life together!!

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  88. Dear Kate, Tom and Bruce, congratulations!! How absolutely wonderful and lovely!

    And what a moving post, Kate. When it comes to wording your your post stroke life, you always hit the nail on the head. But I am happy for you still finding improvements.

    Cannot wait to see your special Bridal Wear! xo from Ohio, Johanna

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  89. I am beginning my day with a big smile now on hearing the wonderful news of your upcoming marriage. Blessings to you both.

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  90. I am so happy to hear your news….the love you share is evident in all your posts and pictures. Best wishes for a beautiful day (and such fun for Bruce!)

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  91. I have been following your blog for almost a year now. I love to read your posts not only because you are gifted with the talent of writing but I recognise the struggle of trying to find the body and life one had before illness took it away and accepting that although it might still improve, things will never be what they have been. I love your knitting so much. It is knitting that helped me in the past three years trying to find and accept the new me. I hope to visit your beautiful country one day ( I live in Belgium so that shouldn’t be too hard).
    I wish you all the best in your marriage and in finding and accepting the new you.

    Kaat

    Sorry for my not so perfect English

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  92. Congratulations on your forthcoming celebration. Can’t wait to see the pics and stories from you and Bruce about the day.
    As others have commented – it is a continuing challenge when your body is not what it once was or should be if you were healthy. Hope you have many good days and that they increasing out weigh the bad ones.

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  93. Dear Kate and Tom, congratulations!! How absolutely lovely! And I cannot wait to see what you are knitting. How special to knit your own ‘Bridal Wear’.

    And you have worded your post stroke situation so well. And I am happy for you keep finding improvements.
    Enjoy your special knitting!! xo from Ohio, Johanna

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  94. Many, many congratulations Kate, to you and Tom (and Bruce)!
    I’m really looking forward to seeing ‘the thing’ which I am quite sure will be amazing! :)
    Having read your blog for a long time I have always been impressed by your remarkable courage and determination and send my very best wishes for the future.
    V x
    P.S. Oh and I’m very jealous that you get a visit from a hare….wonderful!

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  95. Kate and Tom enjoy the day my sister recently got married after 32 years with her man they had a fantastic day we have been married for over 40 years and it doenst seem it, so yes some things will change but most will be the same for you great happiness for you both and look forward to seeing what you have made to wear Bruce will love it, thanks to your insight on you body post stroke, My husband had a mild stroke 5 years ago, still has tiredness and weakness on one side,the hardest for me to cope with is the panic attacks he now suffers, and the irrational fears of certain things especailly when we are not in our area and he is getting tired. he did not want to travel when he retires but that dosent seem as though it will now be possible because of that more than anything.

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  96. what a beautiful post….. I am so very very happy to hear about your forthcoming wedding….. Being married is quite special! It does make a difference, in the best possible way. I am so intrigued by your knitted outfit…. can’t wait for you to share it! Yes, I am sure living in a post-stroke body will always feel like what it is – ie. not what it was. Nevertheless (and I don’t say that lightly…. ), you have been treading – and no doubt will continue to tread your path with such grace, courage, honesty, and openness…. Huge big love for your wedding…. (frocks and champagne and dogs…!) What better way to celebrate where you are! I am already raising a glass to where you’re headed…. – Missus! xx

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  97. That huuuuge skein of cream yarn makes sense now. Grown up weddings are lovely. As are grown up marriages. May you continue to be happy.

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  98. Finlaggan is a beautiful place. We had a wonderful holiday in the cottages at Bunnahabhain when my lovely 20 year old daughter was a wee tot. Her favourite game was racing around, pointing at the carved grave markers where the “ghostie men” were. I hope you have a wonderful day, with sunshine, but I’m sure it will be lovely even if it’s dreich.

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  99. Beautiful words Kate. You have been on a long journey and it seems that it’s become a mystery tour, not knowing where you will be at the end, but not where you thought you were going! Just enjoy the view and the experiences on the way.

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  100. You write so well. If you liked “H is for Hawk” I am sure you would appreciate “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” by Elisabeth Tova Bailey even more.
    Have a wonderful wedding day and i hope your health continues to improve. Also hope the midges show some respect on the day…….

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  101. Oh Kate, what a wonderful spot! I hope the weather is kind and you enjoy each moment of your special day! I look forward to your and maybe Bruces’ feedback of the day eagerly and the viewing of your knitwear x

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  102. I am so pleased to hear about your wedding and look forward to whatever it is that you are making for the occasion. I have been married for 51 years and I can tell you that its a very comfortable institution–marriage, that is.

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  103. First of all, many congratulations to you and Tom, I’m thrilled for you both. I really look forward to seeing your special piece of knitting, I’m sure it will be wonderful. I’m also very interested to read if your continuing recovery. I am now 15 years post- life changing illness and it is only by looking back that I can appreciate how far I have progressed. I have learned to accept I will never be the old “me” again, but am grateful that I have improved. I have learned (the hard way) about my limitations and accept there are bad days and feel thankful for the good days. It’s very hard but I just keep going. I too experience constant pain and niggles but take their worsening as a sign to slow down and take time-out. Knitting has been my saving grace, it forces me to sit still and relax with the bonus of acquiring several garments of which I’m very proud.

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  104. Thanks for this, Kate. Helping our mother post-stroke has been very difficult for me and my sisters over the past year and reading your observations helps me to understand a little of what she’s going through. Have a wonderful and happy wedding day – look forward to seeing the dress xx

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  105. Interesting to read your feelings about your body, my Dad had a stroke last year and I think he thought he’d be fully recovered by now. Your post has helped me to have a more realistic view of the situation and altho I really feel for you, it must be awful to feel like your body isn’t really your own, somehow you have made me feel more positive about my Dad’s situation. Thanks so much for being so frank about how you are feeling. And congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Really wonderful news and I will look forward to seeing what you have made to wear on the big day!

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  106. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, Kate. I’ve never been that into weddings either, which somehow makes getting married more special, when you are doing it for the commitment and not concentrating on the day. I hope you have a great one x

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  107. Dear Kate and Tom, I’m sure I won’t be alone in offering you congratulations as you continue your journey together. As one who has completed forty years of my life sentence, I am delighted to assure you that the married state can still be a wonderful affirmation of love. Have a truly memorable occasion!

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  108. Congratulations, I’m thrilled for you and Tom. Have a wonderful day. I’m sure Bruce will have a fun day. I love his posts.

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