Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)
TITLE: Love Blankets
By Karen Treharne
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“It’s a group of women who sew baby blankets for local hospitals.” Marci replied. “We meet every first and third Tuesday mornings at church. You should join us. We have a lot of fun.”
“Oh, I’m not interested in that sort of thing, and besides I’m too busy with bowling and the gym, and my three kids …”
They chatted a while longer before going their separate ways.
A week later, Marci saw Jody at the post office. “I missed you at church Sunday. I hope there’s nothing wrong.”
“No. We’re all fine. Mike didn’t feel like going, and I felt lazy myself, so we stayed home. The kids complained a little because they like “Kid’s World”, but they got over it. I see you have a package you’re mailing.”
“Yes. Actually, it’s going to my sister in Austin. She and a group of neighbors are starting a Linus Club, and I’m sending them a few samples. Have you changed your mind about joining our group?”
Jody shifted her youngest son, Tyler, to her left arm. Her smile faded.
“Marci, I don’t know how to say this without hurting your feelings, but I’m really not interested in your club, and I’d appreciate it if you’d quit mentioning it every time we’re together.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry Jody. I didn’t mean to pressure you. I understand.”
Jody turned her back and left the building. Marci felt terrible. She liked Jody but no matter what she said, Jody took it the wrong way. Marci prayed for another opportunity to speak with her.
They didn’t meet again until the middle of September when Marci practically tripped over Jody as she rounded a corner heading for the hospital nursery.
“I’m so sorry”, Marci stammered. “I wasn’t watch …. Jody! What are you doing here? Is someone sick?”
Jody stared back at the her with a blank look on her face. She looked down at her hands which she held tightly in her lap, and Marci sat down beside her.
“I brought Tyler in yesterday. He’s been having trouble breathing and coughing at night. I thought it was just a cold, but then he coughed up blood. Dr. Henderson admitted him for tests.” Jody cried and Marci put her arms around her shoulders.
The two women sat side by side, neither of them speaking for a few minutes. Marci prayed silently while Jody composed herself.
“Jody, let me give this box of baby stuff to the nurses at the desk. I’ll be right back.”
When she returned, the doctor was talking to Jody.
“It looks like pneumonia, but I’d like to rule out tuberculosis. That’s not likely, but there have been more cases reported recently and his symptoms are similar.” He patted her shoulder. “Try not to worry. We’ll just keep Tyler another couple of days, start him on an antibiotic, and see how he does.”
“Oh, Jody. You must be beside yourself. And Tyler must be so scared without you. Let’s go see him. I’ll call my husband at work and let him know where I am and that I’ll be late.”
The news on Thursday wasn’t good. Tyler did have TB and was going to have to be watched closely as they tried to get the disease under control. Marci visited every day and the two mothers soon became close friends.
The following Tuesday, Jody unexpectedly walked into the Linus meeting room. Tyler was with her and gurgled a smile at Marci as the two women embraced.
“He’s getting better and the doctor says he’s out of danger. It was touch and go there for awhile as you know, but now I think we’ve got it licked.”
“That’s awesome, Jody. Come and sit and meet the other girls.”
Before long, Jody was sewing on a blanket, laughing, and enjoying the relaxing time. She stopped and looked around the room.
“You know”, she said, “I didn’t realize how much joy your gifts brought to others until I was at St. Joe’s with my son. It was so rewarding to watch the smiles on the faces of mothers when their sick babies were given your clothes and blankets. But when I got a blanket for Tyler, I was overwhelmed with emotion.” She brushed a tear from her face.
“At any rate, I want to thank you. And it seems that I have time, after all, to give back some of that love.”
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