Many patients I tried to visit one morning were out of their rooms or sleeping. But finally, I came to a room where a patient was lying in bed. A woman I was to learn was his wife was sitting quietly close by. I stepped in and smiled as I told them briefly why I was there. The patient, Jack, looked cold and had the white hospital blanket pulled up to his chin. I told him I had handmade afghans on the Healing Cart made as gifts by the Hands for Healing Crafters in our community, and he was welcome to choose one.
He looked closely at the blankets and then at his wife. It was clear she was very emotional, and though I wondered why, I kept my focus on Jack. As he looked at her, he gently said,
“It should be the rainbow one, right, Honey?”
She nodded, and I could see she was close to tears. I placed the tissue box within easy reach as she nodded her thanks. I asked them to share the significance of the rainbow.
Jack again looked at his sobbing wife and gently asked,
“Shall I tell it, Honey?”
She again nodded her assent. It seems his mother-in-law, Linda, had collected rainbows for many years. Friends and family loved to give her rainbows in every medium – ceramic, photos, calendars; she had collected hundreds of such images, which she displayed throughout her home. Linda had passed several years prior, but whenever any family member sees a rainbow, they say, “Hi, mom!” believing she is saying “Hi,” letting them know she’s ok and sending her love.
To any crafters reading this who might think they’re ‘just making’ an afghan, scarf, shawl, neck roll pillow, whatever, think again. You are creating a gift that is going to touch a life. You are doing important work.