Archive for November 11th, 2014

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

A few weeks ago I wrote about making a prayer blanket for a friend whose baby was born prematurely. It was the first prayer blanket I ever made, and frankly, I had high hopes for its prayer power. I wrote a sweet note with the gift thinking that one day finding it tucked into her baby book, the child would read it as an adult.

Enough of my selfish plans. The victory was not mine to decide. I had no part in this.

Vivian died. Her too tiny body fought valiantly for 6 weeks. Two days before her death, I had given her dad my prayer blanket gift. This is not the way it was supposed to go.

I met Vivian today for the first time. She was wrapped tightly in the smallest casket I have ever seen. She looked like a china doll. Her mother hugged me long and hard. She said, “The last time I held her, I wrapped her in the blanket. It’s the only picture I have of me holding her. I didn’t have a chance to post the pictures before…” We hugged and cried some more. And I realized my connection was not just to the baby, my connection was to her mother.

I arrived late at school and Kat met me at the door. She stopped and said, “You are late today.” I responded that I had been by the funeral home. Kat knows loss. She lost her ten year old daughter last year to a battle with a brain tumor. She listened to my selfish lament over the prayer blanket.

“You do not realize how important the material things are. People tell me Kamryn is always with me, and I know this. But I still have to touch.” Kat touched an angel pin on her shoulder and a flower bracelet on her wrist. She explained that my blanket will be that comfort to the mother. We cried together, and I felt blessed. God works mysteriously. Sending Kat in my pathway today led me to a deeper understanding.

I wrote this poem the day after I heard of Vivian’s death. I was still angry, but even then I knew that there was more.

What else can we do
but pray to the moon
high in the morning sky?
I bow my head to her,
cry out
“What were you thinking?”

Bombs went off in Syria.
A bomb exploded.
Vivian’s too tiny body
could not stand the blast.

The variegated pink clouds
float like the blanket
I crocheted, hooking stitch by stitch
repeating her name,
asking for victory.

You forgot to tell me
the victory would be yours.
The morning moon mocks
me with an illusion of a smile.

The sun in the east
continues to rise
always rise,
even though
Vivian’s eyes are closed.
The sun will still rise.
–Margaret Simon

Lucy, the therapy dog, was at the funeral home comforting grievers.

Lucy, the therapy dog, was at the funeral home comforting grievers.

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