Archives for the month of: June, 2013

IMG_20130524_174401_177 Hattie and I have been making secret plans to celebrate her dad tomorrow. I’ve got fathers on the brain and recognize I am fortunate to have grandfathers, a father, and a husband whom I admire for infinite reasons. Over the years, I’ve witnessed these men recover from health crises like heart surgery, knee surgery, or back injury, sweat through therapy session after therapy session, change how they live because they didn’t want to settle, and teach me much about the powers to heal and forgive. They inspire me to be the best person I can be—the healthiest person I can be.

I’d like to thank these and all the other dads who are healthy role models (especially those who’ve just joined the ranks this spring!). I hope you get to spend father’s day with the people who adore you and appreciate every hard decision you make. Thank you for teaching us ways to conquer challenges that at times seem insurmountable. Thank you for giving us so many good reasons to keep going.


“Why are you doing that?” Hattie asks.

I’m sewing a button onto her dad’s shorts. “Because it’s Daddy’s favorite pair.”

“Oh.” Hattie leaves and comes back dragging a big, very old green blanket. “Can you fix this? It’s my favorite.”

All of us love this blanket.

All of us love this blanket.

This blanket, it has history. It used to comfort me when I was Hattie’s age and visiting my grandmother’s farmhouse. When I was in college, I would travel north to visit Grandma after she’d been placed in hospice at a local nursing home. I’d stay at her house by myself, and after a day visiting with her, I’d wrap up in the blanket. On one of my last visits, she told me to take it home—out of the blue—“I’d like to know it’s getting good use” is what she said. What I heard was, I’d like to know you have something of mine for comfort. I took it, and it’s covered my bed all these years until I got married and leveled up to king-size. Hattie has it on her bed now, and she shows me how the satin is tearing away at the seams.

I go to the closet and rummage until I find my sewing machine. “You know how to sew this?” Hattie says. It feels good to surprise her. She thinks she knows me so well. “Will you teach me?”

“Yes.” I promise. As I pin, then run the soft material through the machine, I can’t help but think about the power to repair. Three generations now and this blanket still sheppards sweet dreams. As I explain my steps, I’m teaching Hattie how to care for it when I can’t (providing the synthetic fabric doesn’t finally give out). It makes me appreciate taking care of our bodies too, taking time to repair the scraped knee, the strained back, the stomach’s acid, the head’s ache…even though it takes time. Time I’d rather be doing something else. (Seriously. Therapy can get booooring.) But we’re fragile, like this fuzzy, green blanket, and without attention, knowing when and where we’re fraying, and patience, taking time to figure out what needs to be done to repair it, things can get out of hand. Things can deteriorate so much they become beyond repair. My motto? Always darn it. Let’s keep things in good working order for as long as we can.