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More than a blanket

Written by Nik
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It’s reflection time!  With the most recent picture I shared on our FB page, I felt compelled to write. Project Chemo Crochet is quite an amazing endeavor. When this man was given this blanket, he told his nephew that it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for him. What a bold statement! What a deep appreciation for our work! Sometimes I get so busy and got up with the process of all of this that I forget how special each and EVERY blanket is to someone out there in the fight (or at least I hope it is).

Blankets have always been a “thing” with me. I am not embarrassed to admit that I still sleep with my baby blanket every night. It came along for my honeymoon and the birth of my daughter. It got me through my 32 years of life thus far. I remember having to sit in the corner at preschool because I wanted to hold my blankie at the table. It made me (and still makes me) feel like I was not alone when I am scared, nervous, or depressed. It lulls me to sleep on those difficult nights when my brain won’t turn off. It hugs me when I need it the most. Its smell (which is probably fowl and sour to most) takes me back to places in time that I would probably never remember otherwise. It makes me feel loved, supported, and not alone.

When I gave my mom the picture blanket for the first Christmas after she was diagnosed, she told me time and time again that she felt similarly about her blanket as I did mine. Her blanket was covered with pictures of me and my brother and my mom with her grandchildren. She told me it made her happy and when we (her family) couldn’t be there with her, she knew we were through this blanket. It covered her every step of the way and most times this was the only blanket she ever wanted as a cover. When she was in pain, she would go to her room and wrap herself in the blanket. It was her comfort, her support, and her love. It covered her in her final moments and draped over her as she was laid to her final rest.

I have received many messages from family members of recipients who have passed as well as pictures of some of our survivors in their fights who all share similar words as my mom. Even though the blankets may not consist of pictures of their loved ones, the amount of love in each blanket is ever present through the unique stitches and squares. Every square is made by hand by someone out there who cares, loves, knows the pain that cancer brings to either the person or family in the battle. I will never forget the story of Elaine’s sister who also was covered by our blanket in her final times and then laid to rest. We might not all know each other by name or face, but we are all connected in this crazy world by this dreadful disease and stitched together in every blanket. There is just something so amazing about this and sometimes is deserving of a step back and acknowledgment.

I encourage us all to never give up on our work that means so much. Please keep sending those squares. Keep submitting names of loved ones. And I will keep passing it all along.

I miss my mom. I hate cancer. I love what we are doing.

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