The Blanket

Not too long after our daughter, Jesse, was born 53 years ago, Kate decided she wanted to knit a baby blanket for her. She hadn’t dabbled in knitting before, but this was something she really wanted to do.

She got off to a good start but found that being the mother of a newborn required more of her than she expected. It wasn’t long before she put it aside “for the time being.” I didn’t know how far along she had gotten. I only knew that she wasn’t knitting anymore. It came up in conversation once in a while, but she never finished.

As I made preparations for our move, I came across the blanket. It was one of those items that called for a decision. Take it with us? Give it away? Throw it away? I quickly decided to take it with us but wasn’t sure what I might ultimately do with it.

A couple of months ago, I was talking with the woman who lives next door to us. She’s a knitter and participates in a knitting group in our retirement community. The group knits blankets for oncology patients who make regular visits for chemotherapy. I told her about Kate’s blanket. She volunteered to finish it for me. I liked the idea and told her I would get it to her, but I didn’t get around to it.

Three weeks ago, she and I were going back to apartments after lunch. I remembered the blanket and asked her to wait a minute while I got it. The next day she told me how beautiful it was and how close it was to being finished. It only needed an edge, and it would be done.

A short time later, she said she was almost finished and wanted to know if I would like the blanket back or donate it to the chemo patients. I said would be happy to donate it and thought Kate would like that as well.

The next week she told me she liked the way it had turned out and had been thinking of what to do with it. She said she thought it might be a good addition to our community’s gift shop. All the proceeds go to a residents’ assistance fund. I gave her permission to put it up for sale. It became part of the shop’s inventory this past Monday.

I stopped by to take a look at it that afternoon; however, by the time I got there, the shop was closed. While I was at lunch yesterday, I received a text from my neighbor with a photo she had taken of the blanket with the sales tag that read, “$45, Handmade by Kate Creighton” My first thought was “I should buy that myself.”

When I got back to the apartment, I started to write an email to Jesse telling her that it was finished and was on sale. I wrote only a few words before changing my mind. I thought it would be nice if I bought it and gave it to our daughter whenever she becomes a grandmother. I headed straight for the gift shop. Fortunately, it was still for sale.

There were only two people in the shop as I entered. One is a resident who is one of a number of volunteers who staff the shop. The other is one of the staff members of our community. They greeted me and asked what they could do for me. I point to the blanket and told them I wanted to buy it. I asked if they knew the story behind it. They hadn’t, so I explained.

When I returned to the apartment, I draped the blanket across Kate’s lap and told her what I had done. Now we will be able to give it to Jesse for her first grandchild. She had a big smile and loved the way the blanket felt to her touch. It was a Happy Moment for both of us. Maybe we’ll give it to her the next time she comes to town.