Saturday, December 18, 2010


This evening I stopped by the post office to mail two packages then headed to the church so I could drop off some music. I still had a couple errands and some grocery shopping to do, but when I saw the Elm Creek Nursing Home sign, I knew I had to stop there first.
For years my mother has made flannel lap robes for nursing home residents. I'd buy the flannel and either take it to Mom or ship it to her - back when postal rates were much more reasonable. She'd make lap robes and give them to me when I'd go up there for a visit. She knew I'd make sure they were given to people who needed them. On my last trip to Mom's house, she gave me a huge shopping bag and two smaller bags filled with lap robes and told me that was the last of them.
Mom will be 87 on Christmas Day and claims she has made her last "blankies", as she calls them. I understand why she isn't going to make them anymore. It's getting harder for her to see and frankly, it's difficult for her to remember how to work the sewing machine these days. It turned out, the last lap robes in the shopping bag were not finished, though Mom obviously thought they were. Some weeks ago, I took them to a small nursing home a few miles from here and, for whatever reason, before I went inside, I pulled some of them out of the shopping bag and found many needed to be finished. Mom would have been embarrassed had she realized she'd given me unfinished blankies. I checked all the others and distributed the finished ones. I took the remaining lap robes home to do the needed work and add yarn tufting, as Mom had always done.
Once I had worked on them, I should have taken them back to the nursing home right away, but things were hectic around here and I forgot they were in the back of my car - until tonight. So I took the big bag of lap robes into the lobby at Elm Creek and was greeted by a pleasant receptionist who seemed thrilled to have them. Before I finished explaining who had made them, I heard a voice call out, "Are you Santa Claus?", and I turned to find a little white-haired lady pulling her wheelchair into the lobby. I said, "I might be Santa. Do you want to see what's in my bag?"
The lady introduced herself as "Kathryn" and volunteered that she was 92. She kept saying, "I don't know how I got to be this old". I asked if she'd like to choose a gift from my bag and she pulled out a pretty lap robe and immediately held it close to her. I hugged her and told her Merry Christmas and she reached for my hand. We stood there for what seemed like a long time as she shared stories of her beloved spouse and Christmases past. All of a sudden, none of the things I thought I had to do seemed very important or urgent.
As I left Kathryn and the nursing home, I had tears in my eyes and vowed to treasure every day I have left in my life. Kathryn, wrapped in her soft new lap robe, waved as I went out the door and I knew there had been a reason I needed to stop at Elm Creek tonight. 


Angi at drakestone primitives country cabin said...

Hi kady
How lovely and sometimes it is the simple pleasures that help us put things into perspective..Have a wonderful Christmas ..Angi X

Debbie said...

Sounds like Kathryn definitely touched your heart.... Your story definitely touched mine! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Debbie K

Whimsey Creations said...

Kady, what a wonderful errand you ran! Doesn't Kathryn look like she was such a beautiful woman in her youth - not that she isn't beautiful now! How wonderful of your mother to make the blankies and of you to finish them. Sometimes I feel like I don't do enough and just wish there were more hours in a day. Merry Christmas blessings to you.

Michelle said...

Wow Kady! What a wonderful thing you did. You just made me cry reading this! When I was 16/17 I worked in a nursing home and those wonderful people had many a great story but also did not have visitors. You made Kathryns day so THANK YOU SANTA CLAUS!!


Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

what a wonderful story..and thanks to you and your mom for making someones life in those nursing homes that much brighter.;)

Anonymous said...

Lovely post Kady, I agree that a lot of these old people no longer get visitors, they must get very lonely, how nice to get something new for Christmas that was handmade for them. I wish you well Kady, have a great Christmas.......Merilyn


How wonderful of you and your mom--
Nursing homes are lonely places--and you truly made Kathryn's day--maybe year!!!
bless you--hugs, Di and miss gracie

Donna said...

How wonderful! This brought tears to my eyes. You weren't Santa to Kathryn. You were an angel among us.

Merry Christmas, sweetie!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post!! You have gotten me all teary eyed. It brought back memories of when I was in high school and I worked at a nursing home on the weekends and in the summer-time. I think that it can be a lonely place for the elderly. And how special that your visit has touched both of your hearts in a very special way.
Have a Merry Christmas,

Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

Puts life into perspective, huh?
I helped my elderly parents put my brother ( 54 ) and his wife in a nursing home last week. It was a difficult thing to do but they needed more care than any of us could give. The people there were so interested and curious. They seemed happy to have new residents and helpful, too.
I have shopped twice this week for them and plan to go down Tuesday to clean their old apartment. Funny, but one of the things I'm taking Debby is a handmade lap quilt. It's all pink and feminine and I know she will love it. I, as well as my parents and sister, have a new perspective on life and how precious this life is.
You are an amazingly generous and kind woman, Kady. God bless you......

basketsbyrose said...

You and your mother have bless another life! You now will both be blessed!

Judy said...

Bless your heart Kady! I have always believed that God leads us to people and places for a reason and He did that for you! I love your blog!!!! Happy New Year my friend~Judy

Anonymous said...

God blessed you with a giving caring heart!! im so glad to have you as my friend♥ Pammi