Monday, November 30, 2009

Something Rather Lovely Happened

One of the best things about owning a quilt store is the endless stream of wonderful people who walk through our doors. Early on, I became friends with an older woman named Louise Washington (“Everybody calls me Granny”). She is a positive, interesting person and we became fast friends. She always likes to introduce me as her granddaughter since she is African American and I’m not, just to see the confusion!
Being me, I decided Granny needed a dog so I got her a rescued mostly-Jack-Russell she named Scrappy and they are best pals. She of course shared her stories of Scrappy with her mother, who was in her 90’s and lived in Buffalo. Granny is good about providing pictures, etc., and her mother got kind of attached to him long distance. I found a china necklace with a Jack Russell on it and Granny wears it all the time…a true love story.
When Granny’s mother got ill, I kept Scrappy and she went to Buffalo to stay at her mother’s bedside in the ICU. Day after day they talked, her mom rested, and eventually began to decline.
One day she said “Louise, where’s Scrappy?”
“He’s at home, Mom,” Louise said.
“But he’s my dog and I’d really like to see him”
Gently Louise said, “Don’t you remember? He’s my dog at home?”
Her mother was puzzled. “I know he’s yours but I kind of feel like he’s mine? Can I wear the necklace with his picture on it? I want to feel him close to me.”
Louise was a bit upset to have to say that her Mother wasn’t allowed to wear jewelry, especially a necklace, in the ICU.
Just then, the social worker happened by and heard the conversation. “Why don’t you loan me the necklace a minute and I’ll be right back,” she said.
In a few minutes, she was back with an expanded photocopy of the picture, which she taped to the side rail of the bed.
“Oh Louise, now I can have my own picture of my Scrappy,” she said. Granny didn’t correct her.
After that, Granny’s mother rarely took her eyes off the photograph. She would go to sleep smiling back at the typical Jack Russell grin on the face of Almost Scrappy.
One night, when the nursing staff came in to check on her, she was gone. Her open hand lay on the rail where Scrappy’s picture was taped. She had crossed over comforted by the very picture of unquestioning love.
Granny was so happy to have provided that last bit of comfort to her mother. “I left her in Scrappy’s care. He took her home to the Lord.”

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