|My speedy ripple blanket is hanging on the line.|
I brought the blanket home because it needed a hand wash after daily use at the hospital by a very close, elderly relative–my father-in-law.
When I gave this blanket, the deal always was that, whenever it needed a wash, I would come and get it and clean it for him (while saving my mother-in-law the trouble too–the daily commute between home and hospital is exhausting enough for her.)
Fortunately, the hospital is very close to my home so my immediate family and I were able to pop in almost every day. It was pleasing to see my father-in-law using the blanket all the time except for during the hottest of summer days.
The ripple blanket became a talking point for visitors to the room and helpful to 'break the ice' as new hospital staff were introduced.
My father-in-law could have had any other items from home that he wished in his hospital room but he chose not to. He felt he had no use for them there.
The blanket provided a much appreciated burst of colour and homeliness in an otherwise bland and sterile room.
|The blanket is a total of 17 stripes long.|
Close family members recounted their final hospital visit to say their personal goodbyes to a beloved husband, father and father-in-law (who was also a brother, grandfather and great-grandfather): they were deeply touched by the sight of the hand made blanket and the way in which it had been draped over him with gentle care by the nursing staff as he lay at rest.
The blanket was so much of my father-in-law in its style and colours. Relatives explained that the 'personal touch' of having something lovingly hand made just for him, brought special comfort at such a difficult time.
The funeral was held a week ago and the blanket returned to me at the wake. Many family and friends came to me and expressed their appreciation of the blanket, having seen it in the hospital, and reinforced how it truly did reflect his personality.
My father-in-law and the ripple blanket are forever linked in people's hearts.
So here I am, hanging the clean blanket in the fresh air.
It is a glorious and sunny autumn morning with white, wispy clouds on a gentle breeze, making way for a clear blue sky.
A clan of New Holland honey-eaters have arrived to have a look and say hello as they search for the sweet nectar of the autumn flowering hakea tree in my garden.
|A New Holland honey-eater amongst the foliage of a hakea laurina tree.|
It's time for one more photo and quiet reflection before returning the blanket and its comfort to my darling mother-in-law.
Although my father-in-law was frail, when he first became ill, he was still expected to recover sufficiently to return home. The blanket was made with that scenario in mind. The planning details can be found in previous posts (listed below).
I am so thankful and satisfied that my design choices were appropriate and that the project has been meaningful for many.
The speedy ripple blanket served its purpose and is dear to many relatives as it has come to represent my father-in-law and this stage of his life. It symbolises the love that we all have for him.
It has been a difficult time but also a time full of love within my family.
Meanwhile the honey-eater family are excitedly chattering around me.
I turn to observe the abundant activity but am too slow–in the blink of an eye, the honey-eaters have flown.
|The hakea laurina is now empty.|
Thank goodness that the Speedy Ripple Blanket wasn't too slow!
Lion Brand, "Shaded Ripple Afghan" free crochet pattern #L0092AD: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0092AD.html?noImages=
Lupey Loops, "…But Wait…There's More!", blog entry, 4 February 2015:
Lupey Loops, "Speedy Blankets", blog entry, 18 Feb 2015: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/speedy-blankets.html