Sammie and her Gibbon
Sammie has another grandmother whom she calls Nana. Nana is the mother of Sammie’s mother Courtney. Nana is a really good grandmother, and she is good at something else, she can crochet like no one I have ever seen. Her favorite thing to crochet, it seems, is baby blankets. Of course she had one made for Sammie before she was even born. Sammie received many blankets, but somehow she latched onto the one her Nana made. It is crocheted from chenille yarn which makes it very soft, and it is in multiple colors of blue, pink, and white, and i think lavender.
Chenille is a fragile thing, you really can’t stretch it. But a baby doesn’t know that. When Sammie started teething, she got into the habit of chewing on this blanket. She would sit around and let that blanket hang from her mouth as it got all wet from her drool.
She got to the point where she would not go to sleep without it, she would not leave the house without it, and if it wasn’t around she would look for it.
When she was barely 2 years old, she was staying with me for a couple of days. We were walking down the hallway when she asked “Wheresmygibbon?” I stopped walking and said “What Sammie? What is it?” She said it again. I said ” I don’t know what you are saying honey, say it again for me ok?” She said a little louder “My gibbon! wheresit?” I still did not know what she was talking about, but now I knew by her “wheresit” that she was looking for something.
I asked her, “Where did you see it?” She answered “S’on your bed?”. “On my bed?” I repeated. “Yes” she said. So I went over to the bed and looked around on top of it.
” I don’t see anything here Sammie. Well let me look under these covers.” I pulled back the blankets one at a time and then finally the top sheet. There, in a little puddle, was her crocheted blanket.
I picked it up and said ” Is this what you are looking for Sammie?” She threw her hands in the air and gleefully shouted ” My gibbon!!”
Aha, I thought to myself, her blanket has a name! I felt pretty smart for figuring out that she had named her blanket. She reached for it and hugged it to herself with both arms.
When I took her home after church that Sunday, I told her mother about this. Nope, they did not know that gibbon was her blanket. They had heard her say the word but didn’t know what she meant.
Sometime later Sammie came to stay with me and my folks again, but she forgot to bring her gibbon. The look on her face when she figured it out was heartbreaking. But my mother had a small crocheted blanket in the doll cradle. She picked it up and showed it to Sammie. ”
Look Sammie”, she said, GiGi has a gibbon too, and you can use it while you are here. Is that ok? Can you use my gibbon for now?” Sammie slowly accepted this strange but colorful blanket and walked off with it. She was ok for now.
She hasn’t forgotten her gibbon since then.
She is over 3 years old now, and still attached to that gibbon. I know her mother has to sneak it into the laundry. She uses a lingerie bag to wash it in because by now its ripped, shredded, and barely holding itself together. Sammie is always so excited to get it back from the laundry, clean and fresh and still in one piece, more or less.
I once mentioned to Sammie’s Nana that I would love to have one of her blankets for myself. This past Mother’s Day, over at Sammie’s house, I was presented with my very own Gibbon. Nana had chosen the colors just for me, and I think it is absolutely beautiful. Its larger than Sammie’s gibbon, big enough to cover my lap and legs.
When I took it out of the gift bag, I said, “look Sammie! Grandma has her very own gibbon!” Sammie looked over at me, not smiling.
I said, ” what is wrong Sam? Come here to Grandma and see me”. She walked over to me, slowly. ” Now what is wrong honey?” I asked her. She just reached out and touched my new blanket. I sensed she was feeling jealous, or left out some how.
“Do you like my gibbon?” She nodded. ” Can I wrap it around you so you can wear it?” She nodded again.
I wrapped it around her like a long dress. She stood there looking down at it, then smiled and took it off and gave it back to me. I think she was satisfied that she still like HER gibbon better!
There was another time in my life, long before Sammie came along, when a blanket was a comfort to me.
My second husband and I had not been married for a year when he decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. The relationship was abusive, but I hadn’t realized it yet, and I was so distraught over his wanting to leave that I tried to take my life. I failed at this, and ended up at the county hospital.
Everyone was nice to me there, the doctor telling me she wanted me to live, that she didn’t want to see me suffering like this. The nurses very gentle. I drank the charcoal willingly. That stuff is just nasty and leaves your skin smelling like kitty litter for days. I do not recommend it.
Once they were satisfied that the pills were out of my system and I had calmed down, they parked me on the gurney in the hallway, waiting to be taken up to the psych ward for an evaluation. It was around midnight by now and the lights had been dimmed.
I was sitting up, leaning on the wall. I felt so tired, so wrung out. So lost. I really still did not want to live. I said a silent prayer. I told God that I could not do this anymore. It was too hard to live this life. I told him that if he wanted me to live then he would have to do it for me.
Almost immediately I felt this warmth flow over me, slowly from head to foot. I felt this warmth wrap itself around me, and my mind pictured a warm blue blanket wrapped around me.
I realized this was the Holy Spirit. Words came into my head, saying “You were ok before you met him, you will be ok now. You still have your job, you still make enough money for you and your son to live on, you will be ok”.
And I was. I mean immediately, I was OK. I felt peaceful and ready to go home. They released me at 6 AM that morning.
My life moved on, I raised my son, I worked at my job, I went to church, I held my friends close. And life went on.
I am so very glad to be alive now, to be my son’s mother, to be Courtney’s mother-in-law, to be my parents daughter, my sister’s sister, a friend to my friends, and most of all to be Sammie’s Grandma.
A warm blanket is love. It is love from the one who gives it. Sammie and I each have a blanket made with love by her Nana, and I hope one day she will know the blanket of love that is the Holy Spirit.