Today, I’d like to do something a bit different for Thankfulness Thursday.
Instead of the usual list of thankfulness items, I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite quilting grannies.
Yes, (almost) all are my favorite in a different way, but this one is special. Even more than the rest. I’ll call her Harriet.
If you asked when I first met Harriet, I’d stare into space. Think back. Try to remember. And finally shrug helplessly, saying, “Haven’t I always known her?”
With most of the rest of the quilting grannies, I remember our first meeting. I remember being introduced. With Harriet, I honestly feel as if she has been part of my life since the beginning.
Harriet’s not the kind who will take center stage, show off, or entertain everyone with raucous jokes. I’ve only seen her command everyone’s attention once, when she and her husband took in a stray dog after years of not having a pet. They were reluctant, but their friends and family decided they should do it. Within a few weeks, Harriet showed everyone a photo of her new pride and joy. Now, to hear her talk, it’s as if the little dog flew straight from heaven and graced Harriet’s home with its divine presence.
Not that Harriet talks about the dog all the time. Oh, no! She’s the kind who will say, “Mm-hm” to whatever anyone is saying, nodding and agreeing. She calls to make sure we have the right number of players for our card game, and yet she insists on giving up her seat if someone comes unexpectedly (and wouldn’t be able to play). She’s the first to get out the coffee, or least she was.
We haven’t seen Harriet in weeks.
Not since her cancer came back.
This is Harriet in a nutshell:
She called me a few weeks ago, the day before our game. “Can you join us tomorrow for hand and foot?”
“Of course!” I said, thrilled to hear from her. She’d been sick off and on for a good long while, and then when we found out her diagnosis she hadn’t been able to make it to any events. “Will you be able to come?” She’d had her biopsy, and the news was not good. The cancer had spread.
“I hope I can,” she said, tut-tutting in a thoughtful way. “I’m a little under the weather, but I hope so.”
Under the weather. Recurrent metastasized cancer is “under the weather?”
“If you can’t come,” I said, taking a risk, “could I visit you sometime?”
“I’d love that. I’m getting so tired of not being able to go out, and I’d just love to see you.”
“I hope I can see you tomorrow,” I said, wondering if it would be possible again.
“I hope we can see each other, too.”
She hung up, and that’s the last I’ve heard from her directly. Today at church, her name came up. Apparently, she’d called someone else going through cancer treatment and was sounding down.
Before my quilting granny friend died last fall, I asked myself why I hadn’t gone over to visit her. I’d wanted to, very much, but I was afraid to impose. She was the kind of person who would never want to be a bother, and yet I would be afraid to bother her.
One of the quilting grannies and her daughter has gone to visit Harriet, but she was too exhausted for company. She did her very best, but she fell asleep twice (they didn’t stay long, either).
So I’m making a lasagna, I think, and bringing it to her. Food cures all ills, right? And her husband likes lasagna. Everyone likes lasagna. Harriet’s been losing weight (that she can’t afford to lose), and a good hearty dish will help if she can keep it down. I was going to make good old chicken noodle soup, but lasagna will freeze better. I can even give it to her in freezable individual serving containers. 😀
Today, I am thankful for Harriet. Thankful for a woman who makes me believe the world is a good and beautiful place, filled with good and beautiful people.
I wanted to be like Sara when I grew up, the quilting granny who died last fall. I want to be like Harriet, too. Last December when things were the most difficult they’ve been for a long time (and no one saw me at church for weeks on end), she gave me a call. I wasn’t up to answering my phone, so she left a voice mail message.
Hi, Ana. This is Friend Harriet. We haven’t seen you around much, and I just wanted to give you a call. Love you, honey. Bye-bye.
I want to be a Friend Harriet when I grow up.
And today, I’m so glad I’ve gotten to have her.
Who is your Friend Harriet? Or who do you know who needs you to be a Friend Harriet?