Patience – it’s really not my virtue

My lack of patience must be genetic or something, because there is no real clear reason for it. It is such a character flaw, that it has to be inherited. Certainly someone in my family tree coined the phrases, “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?”

Oh sure, I can wait for bread dough to rise. I can sort of wait for the first layer of paint to dry. A wet floor – sure, I can wait – especially if I am the one who mopped it. Waiting on a robust cup of coffee – no problem. I’ll even patiently wait for a good cup of tea to steep.

But sitting in a waiting room at the doctor’s office – not so much.

Normally, I have my knitting with me, a dual project of trying to keep my nerves calm and to get lost in time. But seriously, you can’t really knit when you are constantly interrupted.

“May I see your insurance card?”

“Ma’am, can you sign this?”

Not only do I have to sit and wait, I am constantly interrupted while I do so.

This is how last evening went for me: I find out at 5 p.m. via a panicked text from my darling teenage daughter that she HAS to have a sports physical for cheer. Today. Sports registration is tomorrow.

“But mom, know one knew it!”

Apparently, this is the year that the district is enforcing registration. And she was right – I got the email – today was registration.

So, right after practice at 7:15 p.m., off we go to an Urgent Care that offers sport physicals. And, bonus, “We’re not busy right now, so it’s a great time to come in!” says the perky receptionist.

Score!

Ten minutes and several reams paper – in the tiniest of print ever – we are ready! Woot – she can get her physical and we’re outta here!

Except that, in the time it takes me to deliver the paperwork to the front counter, sit down, go back up with my ID, sit down, and run back to the counter to sign something, sit down, and bring my credit card and swipe it, someone comes in to the Urgent Care, and she needs stitches.

Luck is also a genetic trait I inherited.

To pacify me, they stuck us in an exam room to wait it out. Maybe that is the front desk’s way of making one feel like they have progressed in the Waiting Game.

Looking around the a-typical exam room, I strolled down memory lane, remembering comforting my little girl during well-baby checks. Such a bland, sterile environment that is creepy. Back in the day, I could usually calm her with a mass of cotton balls made into things.

Except, now, I was the one who needed the calming. My patience was pushed to the max. Was there really only one doctor in this clinic?

Yep.

I leafed through a parenting magazine, looked up, and saw a box of exam gloves.

You know what happened next.

Giggling like a girl, I blew the glove up like a balloon, posed it and took photos of it modeling in the exam room.

And my darling daughter, why, she gave me the best compliment:

“I gotta hand it to you, Mom, that is pretty funny!”

Yep, sometimes you just have to laugh.

© 2012 – Lynne Cobb

Wrapped in a prayer

“Pray, and let God worry.”  — Martin Luther

I absolutely love to knit, and though I’m still a beginner, it is something I really enjoy.

I honestly don’t remember where I initially learned. Memory says my great-aunt taught me, but my mom says it was her. All I can tell you is that as a youngster with a set of knitting needles in hand, I was really uncoordinated and rather confused with the process. So I crocheted instead.

As the years progressed, I became quite proficient at crocheting, but I always yearned to knit. Then I was busy raising four kids so the crafts, needles, yarn and such were stuffed in boxes and forgotten about.

It was so enthralling to watch someone just knitting away – witnessing something beautiful being made in brilliant color and a soft, comforting texture. So, about five years ago, I bought a how-to book and re-taught myself.

A simple kitchen dishcloth was my first successful project, and I have a drawer full of them to prove it! From knitting dishcloths I learned to make a baby blanket – which was simple because it was basically the same pattern with more stitches. And from that blanket I started making Prayer Shawls.

When I’d accompany my mom to my dad’s doctor appointments, I usually brought my knitting. It helped soothe me, because anyone dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient knows that with each doctor appointment or test, the family will most likely hear that the is patient getting worse, not better. And so one of the first prayer shawls I made, I gave to my mom.

The beauty of a prayer shawl is that you can choose to make it for someone in particular (which I have) or make one and donate it to total stranger (which I have done, too). I made a soft-pink shawl for a neighbor with breast cancer, a few shawls for relatives, and a few for several for people that I never met.

Beginning each shawl, I’d thank God for the ability to use my hands for His work, and then to ask Him bless the person who would receive the shawl. I’d pray for the recipient to feel God’s comfort, seek His grace, and that when they needed a big hug from God, they’d put the shawl around them and feel His touch.

Last July, my mom and I were getting my dad admitted to a nursing home. I can’t even begin to articulate the sense of loss we felt. I tried so hard to keep my composure, but once I got home, I completely broke down.

I went to visit Dad the next day, and there was a brown throw on the chair at the foot of his bed. I picked it up and handed it to a nurse’s aide, explaining it didn’t belong to my dad.

With a gentle smile, she said it was in fact his.

“Someone makes and donates prayer shawls to our new residents,” she explained.

With tears in my eyes, I covered my dad with this shawl that was made with the love and prayers of a total stranger. Maybe the knitter went through placing a loved one in a nursing home and knew extra prayers were in order. It was in that moment I realized just how comforting a prayer shawl is to the recipient.

I just wish I could personally thank the person who was so generous with their time and talents. I’m guessing the best way to say thanks is to pay it forward.

Have you made or received a Prayer Shawl? Feel free to share your story.

© 2012 – Lynne Cobb