I have frequent bouts of insomnia. Most of the posts on this blog are the result of that. As hard as I try sometimes I simply can’t get to sleep. I try to be productive with the awake time, but eventually the realization that no sleep = death gets the better of me. The only thing that has worked for me to let go and get rest over the past few years is to lay down on the futon in the den, pull the healing blanket over me and fall fast asleep.
Oh yes, the healing blanket has wonderful and strange powers that help.
Mariann came home after major surgery and was recovering to prepare for chemo therapy treatments. She was weak, tired and despondent. One day we got a package in the mail. It was for Mariann. She opened it and there was a card and a fleece blanket. The card said that the blanket was a “healing” blanket, and good vibes were being sent with it to help with Mariann’s recovery.
The blanket was from Joslyne Decker. It is fleece and made up of large earth tone squares; brown, orange, oxblood, and tan. Mariann sat up, wrapped herself in the blanket, smiled and admired the card.
Chemo therapy was every Tuesday morning and lasted for 3-4 hours. The treatment room always seemed to be cold. We would pack up the blanket and head off to therapy. On the way back, knowing that Mariann would not be able to hold food down for 2 days, we would stop at Burger King and get the highest calorie burger fries and shake available so that Mariann could stock up and retain her weight and strength. While Mariann chowed on the burger, I would put the blanket in the dryer to warm it up. When she was done eating Mariann would lie down and I would wrap her in the warm healing blanket. She would curl up, smile and say “Thank you. I love you. Will you marry me?” I would kiss her forehead and reply “Again? Sure, pick a date.” It was a routine.
The blanket was a fixture. It went to the hospital, to chemo therapy sessions, and went to work with Mariann when he was strong enough to see her patients. No matter what was going on, the blanket was a fixture and the release we all looked to.
Having done laundry for a brilliant Psychologist for nearly 2 decades, I understand the meaning of the blanket…but it worked!
Joslyne, the benefactor of the blanket later wrote a series of short stories in a published book “Plumb Lines”, and chronicled in fictional prose the story of the healing blanket. Joslyne is a brilliant writer, and the following story is a raw testament to both her ability and the story.
This story will get you through the night. Or it won't. It's a story how I once gave this woman a quilt for a present. It was made of fleece—all the patches were earthy tones: cranberry, coffee, moss, burnt sienna. The thread was thick and brightly colored. The quilt was big—it could cover the woman, wrap her up. And she used it every day—even in summer.
I told her the quilt would heal her, make her well. I thought it would. Really. The fleece squares became fuzzy with use and grief. The threads loosened and would snag on the bedside table, the metal legs of the bed. There was a ragged hole in one corner where the dog had chewed on it. But she still used it. Until she couldn't anymore because she died. The quilt was not the kind of thing she could take with her.
But here's the good part of the story—I took the quilt back. Returned it. Without a receipt. I said, "I want my money back—the quilt didn't work." The woman behind the counter blinked at me, smacked her gum, and raised her eyebrows.
"It didn't work," I said again. "This was supposed to fix her ... it was an investment."
The woman used the nail of her pinky finger to swipe at a smear of her slutty lipstick in the corner of her mouth. "What happened?" "She died." I stared straight at her.
The woman sighed. She pulled three crisp twenty dollar bills from the register. "What a rip off." We shake our heads, in some sort of agreement.
The truth of the matter is that Joslyne did not return the blanket. I use it often to cover myself and fall asleep as it means so much to me, and it truly has powers that cannot [or will not] be explained.
At the end of this story, the fact remains that Joslyne is an incredible person and a brilliant writer.
I'm just saying...