Friday, November 14, 2014

Chaplain Jane and the Rose Garden Yarn

It had been two years, but the moment I stepped into the hospital lobby, I felt as if I had just been here yesterday.

Dad was in the hospital again.
I walked the familiar halls.  Remembered sitting on that bench before hours waiting for someone to happen by and let me past the locked doors to his room.  Wondered if the cafeteria hamburger would taste as dry today as I remembered it tasting when I ate it alone with a heavy heart two years ago.

I thought about sitting with my brother for eight hours in the family surgery waiting area as Dad had cancer removed from his kidney back then.  It had been expected to be a six-hour operation, and we had received updates from the doctors every two hours right up until the surgery was supposed to have been done.  And then we stopped getting updates.  But no one came to tell us it was over, either.  That was a long wait.
My brother spent the time catching up on some of his paper work; I crocheted a hat. I had purchased the yarn special for this purpose because I suspected I'd have a lot of time to play with it.  I had walked the yarn aisle with my hand outstretched, waiting to find the one that wanted to come with me.  The yarn that called me was named "Rose Garden".  Of course it was.

As my brother and I had sat there wondering why there was no news, a woman approached us and introduced herself as Chaplain Jane, the Lutheran chaplain at the hospital.  She asked how our loved one was doing, offered to pray with us... which we welcomed.
As she stood to leave us, I asked her, "Do you have cancer patients that you minister to here?"
"Oh, I can't talk about other patients."
"The reason I ask..." and I pulled out the hat I had crocheted during Dad's surgery.  I explained that the yarn speaks to me, and that I had no need for a hat myself because this one belonged to someone else.  "I think you will find someone who needs this," I said.
Chaplain Jane tucked the hat into her bag and promised me she would do her best.  I had the impression that she didn't quite understand what was going on, but that she was being polite for my benefit.

 That was the last I saw of the Rose Garden hat.

Dad came out of that surgery with one less kidney, but free of cancer.  He recovered quickly, and went home to a mostly normal life.

This past Monday morning I sat in my Dad's hospital room, relieved that the worst of this most recent ordeal was also working out in his favor.  There was a knock at the door, and a vaguely familiar looking woman let herself in.
She introduced herself as Chaplain Jane.  She told Dad that his pastor had called her and asked her to look in on him.
I said, "I think we met in 2012 when Dad had kidney surgery."
"I might remember you," she said.  "What is your name?"
"I'm Roses."
"Yes, I think so..."
"I gave you a hat."

Chaplain Jane's face lit up.
"Yes, you did!  You asked me to find a recipient.  And I did!"
Again, she regretfully told me she could not discuss other patients with me or tell me anything about the person to whom she gave the Rose Garden hat.  But she spoke with wonder and amazement about presenting the hat and explaining how she had come to have it.
She said, "It was very warmly accepted... to near tears."

Thank you, Chaplain Jane.
More than one person believes you to be an angel.


The Gray Monk said...

She's not the only angel there. I'd say you qualified too ...

gael mueller said...