When I started blogging, I did so with the intent of starting some sort of online scrapbook...a place where I could capture my kids' silly quotes and goofy antics and show off some cute photos of them.
I had no idea, when I started, of what an amazing group of ladies I'd "meet" in this blogging community.
I believe it all started in a BlogFrog forum, where we'd exchange silly comebacks to different questions and suddenly, real friendships were developing.
Case in point: Kate.
Kate is pretty amazing. And walking a difficult path in life, currently. So, when Amy rounded up the troops on Facebook (6 of us...Laura, She Who Shall Not Be Named, Lindsay, Melissa, myself and Amy) to shower our Kate with gifts and show her some "creepy internet friend" love and support, we all jumped right on board.
Gifts started going out to Kate, everything from M&Ms to mugs to Bar Keepers Friend...somehow, I got dubbed "the grand finale" and I immediately felt pressure to "go out with a bang". Then I realized, the gift wasn't about ME and going big, but about Kate and how I could tie us all in, together.
I kept coming around to one thing: I wished I could package us all up and wrap Kate up in a great big, sweaty, swaying, hair-patting, in-person hug.
Well, we all know how the US Post Office feels about shipping humans, so I came up with the next best thing: A "hug blanket". I had no idea what it would look like, exactly, or if it would even work, but I tossed my idea out to everyone, knowing I'd need their help if I was going to see this idea come to fruition.
It was met with excitement and apprehension: "Sounds great...but how will it work?" "Great idea, but...huh?"
I drew up an rough example, commissioned the help of my friend who knows how to quilt and sew and the next thing I knew, bodies were arriving in the mail. (Bodies that are okay to ship.)
Then I found the perfect material for the "Kate side" of the blanket, her beloved M&Ms, and knew this blanket was really going to be something special:
Before long, the hug blanket was in the mail...on it's way to Kate. And let me tell you this...we all learned that shipping stuff to Canada takes TIME, man! It is not for impatient people! When I got a text from Kate asking what "had I done" and that there was a "big box waiting at home", I sent a RED ALERT!! THE BLANKET HAS LANDED!! Facebook message and Amy got the wonderful idea to bring Kate's husband in to video tape her opening it.
I think there were tears all around when we saw Kate's reaction to that blanket. To know that we had touched her heart and brought a smile to her face and that whenever Kate was needing an imaginary friend hug, all she had to do was wrap herself up in that blanket and we'd all be surrounding her? Well, I think we were all pleased with our work.
Very, very pleased.
Life-sized flannel cutouts of all of us...our arms outstretched in a hug. JUST the way I envisioned it!