Sharing a Blanket Story With You

I received a letter today from the gentleman largely responsible for my having revivedThe Billy Blanket Project.  He shared about giving his first blanket and I want to share his story with you.  
While our emphasis is on pregnancy and early infant loss, a soft blanket is a nice expression of care for anyone experiencing a traumatic loss.  You can read the story behind the blankets on my site at:  This story, as well as my story of being married to a serial rapist (NOT my current husband ROB :-) ), will be shared in a book to be released sometime next year called, "The Triumph Book." 

Now for the letter:

First Blanket

Hello everyone!

I finally, months after starting this cause, had the opportunity to give out my first blanket. This one was special to me, because it was to a couple whom I consider to be very dear friends, but like them, I got so wrapped up in the day to day interests of the one that survived, I overlooked the one that didn't.

I started this cause because of Ronda, and her story. It literally brought me to tears, which is something I've become all too familiar with over the last year or two, and being a man, being an "emotional creature" is not something I am too familiar with. My life has taken a strange path over the last few years, and while "strange" (at least to me) it has been one full of the blessings and joys of empathy and compassion that I have never been familiar with in all the long years and miles my life has taken me.

Ronda's story moved me in a way I have never felt before, I not only felt with empathy the pain, sorrow, and joy she expressed, but found, for once, something I could relate to, loss; not just loss, but a loss that seems insufferable, yet can be eased and comforted with the simple expression of love by someone who can reach out and say to someone who needs to hear it "I feel your loss and pain, and am willing to share it, but instead let me give you this simple gift that will help ease the pain by allowing you to express it."

I am no poet, or writer, so I hope I don't lose you in my expression of feelings in this letter.
I have recently heard many stories and situations that this cause would be so fitting, but mostly only by each of you finding that person / couple who needs YOU to reach out and let them know you care about and love them.

My friends that I was able to do this for (most especially with Ronda's help - THANK YOU!!), I was hesitant and unable to find a way to express my intent with this gift. They are a hard ridden people with a very tough life, and often people who feed at that "banquet of life" can not accept a hand reached out in love and compassion without wondering what the agenda is.

In this particular situation, I am still waiting to have a heart-to-heart to be sure they understood my intention. I am so fortunate to know them, for who they have chosen to become, in the face of the controversy that life places in their lap on a daily basis, the best people they know how, or can find a way, to become.

In typical fashion that I have come to expect in my daily dealings with the father, I was pulled "out of earshot" on another pretense, so that he could attempt to express his gratitude and disbelief that someone could care and would acknowledge the loss that up til this moment he truly believed only he and his wife felt, understood, or acknowledged. Not even "family" has offered one word of consolation. Even myself, having witnessed most of this take place, was never able to tell them or let them know that I was with them. Their loss was one of twins, and the beautiful (beyond belief) child that survived, after being removed at 26 weeks, became a whole new series of drama and survival for the first year and a half of his life, so much so that we all became so wrapped up in his progress we temporarily lost track of James, who didn't make it. David (Jr), who survived, has become - against ALL odds - the immaculate example of a "perfect" child. To boot, with a smile that would make the Devil forget why he was here (Ladies beware - this one is a charmer beyond belief) ;-)

What I didn't know was that they had actually kept an assortment of momentos of James' so very brief existence, and made a pact with each other to celebrate and honor his brief existence every year on the twin's official birthday (which I just learned is the same as my Daughter's), but they have always felt and believed that they were the only one's in the world who cared or remembered.

I guess my point is that something as simple as a soft blanket, or more to the point, a simple expression of our love and compassion, can make such an incredible world of difference in the hearts and lives of those we know, yet never see or realize how much they need and will appreciate that simple of a gesture.

As I said, I am no poet, but I hope this may have inspired you to look harder at those around you who could really use this simple gift of compassion, more, that you will simply find the courage to act on what you see. Something as simple as reaching out and touching hands with those in need can truly move your world, as well as theirs.

Please join me in spreading that concept. Reach out and find one near you who needs that love.

Thank you all for caring enough to be a part of this cause,

With love and compassion,



An Ordained Change of Plans
Louesa Hawkins Redd- my paternal grandfather's mot...


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