Marines.Together We Served

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Beloved Blankie

My wife and I are entering into new territory. Our youngest daughter, Jenny, is to be married next month. This is the first wedding for our family, so it’s really a big deal.

For weeks now everything around our house has been about the upcoming wedding. A week ago my wife hosted a bridal shower in our home. The list of things to get done for this particular event made preparations for the Olympics look like child’s play. The “Honey do” list was enough to make me consider giving the couple a large wad of cash, plus gas money to Reno. However, being a minister of the gospel, I figured that to suggest such a thing probably would not go over well.

Friends of mine are placing bets that I will not be able to get through the wedding ceremony without tears rolling down my checks and my throat constricting. I’m sure the bookies in Vegas are running 3-1 odds against me finishing the ceremony. You see, as father of the bride, I will first walk Jenny down the aisle. A long-time friend, Ed McGuigan, is a minister in Cincinnati. He and his wife Dolly are coming out for the wedding. Ed will be assisting me, particularly with the opening remarks before I give Jenny away. Once I have given Jenny to Josh, I will step into the place as minister and continue the ceremony.

We have a slew of friends and family coming for this event. Folks will be arriving from all over the U.S. On top of that, we have been notified by two former foreign exchange students that they will be traveling from Hungary and Brazil, respectively.

As the bridal shower approached, my wife asked me to write something for her to read to Jenny. My first thoughts were to write something humorous, poking fun at her in front of all the ladies attending the shower. Then it was suggested that I write something about Jenny’s blankie. When I thought about her “blankie,” I knew I had to be serious. The following is what I wrote for my wife to read about Jenny’s beloved blankie.

“We’re not quite sure, but we think Jenny was born with her blankie.

From day one she and her blankie were inseparable. In fact, life without her blankie was unthinkable. In the nursery rhyme Mary had her little lamb. Big sister Laura had her Elmo. But Jenny had her blankie.

The blankie did faithfully go everywhere that Jenny went. Whether the blankie was dragged, pulled, tugged, stretched, wrapped in a ball, or simply hugged, the blankie never complained. You see, the blankie knew that Jenny loved it. And that was enough for the blankie.

The blankie had been lovingly made by a dear saint of God, who has long since gone to be with the Lord. Because the blankie was made by loving hands, this blankie learned to love in return.

Jenny has always been practical when it comes to going to sleep. In the evening when she was tired she would curl up with her blankie wherever she happened to be and go to sleep. When mom or dad would gently carry her to her bed, it was always with the blankie tucked right alongside.

In the mornings when Jenny would first appear, the blankie would be in tow, dragged behind, sliding along, bumping into whatever was in its path, and even getting snagged so that over time the blankie needed to be mended. This is where mom would gently sew the pieces back together. It never looked like new again, but that was part of its beauty. In Jenny’s eyes this was her blankie. It may be tattered and torn, but she loved it all the more.

There came a day when Jenny’s love for her blankie was put to the test. It was during a visit to Uncle Johnny and Aunt Lynne’s in Anchorage, Alaska. Big plans were made to hike the famous Resurrection Trail with the church youth group. Would nine-year-old Jenny like to go? Not without her blankie. But Uncle Johnny said “No.” You see, we would be gone five days, carrying our own packs, so there was to be no unnecessary baggage. Jenny went to her mom in tears and said, “Uncle Johnny says I can’t take my blankie (Sniff, Sniff).” Then she declared, “I don’t want to go!” And that was that!

Well, dad took things out of Jenny’s pack and put them in his. This made room for Jenny’s beloved blankie. The trip was a hard one, but Jenny had her blankie and everything was just fine.

And isn’t that just like Jesus? When you have Him, everything is indeed right with the world.”

After my wife read this at the bridal shower, she presented Jenny with a beautifully wrapped package. Inside was her blankie, kept these many years for just such an occasion. Jenny and her beloved blankie are once again reunited. Only this time she’ll be introducing her blankie to a new family . . . . her own.

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