As a ventriloquist, I’ve written many short scripts and love developing characters. Short stories allow me to do that but it took events outside of me and the promptings of my 10-year-old granddaughter to nudge me into it.
The story behind the book.
My best friend was diagnosed with cancer, underwent a mastectomy and then told she had maybe two months to live. After the initial shock, she decided to move back in with her parents in California…a long ways away from Connecticut where I lived, and a long ways from North Carolina where she lived.
I wanted to do something. So often I have said, “I’ll hold you in my prayers.” Or “I’ll wrap you up in my prayers.” And although that sounds warm and encouraging, prayer is so intangible that when you’re going through a totally tough time, you crave something tangible, something to literally wrap up in, to hold onto.
Years before, I was presenting with my puppet team on Cape Cod, and stayed with a woman who crocheted prayer shawls. Intrigued by it, I tucked the idea away in the back of my mind and there it stayed…until now.
Now, I tried to learn to knit and found a book, “Learn to Knit in a Day.” I searched frantically for my old crochet hooks, remembering back in the 70s when my friends and I crocheted granny squares into caps, vests and throws.
Meanwhile my friend got a second opinion after settling into her parents home not far from San Francisco. And her new doctor wanted to try some treatments and gave her hope. She phoned to say she was starting chemo that next Monday and I panicked. I wanted her to have a prayer shawl or something to wrap up in during those treatments. I wanted to be with her.
And then I found the fleece that you can fringe and knot. And I thought, That’s it! That’s perfect! I’ll pray as I knot and knot my prayers into the blanket for her. I found the perfect friendship motif, put the contrasting fleece rectangles together and cut fringe all around the edges, then prayed while knotting the fringe and express-mailed the blanket to my friend one hour later. It arrived just in time for her chemo treatment.
That was six years ago. A lot of prayer blankets have been made and given away since then. Wrapped in Love shares some of those stories.
Meanwhile, my friend is alive and has survived many ups and downs with this disease. Even so, from many miles apart, she can reach out and touch my prayers for her and know I’m standing with her. You see, I’m a cancer survivor too.
By the way, she just got engaged and asked me to be in her wedding as her Matron of Honor. What a life-affirming celebration that will be!
Judy Buch, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is the only woman in the world who is both a CSP and a “Ventriloquist of the Year.” Author of Wrapped in Love and Mastering & Marketing Your Performance. Voted “Ventriloquist of the Year” 1996.
Her main web site is: www.JudyBuch.com. Her book site is: www.wrappedinlovebook.com is set to go live on April 28, 2010. Her blog is www.prayerknotters.com. And her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org