Burnis is the mother-in-law of my friend Judy. They just call her Mom.
And here they are on an outing last year to see the Fall colors in the Ozarks. We don’t have quite the display that one might find elsewhere in the country, but there are enough broadleaf trees that dress up in fall finery to make it a lovely time of year.
Burnis is 87 years old and she just doesn't remember things as well as she used to -- although she can talk your ear off if you ask her about the photographs in her room -- and she is not able to manage the basic activities of daily living on her own, so she now lives in an apartment in the assisted living wing of the local nursing home. She has a sitting room, a small kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom. And they keep an eye on her.
Her main hobby is embroidery. She has won awards at quilt shows for her embroidery.
Judy and Burnis’ daughter, Dot, and her granddaughter, Karen, scramble to find things for her to work on.
Karen found out that an organization that works with the Children's Hospital in St. Louis welcomed donations of pillowcases for their patients. A pleasant change from the plain white that hospitals usually use for these children, many of whom are critically ill and must spend time away from their own beds at home.
So, they scrambled some more and found stamped pillow cases for Burnis to embroider, and then they went on expeditions to find embroidery floss. One might be surprised just how hard it can be to find something as simple as embroidery floss in a small town.
Burnis has been hard at it, and here are some of the pillowcases she has completed.
Soon sick children at the St Louis hospital will have something a little more fun to lay their heads on at night.
This one almost makes me weep...
I imagine a little girl, a very sick little girl, laying her head on this pillow and imagining she is a princess in a fairy tale land of make believe where little children do not get cancer, or suffer from illness caused by genetic defects, where they don't have to leave home and spend the night in the hospital...