|The Social Worker's Shawl|
Seven years, twice a month I watched Barbara, our local Providence St. Mary Cancer Center social worker. With that concerned mother look she would solve dilemmas, suggest an alternative healing for pain, encourage patients to undo knots of their family relationships and ask for help, sooth a sorrow and demystify a cancer treatment, find a resource, locate funding, educate, argue with insurance companies, read poems of longings and during rare times used her shawl as a winding cloth. Often she would drape her shawl about two patients one frightened and one a survivor from cancer, a survivor from soup. They would find warmth sitting there together. Barbara's shawl was comforting. The many colored strands were like a mother's many loves woven with wisdom and hemmed with laughter and empathy.
For three and a half years running my beloved Gary and I regularly attended a cancer support group run by Barbara. You see Gary and I were rarely apart. Usually, not always, I was the only wife to come to this group. Now, many years after Gary's passing, I still go to Barbara's cancer support group. I may seem to be an oddity, a child who won't leave home. I have friends in this group, who suffered and then survived. They know and I know that soup may be served again. They know and I know that shawls are not out of style. I stay partly to understand how to knit a shawl and how to lend it.
| Painted at A Social Worker's Art Therapy Class|
|Wallula Gap by Gary|