The daughter of some friends recently underwent surgery for a brain tumor. She's a college student, 20 years old, and it was a frightening event for all concerned—hell, it was every parent's worst nightmare.
Despite this, her parents were paragons of calm—the mom told me that she felt that she needed to hold it together so that her daughter wouldn't be even more frightened before the surgery, but that she sobbed after leaving her daughter en route to the surgical suite.
Fortunately, things seem to be going well. The tumor was benign, and though she had to be re-hospitalized for a few days, she's home and the stitches are out.
While friends brought the family meals, and while I knew that was highly useful, I decided on a (totally impractical, particularly for a 20-year-old young woman) sock monkey. This time, I followed the directions while making the monkey. E's school colors are red and black, so I made a hat from a crimson baseball sock and embroidered a black "E" across the front. Then I made a pair of crossed band-aids from wool and french knots and stitched them on the head, where they can be hidden under the hat. (Indeed, I got the sweetest thank you note from E, who said that now that she'd gotten her stitches out she had one less thing in common with the monkey.) I used scraps of my Woolylady wool for both the band-aids and eyes and was reminded what a pleasure stitching through wool can be...like butteh!
Etsy post on The Oxford Project: "Sorrow and fear, passion and joy will find you, and the completely unexpected can happen whether you strike out for parts unknown or move just down the block."