“Nana!” the grands yelled, arms akimbo, all three children hugging and jabbering at the same time. Excitement filled the air, as it usually does when they come to visit. Frequently I am asked to repair a beloved stuffed animal, or a torn item. Today was no different as wounded precious things were thrust into my hands.
One in particular caught my imagination as repairs began . . . a blue whale who had endured, from the looks of it, a bite-sized hole from one of the dogs, complete with an accompanying gash above. He was definitely injured. The gash was easily woven together leaving but a faint scar. The hole, however, required more extensive attention. Heart surgery, in fact, for on closer inspection the tattered edges revealed a surprising heart-shaped hole. “What a lesson this could be!” came thoughts into my mind. The hole was gaping; no way could it be just woven together without terribly disfiguring Mr. Whale. So a kind of heart surgery with grafting commenced.
Mr. Whale’s underbelly, where he had been attacked, was a light beige fleecy fabric. Digging through the sewing drawers I came across a piece of white fleecy material, not quite as deeply piled, but perfect for a graft. Tucked into the wound, under the edges of the hole, it provided a splendid cover for Mr. Whale’s tender innards. So the surgery began, stitch by stitch, until the hole was filled. In its place, a heart-shaped patch, evidence that though wounded there is hope to live again!
“No matter how deep the hurt, one can receive a new heart!” I wondered if this was a lesson I could share with our eight year old grandson and his family. Would it make sense to them as it does to me? Who knows? Perhaps only Mr. Whale sporting a new, clean heart knows for sure. His grafted heart does, after all, look a bit like an offset smile.