A Healing Bear

Whups, Tuesday again, and here I am, not much to say.  I am back at work on Tying the knot, which is good news.  But it’s like pulling stalled cars, not eager to get moving.

My surgeon is very pleased with the healing knee, though this morning it’s hot and swollen.  I think that’s because I spent a few hours in the car yesterday looking for a Krispy Kreme bakery.  I want to give two dozen doughnuts to the crew who work on my wing of the nursing home.  Always cheerful, helpful, friendly any hour of the day or night, they deserve a thank you of more than mere words.  But Krispy Kreme is a disappearing franchise here in the Cities and we drove for hours to locations our GPS said held a store.  Only it didn’t.  I finally went to a small local bakery and they’ll deliver an assortment of pastry here Thursday morning.  Not the same, not the same.  And shame on GPS and/or Krispy Kreme for not correcting their maps.

FrHughIf you noodle around on my web sites you’ll find a picture of a small stuffed bear in a monk’s robe.  He’s Father Hugh of Paddington, created over thirty years ago by me in my SCA persona as Abbess Margaret of Deer Abbey.  Nuns are not supposed to go out of their nunnery alone, and no one else I knew wanted to be a serious nun,  so I invented Father Hugh, Mass Priest of the abbey.  I bought him at the St. Thomas College (where I was employed) bookstore – he was dressed as Paddington Bear.  I gave him a tonsure (a fringe of hair around a bald spot) and made him a white embroidered alb and black wool monk’s robe. (Eventually he had all the proper vestments, and even a small suit of armor. Definitely Church Militant.)  And he was a huge hit, I’d go to an SCA event and he’d be snatched from my hands and not turn up again until evening.I wrote four chapbooks about life in the fifteenth century abby and four mystery short stories, he appearing in each, and he developed a kind, common, intelligent, religious, moral personality many found attractive.

Interestingly, one thing he did in “real life” was visit seriously ill people in hospitals.  He is of a size to give a substantial hug, so he doesn’t get lost in the blankets, but he’s not so big he crowds the patient.  And he’s here with me.  I woke up a few mornings ago to find myself holding him in a tight grip.  I feel as if he’s helping me heal.  I asked a deacon from my church if this was okay, to treat him as a religious blessing.  I mean, a stuffed toy!  He’s an assembly of fuzzy fabric, an invention, a figment of my imagination – right?  So why is he such a comfort to me?  Am I wrong to ascribe to him the ability to comfort me, to strengthen my healing?  She thinks that whatever help me is good.  So God bless Father Hugh.

BTW, he’s named for St. Hugh of Lincoln, one of my favorite saints – look him up.

About Ellen

Professional Mad Scientist for several years. Retired.
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