The blanket had to be Coco’s university colors so red, yellow and blue it was!
I think Coco had forgotten one of our many conversations in the early fall, when I nonchalantly asked about her choice of colors so when she opened her Christmas present, she was surprised that I had crocheted her a blanket!
As you know, I only crochet back and forth – no fancy-dancy counting patterns or intricate patch making – just back and forth so I don’t have to concentrate too much. None the less, my blankets are made with lots of mistakes and lots of love….
…and I love Coco.
Unexpected joys in life come in all shapes and sizes – and Coco is no exception.
At first, she was an inquisitive, international student of mine, asking all sorts of questions about psychology, anthropology and sociology, in her funny, broken English. Soon, she became an injured, fellow mission team member and consequently, a daily passenger in my car as I picked her up and drove her to school. Finally, she moved into our home and lived with Chris and I for two years, as she made her way through high school. She wasn’t stuck in our basement or merely renting a room. She cleaned, ate, celebrated, worked, laughed, stayed up late, cried, consoled, prayed, learned, prepared meals, drove and exercised with us, In other words, we “did life together.”
I remember dealing with late night tears, interesting discussions about sex, long drives in the car when we worked on Coco’s American university application essays, marathon baking escapades and a thousand good questions about a thousand different topics.
Sometimes, it was hard work to have a bubbly, inquisitive, fun-loving, expressive and busy teenager living with us but Coco was also there for me at 3:00 in the morning, when my back was in spasm. Chris was traveling with work and I desperately needed someone to massage the knot in my back to give some relief.
Coco and I spent a great deal of time together and she listened while I talked through many different dilemmas in my life. She encouraged me with her kind words and inspired me with her passionate commitment and creativity. She taught me a great deal about independence and reminded me often to face my fears. She modeled perseverance when the “going got tough” and security in being misunderstood when she chose a different road than her friends.
…and through it all, she became a beloved friend – and that’s how it remains to this day.
Thank you, Coco – you have been and continue to be a true blessing in my life.
So…enjoy the blanket!