Elaine Haugen, Minister of Care
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Ankeny
I arrived at John Stoddard Cancer Center in Des Moines with a bag of pillows from our Pink Ribbon Ministry to drop off at the infusion center. They followed me onto the elevator, this most unlikely couple. She was in a wheel chair and appeared very frail, with snow white hair and a very pale complexion, age, perhaps in the 80’s. He was young, strong and very dark skinned, in fact he was as black as she was white. Looking about only 16, he was pushing the wheelchair while carrying a book bag. I asked what floor and he said the infusion lab. I responded, “so am I” and pushed the button. On the way up he asked about the pillows in my bag.
“They are from our support group at my church,” I told him. ” The women make then to give away. Would you like one for your friend? ”
“She’s my grandma”, was his response. “We drive thirty miles to come to therapy. I drive her to her appointments and do my homework while she gets her chemo”.
He then knelt down in front of the wheelchair and said, “Grandma would you like a pillow to rest your head on while we drive home?”
Being a little deaf, he had to repeat the question; she then nodded and said, “That would be so nice.” “Do you have any with butterflies on them, I love butterflies!”
God is so good, as I reached into the bag we had not one but two colors with butterflies, her eyes filled with tears. “Tell them how much I appreciate the kindness of strangers”, she said.
The young man looked at me and said, “We’re really not strangers, Grandma has taught me that we are all God’s children.”
I was touched by their relationship, their appreciation of each other, and the kindness given back to me through the work of the wonderful women of the Pink Ribbon Ministry at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Ankeny). To date they have made and given away over 500 comfort pillows.