Through hospice care I was bestowed the great honor of becoming friends with 12-year-old L K. By the time I met L K, he was home in his living room confined to a hospital bed. He no longer could walk, but he had use of his hands. As I entered the room, I introduced myself and asked him if he would like to meet some puppets who had ‘joined’ me. L K smiled and said, “Sure!”
Made with love
And for a brief moment in time, L K was a little boy at play, a brave little boy who was so much more than his illness. And through the puppets, a celebration of L K’s life began. When I learned L K loved baseball and used to play it, my puppets began their weekly visits dressed from head to toe in baseball uniforms.
On my final visit to L K, I learned from his Mom that there was no longer any set sleep schedule. Mom said because he enjoyed the puppets so much, they had begun making their own in the middle of the night when he had trouble sleeping. She said they were not quite finished yet, but would be soon. We said our goodbyes. L K passed away the next day.
The following week, I came home to find a box on my doorstep. It was Valentine’s Day. I opened the box and read the note.
“Dear Essie, enclosed are the two puppets L K and I have been working on during the wee hours of the morning. I hope they make other children smile the way your puppets made our L K smile.” … It is true: “The best gifts we can ever receive are those we least expect.” I cherish these puppets, and I will forever cherish my friend, L K.