Column: Cherish warm-blanket moments

Farm Forum

One of my Facebook friends used a phrase to describe her gratitude for her friend’s support during her battle with cancer. She wanted to thank those who had offered prayers and kind words through the challenging medical process.

The phrase? She said her friends’ concerns and prayers for her “feel like a nice warm blanket.” Sometimes, reading just a few descriptive words like that brings about a nearly instant recall of parallels in my own life that caused the same notion, the same heartfelt conclusion.

Certainly, my three-month bout with pneumonia and physical therapy introduced me to many such warm-blanket moments.

Some of you will know how great it feels when you’re taken to a very chilly hospital operating room and the good people cover you with a warm blanket, but this is not the warm blanket I’m referencing here. It’s that sunny feeling and even sometimes a goosebump moment when you realize that other people care for you to a point of sacrificing their time and prayers for you. Oh, how good that was! It drove me to double my efforts to conquer that which beset me.

Of course, my being a political expositor and coming upon this feels-like-a-warm-blanket phrase tempted me to parallel thinking of how this fancy could be a politically opportune sentiment.

This feeling seems to be descriptive of what a politician would want to create with potential voters. And yet I think that indeed is what our nation needs at this time. Following the present national news closely could assuredly bring on just the opposite feeling, like you’re outside in a cold rain without an umbrella.

But, for this writing, I’m not going there because what is politically a warm-blanket sentiment for one is an unprotected rainy day for another.

What I want to convey here is a sincere umbrella-like assurance that the vast majority of us — the poor, the middle class, the rich — are good people, people deserving of kudos not only for sacrificing for one old dog like me, but for all people’s daily striving that benefits all of us as a whole. For me, this isn’t the day to box us all into differing degrees of people’s good fortune or supposed disadvantage. Let’s leave the 98 percent and 2 percent discussion for another day, if ever.

When a family gathers together to support one of its own, when some traveled great distances, when other close or little-known acquaintances send cards and letters, when they express pleading to a deity, offer get-well graces, hang youthful artwork of cards and letters on the room’s bulletin board, come bearing flowers, all of that along with superb medical and spiritual attention, it most assuredly creates for me that feeling of a warm blanket, the protection of a large umbrella on a very rainy day.

Taking all of this a step further: It might be well for all of us to offer the same kind of helpful, sincere sentiments and concerns by actively caring and sacrificing for our neighbor’s welfare. If we have meaningful, caring neighborhoods, we will have a strong nation. Sadly, we won’t get it done if we condone what seems to be a national effort of ripping-us-apart classism.

Perk, you promised not to go there!

Each person in his own way should be seen as a precious resource for a warm-blanket moment.

Perk Washenberger, Aberdeen, a retired real estate broker and business owner, now musically entertains people in senior living and care centers and at community events. Write to him at