Embracing your comfort blanket

As a child, I never wanted or needed a comfort blanket or stuffed animal to keep me safe from any perceived harm. Not judging: At least one of my siblings needed the warm touch of an outside object to migrate through infancy to childhood. I also know there are hundreds of children who benefit from comfy blankets or stuffed animals to ease tough transitions.

linus_van_pelt_7471

Linus van Pelt of Peanuts

Yet, in my adulthood, I acquired items that morphed into my comfort blankets. In 1982, received two crocheted and knitted blankets that marked the birth of my oldest son. A friend carefully crafted the yellow and white blanket for my newborn; the multi-colored blanket was designed for my covering during naps from taking care of my baby son.

As life progressed, I would increasingly seek out the yellow blanket and used it to cover each of my three children and my grandchildren during their nap times. While covering the young ones with the blanket, I transferred my prayers for them from me. It gave me comfort and I believe my utterings and the heavier than normal blanket was like a big hug to the napper.

Today, the yellow blanket is my visual reminder of the beautiful passage of time. I keep it in my home office as inspiration for my writing projects and an occasional warm wrap on my shoulders.

The larger, orange, brown and yellow blanket was made for me by my grandmother, “Mama Helen” Douthy. My family, household guests and I have snuggled under the multi-colored blanket.  The blanket seems to have a secret power to immediately place the user into a snug sleep. When Mama Helen died in November 2008, I placed her blanket over my comforter for at least a year to help with my grief for a lady who taught me many things in life, including how to knit and crochet.

Whatever object one finds comfort in —  pacifiers as babies and a single memory item for one nearing the end of life, it brings the user some reconciliation with uneasy points of life. It was Researcher D.W. Winnicott who coined the phrase “transitional object” (1951) to what I call comfort items. I remember that on a police ride-along in DeKalb County,Georgia a decade ago, my “partner” sergeant had a few teddy bears in his vehicle in case we encountered domestic situations that involved children whose trauma could be eased with the hug of a warm, stuffed animal.

I am proud of my comfort blankets. They are symbols like those used during spiritual ceremonies and even by professional athletes.  I worked with the host committee for the 1995 Olympic Games and became familiar with several comfort or good luck items and rituals prior to events. For instance, the 2016  Olympic Games in Rio included three-time parathelete, Army 1Lt., Purple Star and Bronze Medalist Melissa Stockwell always places a small picture of her son and husband on her bike and eats special candy the night before a race.

Author Brian Mayne, “Self Mapping: How to Awaken to your True Self,” suggests that adults should embrace their transitional objects … What’s your comfort blanket?”

 

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About awkimbrough

I've led a vibrant team that won an Atlanta Emmy award for television excellence in the public service category. I've earned many awards and received lots of recognition as a multi-media financial journalist. My career boasts of writing a multi-million grant and designing diversity curriculum for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, and serving as the highest ranking woman in local governments throughout the state of Georgia. I am also a high achiever who had the vision to bring a $34 - $100 million project to the campus of a university that would change the trajectory of students and generations of people of color, albeit the university shelved the five-year effort. Yet, the works lives on and for that, I am grateful. Yet, my proudest and greatest accomplishments are found in the "hidden" life of Ann Lineve Wead Kimbrough and that is in spaces with my family, one-on-one mentoring with college students, my higher spiritual alliance and volunteer assignments to contribute to a better world. I am fortunate to have been a Mom to three amazing children who are now adults. Having a son with special needs -- blind and partially deaf -- have aided our family in closeness and joyous bonding around matters the world would otherwise believe to be one of "Oh, I'm sorry your son is blind." I am a better communicator and citizen of this world because I am the parent of a double-(physically) disabled child. I am a better parent because my first born is an achiever off the charts and proudly served as a member of the Marching 100 of Florida A&M University. I am a great woman because my only daughter is a minister of the Gospel, an exceptional veteran and life-long supporter of her visually impaired twin brother. I am a grateful grandmother because my children thought enough of their lives to bear great fruit. For those who want to read a traditional "About Me" here it is: I am a visiting faculty member @my grad school, Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications. Previously, I served as dean and professor of multimedia, innovative journalism in the Journalism & Graphic Design School at Florida A&M University. As an award-winning journalist and higher ed executive, my latest high profile project involves the multi-faceted development of a 'teaching hospital' formed via a public-private partnership and located on the FAMU campus. The public-private partnership's outcome is a multi-million-dollar, annual economic benefit to the north Florida region with direct benefits to communication students enrolled in programs at FAMU. FAMU's administration and board canceled the project. It has been a rewarding career where I have been transforming lives in education, government, and media for more 25 years. Also, as a ghost and co-writer of literary works that highlight the careers and lives of accomplished world shapers I am achieving a valued use of my talents and skills.
This entry was posted in Good luck charm, Knit and crochet, Mental health, Police services, Stress relief. Bookmark the permalink.

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