The prayer pillow

Sal Alaniz gave me the prayer pillow for Ginnie. It was made by his mother, Tiny, from a group at St. Alphonsus Church, in Mt. Pleasant, who make prayer pillows.

They give these pillows to people in need of prayer. As each pillow is made, they are prayed over. Every stitch, every tuck and fold carries with it the gift of healing, comfort and peace. That's what the world needs?more prayer, instead of tweets, bleeps and military Jeeps.

Ginnie underwent hip replacement surgery. Joint replacement is almost commonplace nowadays, but, as Ginnie has never had major surgery, it was an extreme life event. I want to thank all the people who prayed for her on Facebook?hundreds of them. It was a welcome cheering for Ginnie as she read these messages on the way to the hospital. En-route, our pastor, Trey Hegar, called and prayed for her. My car is equipped with Bluetooth, so it was like having Pastor Trey in the car with us. Ginnie closed her eyes during the prayer. I kept mine open so I could drive. I'm sure God understood.

Before surgery, the surgeon joined us in prayer. We prayed for guidance for his hands, and for Ginnie's healing and relief from pain.

Ginnie came through surgery in flying colors. She was ready to dance a jig. ?If I'd known it was going to be this easy,? she sang, ?I would have had it sooner.?

I wondered if it was the spinal block talking, or if the surgery was really that easy.

It was the spinal block talking. The next day??This is the worst day of my life!? She was in so much pain that I wondered if I would ever have my Ginnie back. I tucked the prayer pillow under her wrist and told her to use it. Was the morphine drip even working?

I then watched in shocking disbelief as a nurse changed her dressing, and a layer of skin came off with the bandages. Ginnie is allergic to certain bandage types. Aye, yi, yi. Just what she needed.

The third day was better. Ginnie was using her walker to get herself to the bathroom without yelping. When she asked how Buddy was doing, I knew she was getting better, like the sun peeking out from behind storm clouds.

The fourth day I brought Ginnie home, jiggity jog. Buddy did circles, then got into her satchel and ate a package of gum and bag of potato chips. Church friends delivered soups, casseroles, desserts and woman talk. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I won't have to cook for a week! No more beanie weenies! I found a cowbell so Ginnie could call me?her male nurse in-waiting. Although Ginnie soon found a modern-day substitute for the bell?texting! ?Could you bring me some ice water?? (This was at 2 a.m.) Aye, yi, yi.

I've been doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher and helping Ginnie take her socks off and on. Buddy has refrained from jumping up on Ginnie's lap when she's in the recliner. He seems to understand. But her hospital toothbrush was just too tempting.

A big boon to Ginnie's recovery was Iowa State winning the Big 12 Championship in basketball on Saturday night. ?No, Deonte. Yes, Monte! Drain it, Matt!? There's nothing like a good ole fashioned throw-down to pick up your spirits.

The prayer pillow works, it really does. We are ready to pass it along. Anyone in need? It's tried and true.


Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm, in Mt. Pleasant, at 319-217-0526, email him at, or find him on Facebook. Swarm?s stories are also read at 106.3 FM, in Farmington.