Family grateful when father gets beloved blanket back — and another just like it

·3 min read
Cyril Mooney, 83, would often have the colourful blanket on his lap when he read, or when he was chilly. (Janice Mooney - image credit)
Cyril Mooney, 83, would often have the colourful blanket on his lap when he read, or when he was chilly. (Janice Mooney - image credit)
Janice Mooney
Janice Mooney

It wasn't an expensive blanket. The family's not even sure where it came from — just that it was passed down from his mother-in-law. But it was on Cyril Mooney's couch for as long as anyone can remember.

"If dad was ever chilly or something he would always grab for that blanket," said Cyril's daughter Janice Mooney.

"I just think he liked the colours in it, it's very bright and colourful, and it's just warm. He always reads a lot so sometimes he'd just throw it over his legs or when he had the dog, the dog would curl up beside him on the blanket."

That's why when Cyril, 83, moved June 9 from the hospital in Montague, P.E.I., to the new secure unit for people living with dementia at the Garden Home in Charlottetown, his family was concerned when the blanket was not with his belongings.

Staff at both locations looked everywhere for the blanket — under the beds, in the closets — but it was nowhere to be found.

"We had kind of given up hope," Janice said.

Then she decided to post a notice on Facebook, explaining the situation and asking if anybody had seen it. It got more than 500 shares.

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

One woman who saw the post, Suzanne Walker, said she had the exact same blanket and offered to donate it to Cyril.

"I'm so touched by Islanders," Janice said. "People don't know us, for the most part, but just caring enough to know that somewhere the blanket had to be, but where was it. Just so grateful to people and want to thank them."

Here's where the story takes an unexpected twist. When Janice's sister and brother-in-law went to deliver the new blanket to Cyril on Monday evening, the original blanket was there in his room.

If it brings some comfort to him and some familiarity, that's the most important thing for us. — Janice Mooney

"We have no idea how it got there," Janice said.

"Here we now have two blankets."

Because of his dementia, Janice said the family isn't entirely sure if Cyril even realized the blanket was missing.

But Angela Boudreau, the activity director at Garden Home, said it can be upsetting to residents when something they treasure goes missing, especially when they first move in because they are usually downsizing into a smaller space.

"The families are always asked to pick things that are sort of near and dear to that person's heart, because you can't bring everything with you when you come, so these things that are in our residents' room, most of them do have special meaning."

Janice, who lost her mother in 2013, is just happy the blanket is there when her father goes to reach for it.

"If it brings some comfort to him and some familiarity, that's the most important thing for us. We're just doing our best to make his days as bright and easy as possible. That's all any of us can do, right?"

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