Ethel's Writing's

Love from a Sock

Istarted out my life as a mauve sock, 18 inches long, weighing at five ounces. I remember the morning that the factory worker packed me, along with my twin into a big brown box. When the box was full, he piled it onto a skid and loaded it into an overseas container. We were driven to the river and put on a large cargo ship.

When we reached Toronto, the warehouse workers packed the socks into a blue box with a big ‘W’ on the side.

A store clerk hung us on hooks, in an enormous department store in Chatham Ontario. The bright lights caused me to blink. It was good to see light again.

A few days later, two girls pointed at us and said, “Mother; we need new socks. You keep taking our socks and using them to make puppets.”

The mother smiles, “What colour socks do you want me to get for you?”

They replied in unison, “Socks without holes in the toes will do.”

Ethel told her daughters, “I like these mauve ones.” She took several coloured socks off the hooks, and put them into her shopping cart. She continued shopping and buys, white glue, eyes, wool, and masking tape.

When she is finished shopping, they go to the checkout counter. Joy places everything on the black conveyor belt. We went for a short ride. The cashier picked us up and scanned our bar codes. We cost ninety-nine cents a pair. The cashier dropped us into a big plastic bag.

When they get home the girls drop the bag on the floor, “We are hungry mother.”

The mother looks at the bag on the floor, “Joy and Sara, you need to put everything away before you have a snack.”

The girls take the bag to their bedroom. Joy opened the drawer to her dresser and stuffed us in amongst a bunch of old socks. Their heels and toes have holes in them, and the bottoms were a dirty brown.

Sara asked, “Joy, will we ever be able to wear socks without holes in them again?”

“I don’t think so. Not as long as mother keeps running out of socks.”

Sara looked around the room. “I plan to hide my new socks from mother. I will put them under my mattress, so that she can’t find them.”

Joy laughed, “That won’t work Sara. I tried hiding my new socks last month! Mother found them and cut them up to make the head for a puppet.”

Cut them up. What did Joy mean? Cut them up. I looked at my twin and said, “We are socks… is someone going to cut us up?”


Hi! My Name is Lilly

A sock’s destiny is for people to put their smelly calloused feet into us. Some socks have run in marathons. They get to fly around the world on people’s feet. Just think what your life would be like, if someone shoved you into a shoe, and walked on you all day? Smelly, dirty feet with long toe nails poking holes into you. We risk getting lost in the wash, or scorched in the dryer. We lose our mates; they toss us out with the garbage, and some of us end up as dust rags. I am six years old now. Not many pairs of socks are that old.

Ethel, the puppet maker rescued us from this fate a few years ago. I heard her talking to herself the day she entered her girl’s bedroom.

“Now where do you think the girls hid their socks this time?” she chuckled. “I need a pair of mauve socks.” She made a lot of noise as she pulled out all the drawers in their dresser. She bent down and looked under the mattress where we were hiding. “There you are! The girls will never miss you. I will take all of you and buy the girls some more socks tomorrow.”

She returned to the dining room, and piled us on top of the table. I looked around and saw socks with eyes, and big smiles staring at me. What happened to them? Socks do not have eyes. Have you ever seen a sock smile? What kind of world was this? Red, green, blue, white, yellow and black socks were staring at me.

The next thing I knew, Ethel picked me up. Oh no, she had a pair of scissors in her hand. Cut them up, flashed through my mind as I fainted!

I woke to the humming of a sewing machine. Ethel was turning the pair of us into Siamese twins. How would anyone put their foot into us now?

She slipped us over this piece of foam rubber, covered with masking tape. Her gentle hands glued on a pink mouth, a heart-shaped tongue, a black throat, a nose, and two yellow eyes, to the sock.

Ethel, hot glued two purple ears, along with some black and mauve hair to my head.

Ethel stitched us to a baby sleeper. She slipped her hand into us. I started to panic. What was happening? People do not wear socks on their hand; we were made to go on feet.

She opened my mouth and I began to speak. My first words were, “Hi girls my name is Lilly.” I could see, hear, and speak! I was a speaking sock!

Joy the oldest daughter said, “Mother, you bought those new mauve socks for me.”

I took one look at Joy’s feet and was glad her mother had rescued us. Two red toenails were poking out of the holes of her socks.

“Sorry Girls” Ethel said. “I forgot to get myself some socks yesterday. I will buy you some more tomorrow.”

The girls shook their heads and said, “You always take our new socks.”

Ethel called Sara over. “Will you put Lilly in the laundry basket for me please?”

Sara took me across the room, and I join several other colourful sock puppets. Our arms and heads dangle over the side of the basket.

I watch as Ethel cut open another pair of socks. She made them into a cow puppet, with a large pink mouth and black spots. She picked up a red pair of socks and created a rooster head, with a yellow beak.

When she is finished, Ethel said, “Joy and Sara, you can heat up the casserole for supper. There is a salad in the fridge. We will have to eat in the living room again tonight. As usual the kitchen table is covered with puppet supplies.”


After the girls finished washing the supper dishes, their mother said, “I need someone to take pictures of the puppets for me?”

“I will,” Joy goes to her bedroom and returned with the camera. She said, “Sara you hold the cow, while mom you take Lilly.”

Ethel picked me up. I said “My name is Lilly and I am a puppet with little girls on my sleeper.”

Sara’s cow puppet said, “Mo. Mo. My name is Betsy and I have black spots on my face.” She turns to the mauve puppet. “Hi, Lilly, you are beautiful.”

Sara and Ethel acted silly like they always did, when they had a puppet on their hand.

Joy arranged the other puppets on the couch, beside her mother and sister. She picked up the camera and was ready to take the picture, when Sara’s cow knocked the red rooster on the floor.

Joy got impatient and put the rooster back on the couch.

I started to laugh, Joy told her mother, “Stop Lilly from laughing and sit still. That is better, say cheese.”

Everyone said, “Cheese.” A bright light flashed, and I saw black spots before my eyes.

Joy took several close-up pictures of me, and the other puppets. She showed me the back of the camera. “This is you Lilly.”

I had never seen myself before. I wasn’t bad looking. I loved my curly hair. I guess being a sock puppet is going to be fun. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.


A New Friend

After Joy and Sara finished eating breakfast, they dressed for church. They carried the basket full of puppets out to the car. Ethel sat the cow and me in the rear window.

Joy picked up the redheaded rooster and put his legs through the steering wheel. She said, “You can guard the car, while we attended church.”

Several people stopped and looked at us through the window. The children giggled. A little girl in a wheelchair told her mother, “I like the mauve puppet in the back window.” She was pointing at me. The girl looked like she was in pain. I wanted to hug her.


When church was over, Sara came to the car. She reached in and put me on her hand and said, “You will do Lilly.” She returned to the church and gave me to her mother. Ethel put me on her hand and walked over to a young girl in a wheelchair.

She opened my mouth, and I said. “Hi, my name is Lilly. This is my friend Ethel. She made me. What is your name?”

“My name is Joslyn.”

I told her, “It is nice to meet you Joslyn. I am looking for a new family. Would you like to take me home with you?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I want to be your friend?”

“I would like that Lilly.”

Ethel said. “Take good care of Lilly for me Joslyn.”

Joslyn waved my hand, and said, “Thanks for giving Lilly the puppet to me, Ethel.”


My Adventures with Joslyn

On the way home from church, Joslyn’s mother said, “Lilly is a Jump for Joy Puppet. Ethel has taught children in schools and church camps how to make them. She also sends puppets around the world with missionaries. They use them to tell the children about the love of Jesus.

“Ethel told me that she would ask her Bible study group to pray for you.”


Joslyn’s friends and family had a surprise birthday party for her the following Saturday. It was a long day, and Joslyn was tired from all the excitement. Her mother sent her to bed early. After Joslyn fell asleep, her mother picked me up and took me to the living room.

She held me tight and whispered. “Lilly, I can’t believe that Joslyn is eight years old today. The doctors told me that it is a miracle that she is still alive. It has been so hard to see my daughter suffer. She never complains.” She holds me even tighter, and sobs on my shoulder.


I sat on Joslyn’s lap when she took me to church. People came over to see me. I would say, “Hi my name is Lilly. Have you had a hug from a puppet today?”

They usually said, “No,” then bent down to hug me. I went everywhere with Joslyn.

She got in trouble for trying to give me a shower one day. She even shared her ice cream with me.

Her mother told Joslyn, “Please don’t bring Lilly to the table anymore.” She took me into the bathroom, and told me, “I am sorry that I have to do this Lilly,” then she washed my mouth out with soap, to remove the chocolate ice cream from my lips.

I went to school to learn how to read. The teacher told Joslyn, “Lilly your puppet will have to stay at the back of the room. You are playing with her, instead of paying attention to your lessons.”

I spent the rest of the day sitting on a dusty a shelf.

Joslyn talked to me about her life before she met me. “Lilly, I had several operations and had to stay in the hospital. I felt all alone when my mother had to leave. There was no one to hold me, when I woke up with pain.

“Most people ignored me when I was out with my mother. They never even spoke to me because I had to sit in a wheelchair. Sometimes I felt invisible. That has changed since you came into my life, Lilly. You are my best friend. People are friendlier now.

“I need to pack. I wish I could take you with me to the hospital, but my mother said no. I have an idea Lilly.”

Joslyn went to her bedroom. She took the little suitcase off her bed, and hid it in the corner under some blankets. She found a large suitcase and dragged it to her bedroom.

Joslyn told me, “Lilly, you need to be quiet.” She stuffed me inside it, and covered my body with her housecoat. Her hairbrush poked me in the eye, when she shut the lid.

Joslyn’s mother entered the room. She noticed the small suitcase that was hidden under a quilt in the corner. She sees the large one on the bed and shakes her head. “Joslyn, why are you taking such a big suitcase to the hospital?”

Joslyn fibs and said, “I couldn’t find the small one.”

“That is strange. I put it on your bed. I am interested in seeing what you have in the large one, or should I say who.”

Joslyn’s mother opened the suitcase. My right arm popped out, and hit her in the face. She jumped back and looked at me and Joslyn. She saw the humor in the situation and said jokingly, “Now we have a Lilly in the box.” She tries not to laugh and placed her hand firmly on Joslyn’s shoulder. “I told you not to take Lilly with you Joslyn. I wouldn’t want your puppet to get lost.”

Joslyn had tears running down her cheeks. She said, “Mother, Lilly will be lonely without me.”

“You mean you will miss Lilly.”

“Yes mother, I will.”

Her mother wiped her daughter’s tears away with a tissue. She smiled at me and said. “You both win. You can take Lilly with you! I will write your name, and address on her back, and then I will help you pack your small suitcase.”

Joslyn wheeled her chair over to the corner and retrieved her small suitcase. I sat on her bed while her mother helped her pack.

She told her mother, “I am sorry that I said a lie. I will try not to do it again.”

She said, “Thank you, for telling me that you are sorry Joslyn. I forgive you.” Her mother took us both in her arms and prayed. “God, please bless us and keep us safe as I drive to Toronto tomorrow. Help the operation to be successful so that Joslyn will not have any more pain. Thank you for all our blessings and for our new friend Lilly…”

Joslyn bowed her head and started to pray, “God, I am sorry for lying to my mother. I was wrong to tell a lie. Please forgive me.”

Joslyn got ready for bed. Her mother gave us a hug and said, “I will wake you in the morning. Have a good night sleep.”


Sick Children’s Hospital

As we drove along the 401 highway, Joslyn waved my hand at the people in the cars as they passed us. When we got closer to Toronto, she said, “Look out the front window Lilly. That is the CN Tower.”

Joslyn’s mother parked the van. She told her, “I need to register you Joslyn. Stay here, in the playroom until I get back.”

Joslyn looked around the familiar room and didn’t recognize any one. Several children played on the computers. The hospital had added a few new toys.

Some of the children came over to see Joslyn and me. She told them that her name was Joslyn and that I was Lilly her puppet friend.

Joslyn let the children take turns putting me on their hand and having me talk. It was fun.

Her mother returned and took Joslyn and me down the hall and up the elevator.

Joslyn was excited and said, “Lilly, I had this room last year. We can see the CN tower from my bed.”

After supper, Joslyn’s mother gave us a big hug. She tucked Joslyn into bed and said a prayer. “Dear Jesus. Please be with Joslyn and help her get well…” I saw her wipe a few tears from her eyes. She said, “Joslyn, I will return first thing in the morning.”


Joslyn held me tight. She said, “Lilly, the last time I came to Toronto for a checkup, my mother took me to the top of the CN Tower. I will take you there someday.”

We watched the elevators go up and down the tower. I told Joslyn, “I don’t think I will go with you. I do not like heights. Socks were made to walk on the ground, not be up in the sky.”

A nurse came in to check on Joslyn. She told her, “You need to close your eyes and get some sleep.”

Joslyn started to cry, “I’m scared.”

“I will get something for you.” She returned and gave Joslyn a needle to help her relax. I snuggled in Joslyn’s arms all night.


A bright sunbeam was shining through the window, in the morning. Joslyn’s mother arrived at eight and sat with her, until it was time for her operation. The orderly came to get Joslyn.

Joslyn hugged me and said, “Mother take care of Lilly for me.”

Joslyn’s mother held her daughter close, and then she took me down the hall to the waiting room. She sat in an overstuffed chair hugging me. The surgery took several hours.

A few tears mingled with my hair. I did not mind. I knew what it was like, to have someone operate on you. I had been cut open, and then stitched back together by Ethel, the puppet lady.


It was twelve o’clock before the doctor came to talk with Joslyn’s mother. He told her, “The operation went better than expected. Joslyn is in recovery. A nurse will let you know when she wakes up.”

The doctor looked me in the eye and said. “I don’t remember having a puppet as a patient. What is your name?”

“My name is Lilly and I am not sick. I belong to Joslyn.”

“I am Joslyn’s Doctor. Would you like me to put a bandage on you Lilly, just like the one I put on Joslyn?”

I hesitated before saying, “Yes.”

The doctor pulled out a red and white polka dot hanky, from his jacket pocket, and wrapped it around my waist. “I hope you feel better Lilly. I will have someone check your bandage later. I need to go back and see Joslyn.”


A nurse came in and talked with Joslyn’s mother. “Your daughter is awake and fretting. She wants Lilly her puppet!”

Joslyn’s mother followed the nurse to recovery and gave me to her daughter. Joslyn held me in her arms, while they push us down the hall to her room. The people in the hall laugh when they saw me.

Joslyn is still asleep, when a nurse checked on her vital signs. She told Joslyn’s mother, “You should go for supper. I will sit with Joslyn until you return.”

“Thanks. I didn’t have any lunch.” She goes to the cafeteria.

The nurse sat in the chair beside the bed. “You must be Lilly, Joslyn’s puppet, she said. “The nurses in recovery were talking about you today.”

“Yes.” I said.

“Do you want me to take your temperature Lilly?”


“Open your mouth wide!” She put the thermometer into my mouth. “You don’t have a fever.” She laughed.


Later in the evening someone came to see me. “Are you Lilly?


“The doctor sent me to examine your bandage? Do you need a needle for pain?”

I told her, “You can examine my bandage, but no needles. I had enough needles when Ethel stitched me together with the sewing machine.”

I never left Joslyn’s side. I was there to comfort her, when the pain got worse. She held me tight and cried into my hair.

At night, when she couldn’t sleep, Jocelyn would watch the elevators go up the outside of the CN tower.

When a nurse came to check on Joslyn she asked her, “What are you doing awake this late at night?”

“I am looking at the CN tower.”


The next day the nurse brought in a book that had all the information about the CN Tower. She opened it and read, “It takes 58 seconds for the elevator to go from the bottom of the tower to the top.”

She handed Jocelyn the book and said, “You can keep it. When you read anything interesting let me know.”

I sat on Jocelyn’s lap while she showed me the pictures in the book.


When she was strong enough, Jocelyn’s mother took her to the playroom. A little boy with a cast on his leg asked, “Where did you get the puppet?”

Joslyn told him, “Ethel, a lady at church made Lilly for me. Do you want to hold her?”

The children took turns holding me on their lap. One little boy was from Holland visiting his Oma, when he got hurt. He did not speak English. When he put his hand in my head, and opened my mouth, I spoke Dutch.

Joslyn held a story book with one hand and me on her other hand, while I read the children stories. Joslyn and I went everywhere together.


The day before we were to go home, a young girl, moved into our room.

Joslyn asked her, “What is your name?”

“My name is Tammy, and I am eight years old.” She said. “What is your name and who is that?” She was pointing at me!

Joslyn answered, “My name is Joslyn. This is Lilly, my puppet. She is my best friend.”

“Hello. I am going to have an operation tomorrow. I am afraid. This is my first time in the hospital.” She starts to cry.

Joslyn said. “I had surgery on my back last month, Tammy. The nurses wouldn’t let me get out of bed for three days. Lilly helped me when I was afraid. Would you like to hold Lilly tonight?”

She gave me to Tammy and showed her how to put her hand into my head.

“Hi Joslyn, I have a new friend. Her name is Tammy,” I said.

“Would you like me to pray for you Tammy?”

“Yes I would, Joslyn. The people at church have been praying for me. It helps with the pain.”

“Dear Jesus. I just met Tammy. She is scared. I know how she feels. I was afraid before I had my operation. Please help her get well.”

When Joslyn is finished praying, a nurse helped her get ready for bed.

After Tammy is in bed Joslyn asked, “Do you want to be my pen pal Tammy? We can write to each other.”

“That would be fun, Joslyn.”

They exchanged their addresses.

A nurse’s aide checked on the girls before bed, Joslyn asked her, “Will you take some pictures for me please?”

The girls took turns siting me bedside them, on their bed, while she took several pictures.

Joslyn said, “I will mail the pictures to you when I get home Tammy.”

The girls spend the rest of the evening talking about their families.


A came in and said, “The three of you need to stop talking and get some sleep. I heard Lilly laughing out in the hallway. Tammy is having an operation in the morning.” She gave Tammy some medicine to help her relax then turned off the light.

Tammy is not in the room when Joslyn wakes up in the morning. The nurse told her, “Tammy has gone for her operation.”

Joslyn’s mother arrives at ten, to take her home.

Joslyn told her mother, “I met a new girl yesterday. She is having an operation today. I have decided to give Lilly, my puppet to her.

“Are you sure, Joslyn?”

“Yes mother.”

“I pinned a note on Lilly. Will you take us to the waiting room so I can give her to Tammy’s parents? She is going to need her as much as I did.”

Joslyn holds me tight, “I will miss you Lilly. Tammy needs you. Give her a hug for me and tell her I will write.”

Joslyn’s puts me on her hand. Her mother took us to the waiting room. There is a young couple sitting on the couch. I asked them. “Are you Tammy’s parents?”

“Yes,” the man said.

“I am Lilly. My friend Joslyn wants to give me, to Tammy.”

Tammy’s mother said, “Tammy introduced us to you this morning Lilly.”

Joslyn removed me from her hand, and gave me to Tammy’s mother.

She said, “Thank you Joslyn. Tammy told us how you prayed for her last night. That was thoughtful.”

I always pray for the children I meet in the hospital. Life is hard sometimes.”

Joslyn’s mother says, “It is time to go.”

Joslyn gave me a big bear hug. I was sad. She said, “Goodbye Lilly. Thank you for taking such good care of me. I will miss you.” I felt Joslyn’s tears in my hair. That was the last time I saw her.



I was sitting on the serving tray beside Tammy’s bed when she returned to her room.

It was several days before Tammy was strong enough to put me on her hand. She told me, “I am from Thunder Bay, Lilly. It is way up north.”

Tammy spent many lonely nights crying on my shoulder.

When Tammy was strong enough, to sit in a wheelchair, her brothers and sisters came to visit her. Tammy held me on her lap, as they pushed us along the corridors of the hospital. Singing,

The wheels on the wheelchair go round and round

Round and round, round and round.

The wheels on the wheelchair go round and round

All through the hospital.

Tammy said “I have a good one,

Wheel, wheel, wheel, your chair gently down the hall

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a ball.”

One day, a nurse caught us singing in the elevator and scolded, “You need to stay on your own floor Tammy.”


Tammy had a lot of fun. I never stopped talking when I was on her hand. We liked visiting with the other sick children. They laughed and wanted to play with me.

One day a nurse stopped Tammy and said, “The hospital needs to hire you and Lilly the puppet. The children will really miss the two of you when you go home tomorrow.”

Later in the day, when we returned to Tammy’s room, there was a little girl asleep in the other bed. Bandages covered most of her face. A nurse sat beside her.

“You have to be extra quiet Tammy,” the nurse whispered. “This is Sissy, and she is very sick.”


Sissy’s doctor came to examine her in the morning. He told the staff, “Sissy has been in a bad car accident. Her parents and baby brother, both died. She is badly injured and will need some plastic surgery on her face. Sissy has had so much trauma that she is unable to speak.”

Tammy looked over at the little girl and started to pray. “Dear Jesus, please be with Sissy, and help her get well.

“Lilly, I know what I can do. I will give you to Sissy. I have a mother and father. My older sisters and brothers are waiting for me at home. Sissy is hurting because she lost her whole family in a car accident. You will take good care of her, just like you did with me when I was sick.”


Tammy’s parents came to take her home after lunch. She told them, “I want to give my puppet Lilly to the little girl in the next bed.

Tammy’s mother said, “That is a good idea. I was talking to Sissy’s aunt and uncle in the waiting room. They told me about the car accident. Sissy will be staying in the hospital for several weeks.”

Tammy pinned an envelope on me, and held me tight. “I love you Lilly. You can stay and help Sissy.”

Tammy talked to the nurse when she came to check on Sissy. “Will you give Lilly my puppet, to Sissy?”

“That is thoughtful of you Tammy.” The nurse picked me up and set me on the table beside Sissy’s bed.

I saw a few tears on Tammy’s cheeks, when she waved goodbye.



I sat on the table beside Sissy’s bed. Every so often, I would see her eyes looking at me. She had the brightest blue eyes that I had ever seen. Her leg was in a cast. She had a bandage on her right cheek and chin. One-day Sissy even said “Hi.”


A few days later, a nurse gave me to Sissy. She took time to teach her how to use her hand to open my mouth. Sissy hugged me and started to cry. My hair got all wet. I did not mind; that is why the Ethel made me.

The Nurse read the letter that Tammy had pinned on me. “Hi Sissy. My name is Lilly.” She continued to read all about my adventures with, Tammy and Joslyn. Tammy had included their addresses, along with some pictures. She asked Sissy to write to them when she went home. I felt special because Joslyn, and Tammy loved me, and I had a new friend by the name of Sissy.

When no one was in the room, Sissy whispered. “Lilly, you are the only family I have now.” Then she would start to cry.


We spent weeks in the hospital. Sissy’s aunt and uncle came in everyday and sat by her bed. “We love you Sissy.” Her aunt said. “You will be coming to live with us on the farm when you get well.”

Sissy never spoke to them. She turned her head to the wall, and buried her face in my hair. She would not talk to anyone, but me.

As soon as they left, Sissy whispered in my ear, “I miss my mother and father. What will I do without my baby brother Ben? I never even got to play with him.” Sissy sobbed.

A nurse came in and gave Sissy some medicine and held her until she calmed down. Nothing helped to heal her broken heart.


The day finally came, when Sissy was well enough to go and live with her aunt and uncle. She took me with her. I sat on her bed while Sissy adjusted to living with her new family.

Her Aunt Carla told her, “We have started the paperwork to adopt you Sissy. You can still call us, Aunt Carla and, Uncle Randy if you want.”

They took care of Joslyn, and had a very special love for her. Not only were they her aunt and uncle, but now they were going to be her parents.


It took several years for Sissy to get better. Her physical wounds healed. The scars on her face faded away, but the inward turmoil and nightmares from the car accident would not go away.

I hugged her many a night, while she cried. The awful memories and her feelings of abandonment by her parents and brother never left.


Joslyn and Tammy wrote letters to Sissy. They exchanged school pictures. Sissy taped them on the wall so that I could see them. I talked to Joslyn and Tammy on the telephone several times. They always told me, I love you Lilly and miss you.”


Carla and Randy came home a few years after the car accident. Randy told Sissy, “Carla is going to have a baby.”

Sissy jumped up and down with excitement.

Later in the day she told me “Lilly, I am going to be a big sister again.”

Carla and Sissy went to the store to buy some paint supplies. When they returned, Sissy told me, “Lilly you have to stay in our bedroom, while I help Carla paint the baby’s room.”

I did not see much of Sissy that day. When she took a break from painting she told me, “I can’t pick you up Lilly. I am covered in paint.”


The next day, Carla took Sissy and me to the storage room in the basement. She opened the lid of an old oak trunk.

Carla said, “I think you are old enough to go through your parents belongings Sissy. This was your mother’s hope chest. Take your time. Remember, your mother is my sister, and I miss her so much.”

Sissy sat me on a box and took out a photo album. “Look Aunt Carla, this is a picture of my father and my mother.”

“It is their wedding picture Sissy.”

They spent the afternoon looking through the trunk and reminiscing about things that had happened in the past. Every so often Sissy would bring a picture over to show me. “Look Lilly, this is a picture of me dressed as princes, at Halloween.”

Sissy picked up a picture of her family. Her baby brother Ben was sitting on her lap. Her parents were standing behind her. She said, “Aunt Carla I want to take this picture to my bedroom.

“I remember the day my mother brought my baby brother Ben home from the hospital. He was so tinny. I wanted to pick him up and play with him. My mother told me that he was too small to play. How old was Ben when he died Aunt Carla?”

“He was four months old Sissy. I took this picture of your family.” She went to a bookcase and returned with a package. “I had a larger copy of the picture framed for you. Randy will hang it on the wall beside your dresser if you want.”

Sissy hugged her. “Thank you Aunt Carla.”

Carl held Sissy tight. “Sissy, you can call me Carla. You live with me now and you are my daughter.”


Six months later Carla had a baby boy. They called him Brandon. When they came home from the hospital they had Sissy sit in the overstuffed chair and place her new baby brother in her arms.

Sissy said, “Look Lilly, Brandon has blue eyes just like me.”

Sissy was old enough to help Carla look after Brandon. She even changed his dipper.

She had her own horse called Thumper. She would take me for rides around the farm. I never got used to the smell of horse manure and told her to leave me in the house when she had to muck out the stalls.


We would sit on the floor and play with Brandon. He told Sissy once, “I love you and Lilly. I am glad you are my big sisters.”

Sissy’s family had a surprise party for her fourteenth birthday. Tammy sent her a beautiful birthday card, and the florist delivered some roses from Joslyn. I gave her a big hug.


Sissy packed me into a big box the following Christmas, and took me to the Post Office.

The Postal Clerk asked her, “Would you like to insure the contents of the box?”

Sissy said. “Yes.”

The clerk asked, “How much is it worth?”

Sissy said, “She is priceless.” Sissy told her all about Lilly the puppet that was packed in the box.

The people in line wiped away their tears. The woman who was standing behind Sissy reached into her purse, and paid for the stamps.

The Postal Clerk stamped fragile, handle with care on the box.


The postal truck delivered me to Chatham Ontario. Joslyn’s mother put the box with me in it under the Christmas tree. I could smell the scent of pinecones and roast turkey. I recognized the voice of Joslyn when she picked up the box with me inside. It was hard for me not to give the secret away.

When Joslyn opened the lid on Christmas morning, I popped out. “Surprise,” I said, and gave my very special friend, a big hug.

My hair got all wet with Joslyn’s tears of joy. It had been six years since Joslyn had left me at the hospital with Tammy.

The three girls continued to phone and write to each other. They shared school pictures every year.



The summer Joslyn turned nineteen; her mother drove her to the CN Tower for a surprise reunion with Tammy and Sissy. I sat on Joslyn’s knee all the way. It was a bit scary when we entered the elevator for the ride to the top of the tower.

Joslyn held her stopwatch in her hand so she could time the ride. When and the doors open she said, “The book is right. The elevator ride took only, 58 seconds from start to finish.”

Joslyn waited out on the glass enclosed deck, while her mother went to find Tammy and Sissy’s family. I could see the Sick Children’s Hospital. It had a helicopter-landing pad on the top of the roof.

I tried not to look down to the ground, but Joslyn insisted. I had no choice because Joslyn’s hand was inside my head.

I opened my eyes and it was scarier than I thought it would be. The people looked like aunts. My head began to spin and I felt like I was going too faint. Joslyn told me to take a deep breath. She backed away from the railing and held me close. It helped.

Joslyn's mother came and wheeled the chair into the restaurant. Tammy and Sissy were sitting at a table with their backs to us. Joslyn put me on her hand and I said, “Surprise. It is Lilly. I have come to see you.”

Tammy and Sissy jumped with excitement when they saw me on Joslyn’s hand. They both took turns holding me.

Tammy said, “I love you Lilly.” I gave her a big hug.

After Sissy held me for a while she handed me to her brother, Brandon.

“Brandon said, “I love you Lilly. I missed you, when you went to live with Joslyn.”

We all spent the afternoon together and had fun reminiscing with each other.

Who would have thought that a mauve sock could have so many adventures? No one knows what tomorrow will bring. I have Joslyn, Tammy, Brandon and Sissy as my friends. They love me.

Several pictures were taken that day. My favorite one is with the three girls. Joslyn is holding me as we sat in front of the window of the CN Tower. I have a big name tag pined on me.

My name is Lilly the puppet these are my friends Joslyn, Tammy and Sissy We were in the Sick Children’s Hospital in 1997


Later in the day, we visited the children’s ward at the Sick Children’s Hospital Several of them came up to me and said, “It is so good to see you again Lilly.” The nurses did not recognize the girls. They introduced themselves and talked for a while.

Joslyn asked them if they would use their computer to download the group picture from her camera. They do and the nurse gave each of them a copy.

Joslyn told the nurses, “I am going to college in September. The girls and I want to give Lilly, the Jump for Joy Puppet, to the hospital, so she can bless some other children that are hurting.”

Joslyn’s doctor came to see them. “Hello Joslyn and Lilly, it is good to see you again. I want to show you the model of our new hospital addition. I am finished working for the day.”

He took them down to the foyer, and walked across the room to where a scale model of a building stood. He said, “This is what our new 24 story research hospital will look like. It should be finished in 2013.”

When everyone is ready to go home, I give the girls and Brandon one last hug before they leave my life forever.

Love Lilly

The puppet, that Ethel made.


Our Family’s Puppet Ministry

Istarted to make Puppet’s thirty-nine years ago. We just finished making, our 800th Jump for Joy puppet. Her Name is Lilly and her picture is on the cover.

Jane and Sandra also helped me make over 1000 Beloved Puppets. We used recycled stuffed animals, and cut a hole in their bottom. After removing the stuffing from the body, arms, legs, and part of the head, we would put a piece of foam in the head. We gave them to Christian workers all around the world.

The girls and I met Krystal at Church in 1997. Her mother told us that Krystal was going to spend several weeks in the hospital. We gave her one of our Jump for Joy Puppets.


I went home and wrote, the story, Love from a Sock. Lilly the puppet tells the story about the selfless love of some little girls who are in the hospital.

That was 17 years ago. I did not know that Krystal had left the puppet I gave her at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto, after her operation. My friend met Krystal’s mother last spring.

I phoned Krystal’s mother and she told me that Krystal passed away several years ago. The puppet she left at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto blessed twenty-five children. I gave Krystal’s mother a puppet. She takes it with her when she visits.

I am dedicating this book, Love from a Sock, to the memory of Krystal.


I would like to thank my daughters Jane and Sandra Hiday, along with my mother Winnie Tulloch, who helped make the puppets. In addition, I want to thank my sister Barbara, and Kathy who encouraged me.




All the names in the story, except for Ethel are from my imagination.


I dedicate this book to the memory of Krystle.


ISBN number 978.0.9809182.5.0

(c)Ethel (Hiday) Wicksey

Chatham Ontario Canada

© Copyright May 29, 1997

Revised July 17, 2014

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