Friday, October 18, 2013

A baby for Kathleen-It's about HOPE

This is a coffee table I've played around with for months. I would finish it, then use it as a work bench while waiting for paint to dry, and in the meantime, dribble some stain or paint on it, and it was back in rotation for another plan. The other day I received a party invitation, and suddenly, its destination was clear, and its "costume" was indelible. It is to be a door prize for a fundraiser in a few weeks, for our friend, Kat and her husband Stevan. They want to have a baby. After 8+ years of trying, their path so far has produced 3 attempts at artificial insemination and exhausted their savings. They are working with a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic for In Vitro Fertilization, (IVF) which is an elective, and not covered by insurance. The cost will be about twenty thousand dollars. 20 grand is the price of a fairly new vehicle, a down payment on a moderate house, the cost of some weddings, a year of college, a tiny life. Their doctor told them this is the last year they can be considered as candidates.

Kathleen's mother Pat (friend and neighbor), and I were pregnant at the same time, 37 years ago. My 4th, her 6th. We were putting an addition on our century home (built in 1824) at the end of winter, and the only way to see it was by way of a ladder. Naturally, being young and invincible, I virtually ran up the ladder to show its progress to a friend who had stopped by. As I stepped on the ladder to come down, the ladder slid in the snow. I grabbed for the gutters but my body weight shifted backwards, and I landed on my head and my spine. This was not good. I was 7 months pregnant.

Days later, when I was discharged from the hospital, knowing I was needed at home by my other children; I had double vision, a lanced hematoma, water on the knee, and a sick feeling in my heart that my carelessness had gravely harmed my child. I needed a nap. Just a little nap. My husband was already back to work and as I came down the stairs, the banisters were filled with a sticky substance....peanut butter and jelly. Koogle Peanut Butter and Jelly. So was the living room couch that I had just reupholstered. And, the bathroom faucets. I can still recall my sound, something akin to a primal scream. As I headed for the door, in walked Kat's mom, my savior. She hugged me, made me tea, gave me a wet cloth for my bleeding head, and scurried the kids around, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. She saved my life.


Forward ahead:  Kathleen actually found this table and a stash of other abandoned pieces. This is the progression of the table before I had an actual plan.  I guess one would call it "practicing".

The wood tone was its original color

I tried some Driftwood and Tumbleweed

An ooey, gooey mess with stripper

Measuring and marking it off

Then, doing a variation on theme

A corner view

Modified Union Jack Coffee Table


Families are everything. For most people, deciding to have one requires little effort. Then, there are those who would make the greatest parents, but due to unforeseen circumstances, settle for being an aunt and an uncle. Kat has the nurturing heart of her mother and could teach a child many things. She has spent her life trying to "save and preserve" things for a future child....Conneaut Lake Park, dolls she played with as a child, memories. This table is but a token of thanks for the many times Kathleen's family has enriched our lives.


This table will be raffled off two weeks from Sunday at the fundraiser. I will be making 250 gourmet cupcakes as well for sale at the Cupcakes of Hope table. Painting wood, painting cupcakes, painting hope.

The Rest of the Story:   
On May 6, 1976, I gave birth to a perfect, healthy baby girl. We named her Bethany, which means "Consecrated to God". Kathleen was born 7 weeks later. They are each others' oldest and dearest friend. 

As ever,
La Verne

This table has been linked to Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday.


  1. I am selling 50/50 raffle tickets for her fundraiser. If you know Kathleen and would like to purchase some, email me at and I will drop off some to you. Bethany

  2. This is beautiful! I have a soft spot for Union Jack! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Delia, thanks for your comments. I see you are new to blogging. If you need any help, holler.

    La Verne

  4. I can't even begin to tell you how special this made me feel. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends. Thank you Bethy & Mrs Dietz! Love you. I created this for those that cannot attend the fundraiser my family is having for us on Nov 3rd. Thank You! Kathleen

    Click here to support A Baby for Kathleen & Stevan by Kathleen Tomazin Cockrell

  5. This is a better link to her site so that you can read Kat and Stevan's baby story: