On a May afternoon, a woman came into the Leisure Services office and told Barb Wagner that she was assisting a friend, Kay, to declutter and get rid of some items she had been hanging onto. She wanted to donate some of the items to Bartels and some of those items belonged to Kay’s mother while she was a resident at Bartels. She handed Barb a sack which contained some small items including many jewel-toned necklaces that were favorite bingo prizes.

She then handed Barb a box. When Barb looked at the top of the box, she was taken back. Written on the box were the words, “Mother’s prayer shawl from Barb Wagner.” Barb remarked to her, “Well, that’s me!”

When Barb opened the box, she recognized the prayer shawl. It was one Barb’s mother, Gladys Wubbena, had made many years ago. Barb had given the prayer shawl as a Christmas gift to someone at Bartels many years ago.

When Barb asked this lady who Kay’s mother was, she was unsure of her name. Later, when Barb took the prayer shawl out, the laundry identification label was still intact. It had belonged to Mildred Rundle.

Barb’s mother lovingly made over 140 prayer shawls for the Prayer Shawl Ministry at her church, St. James Lutheran, Allison. The shawls were given to individuals who were in need of comfort, prayers, or in times of celebration. Barb’s mother’s prayer shawls have traveled throughout the country and the world, and now this prayer shawl found its way back to Barb.

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