Donna Deschenes, left,admires the worrk of 89-year-old Mary Nelson Monday at the Tyngsboro Council on Aging. SUN AMARIS CASTILLO
Donna Deschenes, left,admires the worrk of 89-year-old Mary Nelson Monday at the Tyngsboro Council on Aging. SUN AMARIS CASTILLO

TYNGSBORO -- Donna Deschenes ran her hands on one of the handmade lap robes draped on a table at the Tyngsboro Council on Aging. Together, the robes when lifted formed a kaleidoscope of colors that brightened up the plain room.

"They're gorgeous. I can't thank you enough. These are just beautiful," Deschenes gushed to Mary Nelson, who crocheted each one. "The patients will love them. They will love them."

A wide smile spread across Nelson's face at the compliment. Deschenes, coordinator of volunteers for the Hospice Program at Circle Home, stopped by the senior center on Monday to officially receive 20 lap robes donated by Nelson that will go to hospice patients.

"Warmth and happiness ... I try to choose colors that are lively."   Mary Nelson (left), when asked what she hopes hospice patients will get from
"Warmth and happiness ... I try to choose colors that are lively." Mary Nelson (left), when asked what she hopes hospice patients will get from her creations.

Nelson, an 89-year-old member of the Stitchers (a knitting group that meets weekly at the Council on Aging), said she needed something to do and planned on giving the lap robes to anyone who wanted it.

"You can't watch TV all the time," the retired German and Latin teacher said. "You can't do that."

It took Nelson a couple days to make each lap robe and she can't recall when she began working on the project. But she's been doing this since she was 5 or 6 years old. Nelson's maternal grandmother, Marie Lang, taught her the art of knitting and crocheting when she was a young child in Germany.

"Warmth and happiness," Nelson said when asked what she hopes Circle Home hospice patients will get from her creations.


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"I try to choose colors that are lively."

Deschenes said Circle Home collects lap robes for patients every year from anyone willing to donate.

"They provide comfort for them," Deschenes said. "Bringing a gift to someone is always so lovely anyway, but it provides comfort and just a feeling that they're being supported and loved by these nurses who are angels."

Other members of the Stitchers group also admired Nelson's work on Monday.

"Her work is impeccable," said Jean Jacoppi, coordinator of the Stitchers.

Mary Nelson, 89, of Tyngsboro, looks at an appreciation trophy she received Monday at the Tyngsboro Council on Aging from other members of the Stitchers, a
Mary Nelson, 89, of Tyngsboro, looks at an appreciation trophy she received Monday at the Tyngsboro Council on Aging from other members of the Stitchers, a knitting group that meets weekly at the senior center. SUN/AMARIS CASTILLO
"She just never stops. She never stops."

Deschenes said she thinks Nelson's work is "absolutely beautiful."

"I think she's very talented. She does it from the heart," she said. "She only makes them to donate to people, and that's a wonderful thing."

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.