Bryan’s scarf
Thursday August 23rd 2007, 1:22 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life

Patricia’s scarfI finally finished it!

Bryan’s scarf

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been in this longterm lupus study for awhile now. July marked the first time I actually had to go to San Francisco in person, and I got to meet some of the people that have been behind the names and the phone voices for so long.

One of whom was exactly the right person to get that green shawl. And she got it, and loved it, and I am absolutely thrilled.

So. A few weeks later, I got a thank you card for my participation from the fellow I’d spent most of that day with. Bryan.Bryan’s card

The thing I like least about this multiple-major-illness thing is how it sometimes smacks you hard in the face when the subject of a longterm plan of any sort comes up. As we finished up that day, Bryan told me warmly that he looked forward to the follow-up session two years out. That hit me. I made myself ask him the question I’d been having: in this new part of the study, if I’m not here to do the rounds at the follow-up, would the results of July be tossed? Would they be of any value, still? He assured me with a smile from the heart that they would. Good. That was a relief.

But somehow his being somebody I could open up to and ask that question of, and the comfort of the warmth in his response, left me looking forward to that next round. I will be there. Just try to stop me.

Bryan sent me this note recently. Not on official UCSF stationary, it was something he’d apparently picked out himself. Opening it up, it wowed me: I am the daughter of an art dealer. I was taught to look for the patterns in things, to observe. My grandfather was a US Senator, I grew up next to DC, and the ornate patterning in the old government buildings downtown seemed all over this card. My other grandmother, long widowed, had lived not far from San Francisco, and I remember Golden Gate Park and its art museum from my childhood–again, ornate and grand, as are some of the other older buildings in that city–which I live 45 minutes from myself, now. (The De Young was destroyed in our ’89 earthquake, though, and rebuilt in a far more modern style.)

The card from Bryan, then, seemed an instant visual connection between my youth, my life here, and somehow on into the future. Amazing the sense of continuity one artist’s creativity can make, while that artist, whoever designed this thing, will never know.

Inside, Bryan thanked me for taking part in the study, not mentioning anything about his colleague’s shawl; I don’t doubt that it would have seemed to him too much like angling for me to knit him something, too. But he wanted to wish me well, and he then took the time to take it over to the phlebotomist who had waited for me to put down my knitting so she could draw my blood, and as she did so, had mentioned to me that she was a knitter, too. Cool! She’d signed her name after his. I wasn’t just the blood draw at 1 pm; I was someone who, weeks later, still mattered to her. That group has just incredible people in it.

How could I not answer this. Bryan, this is me saying thank you the way I know how. Patricia, that Zinnia scarf–the one with the story in my book, singing, “If you go to San Francisco…” These are for you guys. Check your mail. Cheers.

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I am very happy that you have had special people around you during the difficult medical times. The people you deal with can make all the difference in the world.

Comment by Sonya 08.24.07 @ 2:38 pm

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