The note I got from John about how much our aunt was admiring and enjoying her new silk scarf was enough to keep the needles going for a long time to come. It was wonderful.
Meantime, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is biking from Toronto to Montreal, along with some of her loved ones, in a fundraiser for a group that provides care to AIDS patients.
I have a cousin whom I think I last saw when I was not yet in kindergarten. I never knew him as an adult, didn’t even know where he lived but wished very much that I did: I could ask him if he remembered sledding down the Marx’s hill on those round metal sleds, we could reminisce over our parents and our childhoods as a starting point of getting acquainted again; he was family.
I found out only after my uncle told us of his death that he had been ill.
It turned out he’d had AIDS. In the early days of the crisis when there wasn’t much they could do, when patients were so often blamed and feared and told they deserved to suffer, that it was God’s wrath. In retrospect, it sounds a little like the mentality of that traveling group from Kansas, doesn’t it? I shiver at what it must have been like.
Not knowing meant I did nothing to offer him comfort or support. I have regretted that intensely, all the more so because, it turned out, he had been living in San Jose and we’d been 25 miles right up the road for a few years by then. If only…
As I write, Stephanie’s sponsors have given $45,470 to the cause, and if you click on “view team page,” those first five names at the top with her are her friend Ken, her sister, and her daughters. Their friend Paco is on another team, and via knitters reading Stephanie’s blog, has gone past the $8,000 mark himself. We have this hobby that teaches the power of each individual stitch added to stitch added to stitch.
Every act of kindness counts. Every now and then, they get to become visible like that.
(At the end of typing those sentences, it’s $45,495 now. Wow.)
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