Tuesday July 30th 2013, 11:11 pm
Filed under: Crohn's flare,Friends,History,Life

The best thing, by far, that I have ever read on the subject of Paula Deen is this essay, ending with an invitation to her to come cook and bake and break bread with the author. Powerful in his forgiving, his empathy, and in the opportunity he offers her. The point of my mentioning this is not Paula Deen: it is in the wisdom and the words of the wonderful human being that is Michael Twitty.

And more locally:

Last October I loaned a friend a skirt for part of her Halloween costume. It was a tall size Talbots, silk, bought off Ebay for a buck plus shipping charges that were no more than a gallon of gas–it seemed worth the risk at the time, though the color was a guess from the poor photo; I could always change that part anyway.

Vivid orangey red is the exact light frequency that sets off my head injury the most and tosses my flimsy balance away. Yow! But it was long, flattering. Elegant.

Emily absolutely loved it. She’s tall, she loved the color, it fit her perfectly, for her it was perfect, and so when she came to bring it back I offered her to keep it.

No no, it’s yours, and she refused, delighted by the gesture, though.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was cleaning up in preparation for our houseguests. They’ll be here after seeing Yosemite–I don’t think my brother’s been in California since the summer I was 10 and he turned 12–and somehow I came across that forgotten skirt. And so I found myself looking at it yesterday morning and thinking of Emily.

Well, I did already try to give it to her, time to finally go put it in that dyepot and darken the color.  A lot. No sense in having it go unworn. The lining is polyester and will likely stay what it is and resist the protein-fibers-specific Jacquard bath, but that’s okay. Seems a shame to risk it, though–it’s harder to dye finished clothes evenly than it is yarn.

But no sense in wasting it, either. I started to pick it up to start the pre-soak.

Something felt so strongly, no, that, no, and I put it back down. Huh. I looked at it again and thought of her and how much she’d loved it, and at last left it spread out on the ironing board ready to steam press or dunk but doing nothing yet.

I found myself thinking of her all day as I passed in and out of the laundry room with the neon-bright skirt front and center. The skirt was secondary; Emily seemed uppermost in my thoughts.

There was an email that came in last night.

Emily’s husband was out of town. She thought she smelled smoke. They think it was her water heater, but whatever it was it became a two-alarm fire that also damaged the apartment above her.  She and her baby got out and nobody was hurt but she was evacuated from her home.

Many, many friends responded to the mass email and helped her get her family’s belongings, what remained of them, into a storage container because I guess it all had to go. Now. Richard, who has done Red Cross volunteer work responding to house fires, says that typically it takes weeks for the fire officials to investigate causes of unknown origin–you don’t want the next apartment over doing the exact same thing shortly after, you want to find and verify and fix. And then there’s the wait for the repair work to be done before you can move back in. It can take months.

I was absolutely wiped after cleaning out the yarn room, and with that recent Crohn’s growling, I did not dare push my body further in one day.

But what I could do was to offer a beautiful, bright, cheery skirt that I knew would fit her body and soul, something new rising from the ashes.

Don’t know if her computer burned… Haven’t heard back yet.

Whether she lets me give it to her or not is almost beside the point. When she most needed support by her side, before her friends knew, the Love in the universe was right there for her trying to get through my thick head. Emily. Emily needs you.

I interpreted it in a way that made sense to me at the time, but at least at the end of her terrible day she could know there was someone who’d been thinking of her constantly from about the time the whole thing started.

And if in the fire she lost the scarf I knit her awhile ago then I will go find some fabulous, soft yarn and it will be in bright orangey red.

3 Comments so far
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No coincidence. That skirt is hers. I’m glad she and her family are safe, and I hope they suffered less damage than anticipated.

Comment by Channon 07.31.13 @ 8:47 am

Methinks that you are especially tuned in to the

As for coincidences, try this one on for size:
Some things are just too coincidental to be a coincidence.
Yogi Berra

Comment by Donald Meyer 07.31.13 @ 8:54 am

I am again awed by your awareness of the Spirit — perhaps it is your special gift that you share so wonderfully with the rest of us “mere mortals”

Comment by bev 07.31.13 @ 11:00 am

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