Well okay
Sunday July 10th 2022, 9:58 pm
Filed under: History,Life

The General Consul of Ukraine in San Francisco was speaking at the Mormon church the next town over at 7 pm tonight, followed by a woman who had done humanitarian work there. For ten years, if I heard right.

He came in at the beginning with an older gentleman who sat down at the opposite end of the second row from me as the Consul went up on the stand.

He came back down and sat by his friend during the woman’s presentation as she talked about ways to help Ukraine and mentioned how important supporting their businesses is to the war effort as well as their daily lives.

I quietly hoped my dark blue vyshyvanka from Sumy was helping her point. It’s one of the prettiest things I’ve ever bought.

At about 8:00 pm, the two men conferred quietly with each other and the Consul left for another engagement.

There were snacks and time to visit afterwards–there’s an old joke about needing six Mormons to change a lightbulb because there have to be five to serve refreshments–and I took a friend aside and said, I have a mild case of face blindness. Do you see him? Is he still here?

I was sure of the answer, I just didn’t want it to be the answer, but no, the Consul wasn’t there.

I started to head out but by the entryway were two chairs and in one of them was a friend I hadn’t seen in ages.

After the initial exclamations of delight, I told her my disappointment.

She knows about my deafness, and she said, But the guy he was with works with him. He could take care of it for you, and he’s right there, she said, pointing him out.

So I turned back that way and waited for the man to be done with whom he was speaking with, and then explained: When the war started, my reaction was to find as close to the colors of the Ukrainian flag as I could find and knit a hat and then as soon as it was done I immediately made another one. I did not know who they were for, just that I felt compelled to make them. Could you get one to him?

He was surprised and very happy.

And, I added, could I give you the other one? Or the two of you can decide together who it’s for, I leave it in your hands.

His eyes were shining now. Yes. Thank you!

Wait, he said–you can’t just walk off. You have to tell me your name. You have to let us know where to thank you!

But he just had… That’s all I needed, since clearly there was no question he would get the one to where it most needed to go and both were going to be appreciated. Already were.

I looked, though, and finally told him, I had a book published 15 years ago and used to always have a card in my purse but, um, I don’t anymore. (An aside as I type this: well now there are! Fixed that! Still had a few left.)

He was not to be deterred. He handed me a pen with a smile. I had nothing to write on.

Wait, I did, I had the very crumpled instructions for the Flame Chevron baby afghan project in my purse. I didn’t need those directions, they were kind of a just-in-case mental crutch, but I did suddenly need that paper and there you go.

I wanted to protest, But I didn’t do it to be thanked!

The thought that it might be an unkindness not to let them is how he got what he’d found himself suddenly hoping for after all.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

How nice! You didn’t do it to be thanked, but yes, maybe they needed to be able to thank you.

Comment by ccr in MA 07.11.22 @ 11:30 am

Wonderful! So happy you could attend and gift the hats. You don’t need another thank you, but have them the extra gift of knowing the name of the generous gifter, just because. Thank you.

Comment by DebbieR 07.11.22 @ 1:15 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>