And that is why
Thursday February 23rd 2023, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Life

(In real life, those lilacs at the top are as bright as a spring morning.)

I have mentioned the woman who sold me two beautiful gerdans in November–whose shop then disappeared from Etsy and there was no way to send her a message to make sure she was okay. Of all the people in Ukraine that I’d interacted with and had tried to do my part to help support, she was the one I was most worried about.

I had bought the second one because I loved it, but also to keep the conversation going. And suddenly all I was getting was Etsy’s notification that this shop was no longer listed.

I googled the name of it in case it might appear on some other platform. No luck. I only had her first name. It hit hard, to a degree that surprised me–and yet didn’t at all.

I have grieved that lost connection. I have wanted to know that she was as alright as possible.

Two days ago, the thought struck me: yes Etsy wouldn’t let me send a message to her shop–but what about responding to months-old previous messages? Were they still there? And if so, why hadn’t I thought of this before?

I felt a combination of, I have to at least try, and a sudden and unreasonable hope.

They were still there! She got it! She answered!

It meant the world to her that it meant so much to me to finally find her again, that it matters how she and her family are doing. The world. It cares. About them.

She told me the way to find and follow her now. Oh my goodness, there was a year old picture of her showing off her latest design and saying how proud she was of it, that she thought it was her prettiest ever–and it was sitting in a box across the room from me as I read that because I had also thought it was the prettiest ever, I had not found anything quite like it from anyone else and it’s what got me to ever pay attention to anything about her in the first place.

But also on her page was a video of a large apartment building collapsed by missiles with fire raging across the bottom, with her cri de couer: “There are people under there!”

And here I suddenly showed up telling her how hard I’d tried to find her and that I’d been praying fervently for her safety and so grateful to find her again. Unspoken was the word, alive.

That is when I realized why I not only have been buying but wearing these hand-beaded pictorial necklaces from Ukraine: each one connects me to the person who made it.

But also, I feel as if in some small and thoroughly irrational way I am somehow helping to protect that person from the terrors and the harm by keeping them right there close to my heart throughout my quiet, peaceful day.

5 Comments so far
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Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 02.24.23 @ 7:39 am

Bless you for your care and concern. (And your purchases)

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 02.24.23 @ 8:25 am

You found her!

Comment by Afton 02.24.23 @ 11:09 am

How wonderful that you were able to reach her! I’m sure it meant the world to her.

Comment by ccr in MA 02.24.23 @ 11:49 am

Every bit of contact has got to help. 🙂

Comment by Helen Mathey-Horn 02.25.23 @ 1:44 pm

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