I have an acquaintance, L, who is journeying through the loss of a child. Her daughter, N, who is about 7 or 8, has been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, and happened to luck into the progressive, fast-moving, form. She was diagnosed last summer, and her parents have been told they should get ready to arrange hospice care. It is the most horrible thing that could happen.
I found out the details through a mutual friend, and I'd been meaning to write a message to L, but I hadn't gotten around to it --first because life is busy, but mostly I think because it was going to be so difficult.
Today as I was leaving Panera, bent over on my cane, I saw L sitting and reading at one of the tables. I put down my stuff and joined her, in order to tell her that I had heard, and that I was so sorry. We were both in tears in seconds, and even though I probably disrupted one of her few peaceful moments these days, I am really glad I was able to express my sympathy personally. There are really no adequate words of sympathy, and we didn't use too many words.
Through beads and jewelry making I've been involved with two different charities now, one for children just like N, (Beads of Courage), and one for anyone with a genetic disease that doesn't already have a support group (7000 Bracelets for Hope). Beads of Courage can no longer support patients outside of their sponsored hospitals, and 7000 Bracelets for Hope is so short of bracelets that they can't send them out at the moment. Too many patients, which means too many tragedies.
So I made some beads (the birdhouses and hearts above) to send to Beads of Courage, and I'm working on making blue bracelets, one for L and one for N. Each time I think of the fact that my life is annoying at the moment, I think of L and it helps me keep things in perspective.