Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crazy

My co-workers have been besieged with a whole host of illnesses and misfortunes in the past year.  It is frightening and emotionally exhausting and just sad.  But times of trouble also tend to pull people together, and I've witnessed that over the past year, too, all of us pulling together to support one of our own.  The latest is a retired professor who works with us in Admissions part time for part of the year, who just found out that he is riddled with cancer.  From what I understand, he is not going to be pursuing treatment and he is deteriorating quickly.

When he is gone, we will have lost a gem.  He is generous and funny, compassionate and brilliant, creative and dedicated, and one of the easiest people that I've ever had the pleasure to work with.  I want to visit him, but I'm afraid of breaking down in his presence and doing more harm than good.  I want to give him something, but what?  I'm a lousy cook, and besides, my oven STILL doesn't work.  His wife is a gifted and prolific quilter, so he certainly doesn't need a quilt.  Hmmm....

I decided on a quilted card.  Quilting is what I know, what I do in times of stress and trouble.  Perhaps he doesn't need a quilt, but if I can just think of what I want to say, then a quilted card seems to be the best delivery for me.

I got some cardstock and some solid scraps, choose a decorative stitch, and made a crazy quilt block card.  Now, if I can just think of what to say on the inside...

Much easier to write are the Hurricane Sandy Thank You Cards.  More went out in the mail today, and I have nearly finished addressing them all.  Whew!  But so worth it!

8 comments:

Julie Fukuda said...

That is a tough one alright! I remember my Mom making the "no more treatment" decision and admired my dad for sticking to her plan.

Loris said...

Sweet idea for the quilted post card. Yes, finding the right words is difficult. If you have a memory of something you shared with him. That might be a place to start and tell him what he has meant to you.
I'm praying for his comfort and faith.

Maureen said...

Hi, Erin, Thank you for your card, which I received today. Great picture! A sad dilemma you have right now. Since the professor is thoroughly wonderful, he will love whatever you say, and he will know how to derive just the right meaning out of whatever words pour forth from your heart. My prayers go with you, with him, and with his family.

Becki White said...

You could just write him the words you used to describe him in this post, and thank him for enriching your life with his presence. Heartfelt, true, and you've already written it once!

Lisa said...

Hi Erin - I think perhaps a funny memory or story you've shared might be best. You know "thanks for .... whenever I think of that I just start giggling wherever I am and people start looking at me funny which makes me giggle more". And thank YOU for the postcard, you're awesome! I have it on the fridge so I see it often. Lisa

Shay said...

Im so sorry to hear about your colleague. We lost a friend this weekend and it's all just so sad.

I think he would be immeasurably cheered by hearing how much he has meant to you and I cant think of any better words than the ones you've already used to describe him here. Those words will also be a comfort to his family .

Shirley said...

So sorry to hear about the professor. It's amazing how many people are getting hit by this horrible disease. It is one of my main charities. I can understand him refusing treatment. My brother-in-law did as well. The card is a beautiful sentiment and I'm sure it will be greatly appreciated.

Nancy said...

I am so sorry to hear about R. I am assuming that is who you are talking about. I agree with the others - what you said in your blog is a great place to start in your message to him. Going to see him will be difficult - I'd check first to see if that is OK with them. I just heard from Kristi that her best friend's mom has found out that her cancer has spread to several other places. Kristi's friend said her mom would welcome cards but would rather not have visits and phone calls. She has a W&L connection as well - her husband was dean of the Law School in the 90's.