There was a night in November when I first met the scarf. It was the same night I asked my mom to drive with me to Salt Lake City to visit a best friend who was working hard to live. This same friend had told me via text that “it’s OK” earlier in the day, so my thoughts were focused on a positive outcome. When we walked into her room I only saw the silhouette of the back of her bald head. She was putting on makeup. Wanting to get her eyebrows just right. Needing help with her lip-gloss. Lightly dabbing the expensive foundation on her skin. She said, “I want to look pretty if we take pictures tonight.” I pressed her to tell me the good news. “Tell me when you are going home!” But she paused. Took her husband’s hand. Told me the news. The cancer had found a home in her spine and on her brain. She let go of her husband’s hand and asked me to sit next to her on the bed, where she comforted me.
And then, she asked for the scarf. She wrapped it around her neck — the color set off her eyes. The scarf was her all refined and pulled together in a moment of bravery and courage in facing the last phase of life. I loved how the scarf made her shine.
And so. When Katie’s mom and sisters asked to see me on my 40th birthday, just over a month after she passed away, and handed me a rectangular gift…my heart stopped just a little. When I opened the box there lay the scarf. With a bit of her scent still married to the fabric as I brought it to my face and held it there, just remembering. And I missed her all over again. The details of her love woven in the tapestry, and as I put it around my own neck I was warmed with the gift of friendship. For this friend who passed her scarf, and her love, onto me.
We went to sunny St. George this past weekend and hiked through Snow Canyon (one of my favorite places to go with kids). Our two older kids found a bank of fine red sand on a steep slope. When they took a single finger and pushed it along the top of sand, the effect was mesmerizing. Sand fanned into a “V” shape, with thousands of grains being moved by one act. This is not so different from life. One good deed or act of kindness can cascade a stream of others following the same motion. Each day we can choose to “Be the ONE” that changes someone’s day for good. We don’t have to be that one for everyone, but being that one for someone, can make them feel like a somebody.
Four women in my adult life have shown me the power of “Be the ONE.” To them, I dedicate this post.