Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Welcome

If you're reading this blog, chances are you knew Jeff or know our family in some way.  We are all reacting differently to his recent death, and it's hard somedays to know just what to do with the mix of emotions that arise when thinking of him.  It's heart-breaking on so many levels to think of never seeing Jeff again, and there's little to do to make much sense of it all.  Our mom is feeling it hardest, of course, and there seems to be almost nothing that can offer her any comfort.  Parents just aren't supposed to outlive their children.  Please keep her in your prayers these days.  I imagine it's awfully quiet for her at home alone.

Jeff was my youngest sibling, and I miss him.  So I thought I'd direct a bit of my grieving his loss by doing something creative and productive.  The title of the blog might sound a little strange, but it's what kept running through my head when I started to think of what to call this project.  It comes from seeing a young kid (maybe 20) out on the street of Phila. this summer who looked like he was in pretty rough shape.  All of his belongings were on the street around him, and his sign asked for "any blessings."  This was weeks on the heels of Jeff's funeral, and I just started crying.  I wanted to ask him if his family knew where he was.  I wanted to tell him to call home, because, chances are, they were worried about him.

I have little experience working formally with people in the throes of addiction, but a wealth of personal experience having lived with and known Jeff.  I know that there comes a point where you can't tell anyone what to do, or nudge them in a direction they don't want to follow.  They have to make their own choices and there is nothing at all that you can make them do.  It's maddening to watch someone you love fall away from themselves and the family fold, but sometimes all you can do is watch quietly and wish for the best.

This project is for those of us watching quietly and hoping for the best, and also for the addict who is making hard choices and has fallen away from himself.  I will never look at a kid on the street in the same way, knowing that my little brother, once a golden haired, sweet toddler, grew up to be one of those down-on-his-luck kids on on the street, trying to scrape together a life.  Admittedly, handing this kid a hat isn't going to do much to save him or help him make better choices.  But it can't hurt to give him something to help keep him warm or to let him know that there are people out there who do care.  And that potentially, if a complete stranger cares, then of course his family must be worried about him, too, and that maybe, just maybe, it's worth reaching out to them.  For everyone's sake.

First of all, I have no idea what I'm doing with this, as far as logistics go.  I want to knit and collect knitted hats from friends who would like to donate to the project.  A friend suggested linking up with a needle exchange program as a way of getting the hats into the right hands, and I think this is a fantastic idea.  For now, I'm just getting this site up and running and working on my first hat.  Any ideas and suggestions you have would be really helpful.  For those of you who don't know the first thing about knitting, it would be great if you could pass along this idea to someone who does.  And, of course, yarn donations are always welcome.

As far as the knitting goes, I am mostly focused on woolen hats in a very simple style.  I had initially hoped to create some wild designs (to reflect Jeff's style) for this project, but my mom very wisely pointed out that not all kids on the street want to be noticed.  Whatever you want to do is great by me.  Every hat helps.

1 comments:

Indigo Bleu Photography said...

I think this is a fabulous project. I would love to be a part of it. As we know my knitting skills are still in the developing stages and by developing I mean in my head I would love to knit however my hands don't agree. However, I can take a great picture. So my photo taking ability is at your service. Once we get some hats done I will take some pictures and post here.

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