Recently a Hawaii woman named Ronni Pratt bought four of my scarves and sent them to her niece in Oregon. I filled the order and thought, "How nice. A way for family to connect with their Hawaii ties."
The gift turned out to be so much more.
I heard from Ronnie recently via Facebook messaging. Here's what she told me:
"Aloha Jade! I just wanted to tell you how very pleased and happy we are with your beautiful scarves! I sent my niece in Oregon 4 of them. She is undergoing chemo treatments and has lost her hair. And she is using them. Those beautiful scarves have brought her much joy as she walks through this. Mahalo nui!"
Wow. How very humbling.
I asked Ronni for some photos, which she promptly emailed to me after getting Gina's permission.
"Aloha Jade, here are pics from before she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer till now. She said she is still learning how to tie the scarves. The American Cancer Society offers classes and services for so many things and how to tie the scarves in various ways is one of them. Gina said the scarves are so soft and beautifully colorful that it makes her happy! Thank you again"
Gina is a beautiful woman. Her smile is glorious. Before her treatments she had long, gorgeous hair.
"She initially cut her hair when it started falling out, then she decided to
just shave it all off. So much of her hair was falling. She is such a warrior. She lost her husband of 22 years 3 years ago to cancer. She has two sons 22 and 19. They are totally supporting their mom thru this"
Pictures tell us so much about a person. I can see that Gina has an incredible sense of humor. And she is brave.
And she is loved.
When I asked if I could share the photos, here's what Ronni said:
"I will tell her that you are happy to be part of her fight. Her family are pretty much all here in Hawaii, except thank goodness, her mom and stepdad are in Oregon also, and she does have a sister and brother in AZ. The rest of her siblings and her Dad, who is my older brother are here, as well as all her aunties, uncles and many cousins and we have a private family FB that we keep in touch with her and her boys, and she and her mom update us. We also call her to give her our support. Mahalo nui for caring. I will get back to you about the picture. Thank you again."
A day later:
"Aloha Jade! I just spoke with my niece Gina and she is fine with you sharing her pic. In fact she is touched by your support! Mahalo piha for your thoughtfulness and kindness."
Gina started her second round of chemo treatments around the time her Auntie Ronnie sent me the photos. And although Ronni has thanked me repeatedly for my interest in Gina's fight, it's I who should thank her.
Mahalo, Ronni Pratt, for your generosity.
Mahalo, Gina York, for your courage. I am cheering for you all the way.
Go, Gina, go! Kick that cancer's okole!