I've only lived in New York and New Jersey but Texas, especially Houston, holds a bittersweet spot in my heart.
Ten years ago my mom called me to tell me she had a match...a bone marrow match. She was in need of a transplant and she had decided to have it done at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. For nine months, my dad, my sisters and I all spent time traveling back and forth to Houston taking turns to be with my mom for her various procedures, doctor appointments and finally the transplant. My time in Houston is filled with some really wonderful "mom memories". I would fly in for two to three weeks and despite all the appointments, we managed to squeeze in some fun things -- we went to NASA, an oil rig museum, an aquarium and a natural history museum. I even taught her about football when we watched the Giants beat the Patriots in the Superbowl.
It was also some of the most stressful times in my life too - if you've ever had loved one in ICU, you know what I mean.
Whenever I was in Texas, I was amazed at how nice everyone was - from the airport to the hotel to the hospital and everywhere else - people were just nice. It made being away from home during a difficult time so much easier. In the end, my mom passed away from complications. One of my sisters was with me at the time and as we were leaving the hospital for the last time a woman in the elevator took one look at us and said in her Texas drawl -- you girls look like you could use a hug. And she gave both of us a hug that we desperately needed.
I've been watching the news obsessively and feeling this incredible urge to give back to these strangers who were so very nice to us when we needed it most.
100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the American Red Cross, the Humane Society of the United States and Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response.
Katy Carroll of Katinka Designs, one of my closest knitting friends, is offering a pattern to go with the fundraiser. Pick one and it will be dropped into your ravelry library. If you don't have a ravelry ID just put in your email addy and the pattern will be emailed to you.
Thank you for helping me give back.