Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shoes, Friends, Memories, Haiti

I wanted to bring a spare pair of shoes to work yesterday, since it’s been storming and I didn’t want to wear my boots all day. I went to my closet to grab a bag and found this:

Madame A, who has a tradition of using scraps leftover from costume construction to craft beautiful bags for dance shoes, sewed this for our dear, late friend Costume Conspirator. You can see the some of the gowns that match the fabric in this post.

When we went to CC’s house to help her sister sort through her dance things, we found the bag among her dozens of tango shoes. The bag was special and clearly needed to go with us, but Mme A wasn’t sure she could bear the memories just yet.

I took it home with me. Now, I could use it as a perfectly functional bag, if I could get over the slightly sacrilegious feeling of slipping in a pair of black mules for work. Really, though, CC wasn’t sacred. She was my friend. And I can think fondly of both her and Mme A when I pull the drawstrings and carry their bag.

It was still a little heart-wrenching. Inside, I found one sock (thrown away – sorry, I’m not that sentimental), a hairpin, and a tiny hairclip. Details of everyday life. I also found $17, probably stashed away for a post-rehearsal meal. I figured I’d donate it to a cancer fund in her honor, but in light of last week’s troubles, I’m going to send it to orphans in Haiti. She would like that, I think.

A partially related note: There are pros and cons to working for a large corporation, but this is a moment when I’m particularly proud of the Company that I work for and CC worked for. Immediately after the Haitian earthquake, the philanthropic board of the Company announced they were cutting a check for a quarter million dollars and they set up a matching donation campaign.

So far, employees have given over $500k in individual contributions, so $1.25M is heading to the survivors in short order. I’d already clicked to donate when I found CC’s bag, and this extra bit feels good, knowing that it really does add up to make a difference.


Bob said...

We're touched by the memories and do not understand why bad things happen.
She left behind so many good and cheerful memories, even for people who do not know her well.
Maybe Life is what you can contribute to others. Helping Haiti is one of them.

Anonymous said...

That bag is beautiful, and I think it SHOULD be used. It's sort of sad when these items get put away and never enjoyed. Remembering your friend in day-to-day living seems like a much better choice.

Asianmommy said...

What a nice gesture, to donate her money to Haiti.

mayberry said...

I agree, you should use it and enjoy it. And that is great news about the company's donation.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled the bag I sewed for CC as a thank you for all her work on that show is still being used and that you think of us when putting your shoes in! I don't think I'll ever be ready to have it, so it's in the best possible home, with a dear and thoughtful friend!
Mme A

Mom Starting Over said...
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Mom Starting Over said...

I want to thank you very much Lady M for helping my people . As an Haitian woman I am very touch by the amount of support that come from all over to help Haiti, I am still having a very hard time dealing with this tragedy and I decided few days ago to start blogging myself it helps. once again thank You and everyone support.
visit my blog please I find a new way to meet incredible people and share your passion at the same time.momstartingover.