Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Knit My Heart

This Christmas I received an amazing gift. It made me ugly cry. And when I showed it to other people, I ugly cried all over again. As I write this I'm ugly crying. It's that incredible.

My husband had a friend, Scott. They met in law school. They were both at Club Day, where students get info and sign up for various clubs. Scott was there representing the Christian Legal Society, and my husband was there for the Young Republicans. Their tables were next to each other and my husband looked at Scott and said, "We should put these two together and run heaven and earth." They were friends from then on.

Fast forward two years. My very conservative Christian husband is working in the computer lab. Scott had just been to the doctor,  walks in and says, "I have a problem. I'm gay and I have AIDS." My husband leaned back in his chair and said, "What are we going to do?" Years later when Scott told me this, it was one of the reasons I fell in love with my husband.

Six years later Scott would be a groomsman in our wedding. I'd dance with him on my wedding day. He'd hold my first born daughter gently in his arms and cry at her beauty. He visited her often in her first six months of life. He said she calmed him.
Scott fought many demons in his life. He was preyed upon as a child. He fought alcohol and drugs. He was a Republican and a Gay Activist -- this was a source of great amusement to both my husband and Scott. They spent hours telling jokes and discussing strategies along with politics. Scott started a group at Oral Roberts University, where he was a student, called ORU Out (the University didn't approve).

Through all of this Scott always showed great introspection and a poetic grace. Once his drug and alcohol abuse was on the table for us to see he was brutally honest about it. He'd stop by after meetings and when he needed company. That was when he'd hold Violet and walk with her through the house, just gazing at her.

One day I realized I hadn't heard from him in a while. Too long. Just as I started to worry I got a phone call from his mom. It was an ugly story of a relapse and he was in the hospital, on life support, and we needed to come say our good-byes.

We held his hand, told him we loved him and that it was alright to let go and stop fighting now.

My husband spoke at the memorial service and we all laughed about heaven and earth.

When I met my husband he had this beautiful table, made of a huge slab of maple. It was Scott's. It was our dining/kitchen table in our old house. We eventually gave the table to my husbands sister, Elaine and her husband, Chris, who has made various things from it, as it was too warped to use it as an actual table any more.

On Saturday when we opened our gifts, I found this inside

He made the knitting needles from Scott's table. Our Scott's.  While everyone else opened their gifts I knitted. And thought of Scott.

My husband got a letter opener made from the same table. What kind of thoughtful, inspiring gift is this? It's .. . there just isn't words.

We'll have a piece of Scott with us always now. Thank you, Elaine and Chris. You made my heart glad, even if I was ugly crying.