Friday, October 16, 2009

Someone who used to work at the company where I work, long before I was ever here, has a four or five year old daughter who is... well... struggling through the final stages of cancer. I don't know this family, and I don't know this little girl, but we occasionally get updates here in office on how she is doing.

This little girl, Donna, apparently loves jack-o-laterns, so a family friend organized a pumpkin tribute. People have been leaving pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns on the family's lawn as a way of showing their support and love.

Our office bought about twenty pumpkins and most of us took some time off during our workday to carve a pumpkin.

I overheard some whispers among the older guard of employees, people who knew the family and were more informed, that the word was that Donna, although still holding on to life, had "taken to bed" and it was unlikely she would wake up to see all the jack-o-lanterns made in her honor.

My job was to carve an "O" into a pumpkin that would be part of a series that would spell out her name. I'm not much of an artist, and carving pumpkins is much harder than I remembered, but I worked hard on that "O," worrying that it wasn't good enough. How could it be? Sometimes, though, all you can do is try your best to (as Raymond Carver once wrote), do "a small good thing."

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