Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to Mend a Broken Heart

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

When my mother in law died a few years ago, we were concerned about my father in law's boredom--idle hands, devil's workshop--so we suggested he volunteer somewhere. At the time, the hospital where I worked was in dire need of people to donate their time in service to others. Mr. Larger Than Life blew his top at the suggestion that he should "work" for free. His time was valuable, blah, blah blah. You get the idea, don't you? I tried to tell him how much my own aunt and uncle loved doing just this kind of work in their spare time. He thought that was ridiculous. I never mentioned it again and when he complained of boredom, I never felt pity. He made his bed and now it was time for him to lay in the damn thing. Before my aunt passed away at the hospital she'd donated all of her time to, there was a steady stream of the people she had met that came to honor her. It boggles my mind that MLTL finds no value in what she did for most of her retired life.

I truly feel that when you donate your goods and/or services, you should do so with a generous heart and try not to measure it against what you think it, or you, are worth. Still, I'm trying to reconcile what's in my heart to what's in my brain after Friday's auction. My brain is shocked that Ruby sold for a song. After 87,000 stitches, 1,650 yards and countless hours of toil, the shawl sold for $220. After giving the fair market value of a priceless piece, the auction organizer opened the bidding at $150--after we'd discussed the higher number of $400. It never stood a chance. For the past two days, I've come to my senses and my heart knows that the money raised went to a really good cause. That's $220 that some child's family can use to purchase hospice medications or supplies that they'd otherwise have no means of providing. My brain is appalled that it should have been at a minimum, double that, but I'll get over that. Not surprisingly, I felt fairly savvy that I "won" 3 items that had a combined appraisal value of $370 for half their value. I guess that in the end, we all want a deal. Maybe we all have a little of Mr. Larger Than Life's larceny residing in our hearts.

My sentimental side was touched by Ruby's final bidder. He circled the item at the end of the auction so that he could be the winner. His wife had bid at a lower number but had given up hope that once past $190, it was beyond what she could afford. This man wanted to be his wife's hero for the night. I had no clue who he was, so imagine my surprise when I met the recipient of the shawl. She is a colleague and one of my favorite people to work with. I'm thrilled for her and because of this, my heart is on the mend. The shawl went to someone who appreciates every last stitch and in the end, I'm completely satisfied with the results.

How's that for knitting a broken heart back together?


Miss 376 said...

That's all you can wish for, that it's going to be loved and appreciated. Makes all the time and effort worthwhile

SkippyMom said...

My whole family has followed Ms. Ruby's journey and were a bit disheartened at the low bid, but very happy that she is going to a good home.

I wish I had been there or it had been online - my entire wardrobe would've forever more be based on Ms. Ruby.

You are a good person. Thank you.

Brenda said...

The story of Ruby has a happy ending Rudee. Someone that really appreciates her and all the work that went into her is all that really matters. The money will help someone also, even though it was a smaller amount than it should have been. Our auctions for the past year or so have not gone well at all. People just don't have the extra money they used to.
The shawl I won from you is very well loved and appreciated! It is shared with my grand daughter, who has really good taste in yarn and well knitted fineries. Thanks again for that treasure!

Jadekitty said...

That is a beautiful story, I am sure she will enjoy Ruby for years to come

Stephanie V said...

Ruby made more than the starting bid. She is loved and will warm someone's heart and arms. I can't think of a better tribute to your gift of knitting.

Gail said...

Then Ruby is not gone.

debra said...

Auctions are like that. We had donated a large piece to a local private school. The piece, valued at $300, sold for $25.00. The quilt made my the kindergarten class sold for $10,000. Really. Now we donate judiciously, and set a minimum bid.
So glad Ruby went to a loving home. All's well that ends well.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Full circle.

Glad Ruby went to an appreciative home!

Anonymous said...

I loved the story of Ruby, I have done the same thing and felt so distress that such a low value had been put on my item, but as you say every little bit helps. I am so glad someone you know will appreciate that beautiful piece of art.

Miss T said...

Better it sold for $220 to someone who will really treasure it, than for $1000 to someone who will throw it into the back of the closet and forget about it. You did a lovely thing!

Sandy said...

wow, great story....and kind of sad to see Ruby leave you.