Invisible Threads

I’m in the middle of reading a fantastic memoir by Laura Schroff, An Invisible Thread. It’s a story that I came across quite randomly, but it couldn’t be more relevant to the circumstances in which I find myself.

Schroff’s book chronicles the relationship she developed with an 11-year-old panhandler named Maurice. She was a successful advertising executive, and he was the son of drug addicts condemned to live in a series of welfare buildings in NYC. Their relationship began on a busy city street where Maurice asked “Miss Laura” if she could spare some change. Instead, she took him to McDonald’s for a bite to eat and the two struck up a friendship.

The title refers to the notion that the people who come into our lives, oftentimes without any warning or for any clear reason, are actually tied to us in some less-evident way. Call it karma or the logic of the universe. Those who cross our paths are meant to, even though we may not always know why.

Immediately, I thought about Edwina. How I just happened to pick up a newsletter from my university mailbox that featured a story on a local church with several members who were both homeless and struggling with cancer. How Edwina was the first person I met from the community. How she had been diagnosed with the same type of cancer as me. How we seemed to “get” each other from the start, quickly sinking into a fast friendship.

As Schroff’s book so effectively reveals, an invisible thread might tie us together, but both parties have to work to maintain the bond and make it grow.

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