Beliefnet
Rod Dreher

My friend Chuck Bloom down in Texas sent this to me over the weekend. It got to me, as you might well imagine:

Chalk this one up to another Ruthie Leming victory.
Here in Dallas, there is a well-known Celtic musician/singer-songwriter named Michael William Harrison, who has been performing in local venues and pubs for years. He’s my age and like me, grew up in the Motor City. But most of all, he’s a nice guy who scratches out a living pickin’ and singin’ Irish tunes.
In the past few months, he has been battling throat cancer, which is as bad a malady that anyone singer can suffer. No voice, no living. The chemo kicks his ass and he has lost his trademark beard and hair. At the moment, he is just trying to fight as best he can.
So … I sat there thinking at ye olde Irish Festival, what can be done to help this nice guy? In other words, WWRD (either the call letters to some station somewhere .. or What Would Ruthie Do?).
We both know the answer and, yesterday at our annual NTIF at Winfrey Point overlooking a windy White Rock Lake, I organized exactly what your sister would have done for anyone in St. Francisville affected by the same problem. We held an impromptu silent auction (I had all of 3 weeks to get stuff and spent much of last week driving all over DFW collecting items – from CDs, to paintings, to photos of Scotland, to fine 12-year-old bottles of Scotch, to handmade jewelry, and even tossing in a couple of cookbooks from my collection and an old Juan Gonzalez autographed baseball (which looks a little TOO juiced up if you know what I mean). Hell, someone even walked up with a home theater sound system and I had to talk one lady out of donating a single serving set of dishes (wow, that just screams you live alone).
Having no expectations and no clue about the generosity of those in attendance, I kept my hopes fairly low, hoping to collect $1,000, which I thought would be great. But, ah, the power of the shamrock and Celtic music in general … I’m still collecting checks but it appears we will more than DOUBLE that and everything donated was sold! And people waited patiently to allow me to settle accounts … and NO ONE fought over anything!
Even MORE special, Michael was able to attend since his chemo schedule had changed. And his expected hour-long visit (it was the first time he got to hear LIVE music in months, he said) turned into THREE hours because …
people DO feed off the energy of others. Love and good will overcomes a lot and makes you stronger; able to face any challenge and slay any dragon.
I saw it up close and in person yesterday; having read your blog postings, I have no doubt your sister will make it through because everyone’s energy down in Loo-ee-si-ann is helping to carry her.
Is it a miracle? Dunno. These things carry different names under different labels. But in the end, it’s about helping and caring for other people (a trait too many people have misplaced in this age of ME-ism).

Here’s a link to the Friends of Michael William Harrison, for more information and to see how you can help. I love this, and I can’t wait to tell Ruthie about it. That Chuck Bloom is a mensch.

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