Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Red Thread

I was asked to write some thoughts about a colleague who passed away in January 2011.  The person asking for my thoughts about my wonderful colleague who was taken from the world much too soon and completely by surprise to all concerned described the request as an effort to help her to write a "red thread" chapter for a book that otherwise will focus on my colleague's writings.  Of course, referring to Alison simply as a colleague sounds so distant and shallow.  She was actually a very good friend and that is more meaningful than "colleague" alone ever could be.

More importantly, I had to look up what "red thread" meant. I honestly don't recall hearing this expression before.  Googling, I found the following website:

It describes a red thread as "connecting those who are destined to meet".  No matter when or where.

The website also offers a thought on brining human systems into order.

This is an interesting way of thinking about Alison.  Someone who knew so many people from so many different walks of life for different reasons.  Someone who meant different things to different people but had, I suspect, one thing in common in all cases--her willingness to listen, her willingness to be supportive, and her expectation that each of us would be willing to challenge ourselves in the same way and to the same degree she challenged herself.

It is interesting how a simple two word phrase can get a person thinking.  And thinking deeply about the importance of one relationship that is now only a memory (albeit one that remains alive in so many ways) and the importance of all relationships that include support, listening, and challenges.  

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