If you have been on Facebook recently, you might be wondering what the deal is with all of the cranes people are folding and posting to my wall with the hashtag #CranesForLori. After my Boston trip, I started to vaguely remember reading a book in grade school about a girl who was sick and folded one thousand paper cranes.
After doing some research I found the story of Sadako, a little girl who lived in Hiroshima, Japan in the 1940s and ’50s. She was a toddler when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima to help end World War II. Due to radiation exposure, she developed leukemia. Sadako believed in a Japanese legend which holds that one who folds 1,000 paper cranes would be granted a wish to get well. Although she didn’t finish folding the cranes before she passed, her community came together and finished them for her. The act of folding 1,000 paper cranes is now thought of as a symbol wishing luck and happiness in Japanese culture. The book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is now used in international peace education.
Since I am such a crafty person, a 1,000 crane project felt like it would be the perfect way to pass some time and create some hope. From what I understand, when a person starts this project many people come around to fold these cranes in groups. It’s a time to chat, reflect, and work towards a common goal. When I started, I was expecting a few friends would come over a few nights a week, and over a cold drink and gossip we would knock out fifteen cranes each. What I did not expect was how competitive and intense some folks have gotten. I also did not expect that my friends that aren’t in my everyday life would jump on the bandwagon via social media.
My friend from high school, Kathy Brooks, is a gifted and talented photographer. I had already arranged a photo sitting with her. Well, she had also noticed the cranes on social media and asked for me to bring one to our session. I couldn’t decide what color would go best so I took tons of them. I am so glad that I did. Isn’t her work awesome? Thank you Kathy.
After just a few weeks of folding, we are already close to 350 cranes, and that’s just at my house. It feels like with the support of friends, getting to 1,000 isn’t going to be all that hard. So if we hit 1,000 and still have the motivation to keep going, why stop? We will keep on a goin’. Thank you friends, near and far.
I’m starting a new round of chemotherapy tomorrow. Like all the others, I’m expecting it to be difficult. Fold a crane for me. Share it with everyone on Facebook using the tag #CranesForLori.
Much love to you all.