I wanted to tell this story for children's story at church, so I decided to try folding a paper crane to show the kids what a paper crane looks like. I'm pretty crafty, so I thought, "this will be a piece of cake." Five attempts later, I managed a rather crude crane.
As I thought about Sadako and her life-threatening illness, which finally took her in 1955 (only 644 cranes made, according to one account), I was reminded of little Phillip, the son of a bead lady named Milly. Phillip is four years old, and he has sickle-cell anemia. He spends much of his life in pain. He had a crisis this week, and has been in the hospital. He's been released now, but the pain continues. Milly is tired and discouraged. At four years old, Phillip still is not walking or talking much. Four out of five children with sickle-cell disease
Milly, like Sadako of the thousand paper cranes, also works with paper, in hopes of healing her child, or at least to be able to afford the treatments and nourishing food Phillip needs to make his pain bearable. There is no cure for sickle-cell disease.
I wonder how many beads Milly has made. Probably many more than a thousand. Making beads is good work for Milly, as Phillip wants to be with her constantly. She is his security.
Bead sales are slowing down. Not many people go online looking to buy a paper bead necklace. They sell much better when people can see them, touch them, and know the stories behind them.