Peachy Ciucur is throwing a Leukemia-Lymphoma Society benefit on Friday. In a sense, Jesse will be the guest of honor. Last year, she rode with his photo silkscreened onto her racing shirt, and she won the silver. She told me, this year we're going to win the gold. She means, she and Jesse; she wants him to have the gold. I think Jesse would have been all for it.
She asked me to make a poster of Jesse, to hang at the entrance where she takes donations; but he seldom let us take his picture at all, much less a professional shot we could blow up. And I can't bring myself to keep using his senior high school picture-- it's nice, but solemn and stiff. You can tell he didn't like having to sit for it. Jesse wasn't one to sit still for much.
So I made a poster, a collage of snapshots we'd taken through his life, starting with his birth, and ending with a party photo one of his friends sent me, from one of the Christmas parties he'd gone to, just a couple of weeks before he ended up in Sloan Kettering. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, to sift through all the boxes and books of pictures. It's hard to look at the thing now that it's finished.
She just sent me the location and time today:
Friday, October 3rd @ 6pm
Location: The Irish Rogue
356 West 44th Street(Between 8 & 9AVE
New York, NY
Minimum donation suggested of $30.00
or you could donate in advance @ http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/tucson08/cciucur
Sometimes, I just have to stop, and sit back and realize that in some way Jesse has found a way to inspire others to help those in need, even after his passing. I hadn't realized how much he inspired his friends, until they all took turns speaking at his funeral, and I'm sure I'll never know how many lives he's touched, with his own words, and now through them, and people like Peach.
I'm not asking you to donate (although it'd be great), all I'm saying is, think about who you are in the world, and what you can do, even if it's a little thing, and do it. Let a little Jesse into your life. You'll be surprised how one act of support and care (even if it's like Jesse's personal brand of smart-assed coaxing and cajoling) can ripple through your life and the lives of those you love.