Message from the President
Greetings friend, and welcome to the June Comfort Connection!
In October 2018, 10% of my body was burned. Although my face and neck are doing really well, my hands still need a lot of recovery. To assist with the healing, and for protection of this fragile skin, I need to wear compression gloves.
I spent the winter in Grenada. Not only did I need the compression gloves, which only provide 10% SPF, I wore sports gloves with 50% SPF on top of those gloves. Sunburn on top of my burns would create an instant blister which made recovery excruciating! I write all that to explain – I felt not a little bit weird wearing not one but two pairs of gloves in the hot outdoors.
Here’s the interesting part... people of different cultures have very different reactions to this anomaly. People from Canada or USA don’t say anything. They might look at me sideways, then quickly look away. I’m from Canada. I know what they're thinking: “That’s odd. What’s up with the gloves?” But they wouldn’t say anything because they wouldn’t want to embarrass me or draw attention to the fact that I’m wearing gloves and it’s weird. We are just too "polite," maybe.
Then there are the local people of Grenada. Before the sports gloves, I wore red garden gloves. A stranger on the sidewalk commented, “I like the gloves!” with a big smile. “Hey, thanks!” I thought, "You made my day!" and I smiled back.
A cashier at the store asked with a whimsical smile, “You like GLOVES?” as I put on my second pair before hitting the sunshine. I was able to not feel weird. I made a quick comment, “Yeah, my hands got burned and they can’t be in the sun.” That’s it – quick, fun, and now he had an explanation, and I had a reason for being out of place.
Many people asked outright, “Why are you wearing gloves?” As I told them, they had more questions, which led to heartfelt compassion. I didn’t mind talking about my hands. In fact, I wanted to talk about them! My hands are painful, the gloves are hot, and frankly, I like the attention. The local people of Grenada have a way of reaching out with genuine care and curiosity.
Maybe the next time we see someone who is not quite "normal," we could be a little more curious and actually make someone’s day, instead of glancing quickly, then looking down.