Because the Red Hat Society emphasizes positive, upbeat values, we could be said to be in the "joy" business. Members constantly share stories of Scarlet Sparkles (small but amazing stories of wonderful things that happen to Red Hatters, just because they are Red Hatters). Every so often we hear tales of remarkable, deeply touching connections made among Hatters that we wouldn't want to trivialize by coming up with a silly name for them. They are nothing short of miracles.
Two years ago, such an event took place right here at Hatquarters. At that time, those intimately involved were too stunned (and too traumatized) to share the story with the world. Time had to pass and the ultimate outcome had to be determined. The story has ended happily and the fear and uncertainty initially felt by those involved have been replaced by joy and deep satisfaction. It's time to share it.
Sometimes, women tell us that the RHS has saved their lives - a wonderful thing to hear, although we don't usually take it literally. But here is a case in which a member of the Hatquarters staff actually was responsible for saving a life.
Our Marketing Director, Princess Southern Belle, Emily (she of the gorgeous red hair), was in the middle of a phone conference with one of our suppliers, a woman named Kris. Kris had left a message for Emily, leaving her home phone number and asking Emily to call her there at 2:00, which Emily did. In the middle of their conversation, Kris said "Oh no...!" The phone dropped, there was the unmistakable sound of a body falling and then nothing but very heavy, labored breathing. Had she been assaulted by an attacker? Had a heart attack? Nothing but moans and gurgling noises could be heard.
Thinking very quickly, Emily shouted for someone in the office to bring her a cell phone NOW! She hastily called 911. They asked for an address, but Emily didn't know it. But she did have Kris's home phone number, so she yelled it to the dispatcher, who was immediately able to find the address. Emily stayed on the phone with Kris, talking as calmly as she could, assuring her that help was on the way. Then, the 911 operator told Emily that she needed to hang up to connect with the Sheriff's office.
Now Emily was on her own. She began to pray aloud, begging God for help. This, of course, brought Hatquarters staff running and she found herself surrounded. Suddenly she heard Kris's voice, asking "What happened to me?" Then the police and fire department arrived and Kris was on her way to the hospital.
Kris had suffered a hemorrhaging from a brain aneurysm and spent time in a medically induced coma, followed by brain surgery. If Emily had not acted as quickly as she did, Kris would assuredly have died.
A couple of weeks ago marked the two-year anniversary of that day. Immediately following waking up from the coma and for the past two years, a gorgeous floral arrangement for Emily has arrived at Hatquarters, along with a note from Kris, saying, in part: "You know I'll always think of you on 8/11 for the rest of my life. You helped save me, and I'll never forget!"
I suppose we could refer to this event as a Scarlet Sparkle. But it would be more appropriate to call it a SCARLET SPARKLE!
Pictured above (left to right): Emily, Annette (a friend of Kris') and Kris, our RHS Sister!