The Wendy Benton Knaupp

May Day Award for Forgotten Kindness

Jack and Marilyn Schairer

May 1, 2012

Dear Jack and Marilyn,

You have both been such dear and wonderful friends for so many years and in so many ways.

I remember when I first met you, Marilyn. You related how you stood up for La Leche League in a large group of strangers when you felt we were being unjustly maligned. I was so impressed with your courage and wisdom and sense of fair play. You have done so many kindnesses for me and my family over the years. You were my La Leche League friend and you were my friend. We shared the inspiration and support La Leche League had to give in our mothering, which was so precious, and we shared many cares and joys over tea. When I went through my difficult period of panic attacks you were there for me. We watched our daughters friendship bloom and you even used my name for your second daughter. Then there was the Brownie Troop! Though that experience ended on a bit of a sour note, I still treasure the many good times we shared with our Brownies. You put up with me even when Dawne locked herself out of the house when she was babysitting for you, and even when I let poor baby Karyn burn her hand on my space heater. I still feel terrible when that memory resurfaces.

The biggest way I treasure your kindness towards my family was your being one of the Eleven Wonderful Women who helped us through the eleven months of Heather's hospitalization. I know that must have been a hard thing to do week after week, month after month, to take my place at Heather's side so I could have some time to care for my parents and mother my baby. I always felt my La Leche friends were the best support I had at that time because they seemed to understand better than anyone else not only the grief of having a beautiful well-loved child so horribly struck down, but also the grief of having to be parted from my nursing baby. You can never know how much your steadfast goodwill and dependable support meant to me at that time. You were our angel. You were a hand of God for us. I shall bless you for that gift as long as I live.

And you dear Jack! I remember the first time I really saw you for what you are. Our church was having a picnic with a community of needy handicapped people. You spent ages very patiently feeding a man with severe CP. I thought I had never seen such a beautiful action. That was before Heather's accident when I couldn't imagine doing such a thing myself.

Then when Heather had her accident you were there to visit every week. You composed a song for her. You took my senile father out for walks when he was driving my mom nuts. But the most amazing thing is the way you come to visit her every week . It's been 27 years now and you still come to visit and play cards most every week. She loves your visits. What an incredible ministry you have done and continue to do.

When I think of both of you and your uncountable kindnesses it brings tears to my eyes. I'm typing this letter with tears falling on my keyboard. You are in a league with my childhood friend Wendy Benton. In light of these and many other kindnesses I want to honor you both with

The Wendy Benton Knaupp May Day Award for Forgotten Kindness

Your Forever Friend,