I don’t think I have ever shared this with y’all- forgive me if I have.
When mom first died, I don’t have a lot of memories of the months that followed except for one thing: dad and I desperately wanted to start a nonprofit. I had come up with an idea and felt so passionate about making it a reality. I told everyone- friends, coworkers, strangers. The idea of using my pain for the good of others felt like a lifeline. I took meetings with acquaintances who had worked for nonprofits before to get a big picture of the logistics involved. I brainstormed who I wanted on my board of directors. I still think it’s a wonderful idea and have kept it in mind.
But you know what? I wasn’t ready. That work and that passion wasn’t wasted or misguided, but it was almost TOO emotionally charged. I remember trying to volunteer in the Vanderbilt children’s cancer unit and there was an explicit warning that they did not want volunteers who had lost someone to cancer less than a year beforehand. It was obvious, I didn’t need to butt heads with that policy. It’s too big. It’s too raw. The first year makes it hard to be… logical and thoughtful. Sometimes you just…. ACT. Impulsivity was a huge part of my grief at that time.
So I took a great big step back. As you have all witnessed, I worked on myself. I didn’t see it then but I know now that was partially because I knew I couldn’t be a help to others if I, MYSELF, NEEDED HELP.
I’ve spent every moment healing. In some way or another- though obviously not all productive, it was all helpful. Each stumble has come with a lesson and growth.
Suddenly… I find myself perhaps healed ENOUGH to start focusing on others fully. In fact, a chance to do good fell into my lap this week and it seems like a gift from the heavens. I am starting to get involved with Ronald McDonald House here in Western Montana, and even though this new journey is in its infancy (just like many of their guests!) it feels miraculous all the same.
Yesterday I got to step foot into a Ronald McDonald House for the first time, and I have to tell you… it was magic. I would say my emotions were high but honestly I was too overcome with admiration and wonder at what this place manages to do. It’s one of the loveliest places I have ever been. If I can be just a little part of it, this week will have been life changing- simply because now I know. I think if everyone knew the deep goodness of this place, we would all be pouring into it and paying attention more. In fact I know that, because the people who have learned about it do just that.
That being said… I’m excited to pour into it myself! I gotta go get to work! Hopefully you’ll be hearing more from me again real soon if I can get my writing wheels turning today. Writing this all out helped! Once again, thanks for reading my stream-of-consciousness. Not even gonna edit this one, some things just need to be shared.