I love the surprises a normal day can bring. Last week an old acquaintance popped in the kitchen to pick up an order, a welcome surprise that caught me off guard and made me smile the rest of the day. A normal day, but sometimes it seems the normalness is what becomes dull and easy to find fault in.
Then comes the tragic story of a family in SC just this week, out for a day of fun on the lake, good times to be had and memories in the making. Then tragedy strikes, husband and son are in a jet ski accident, leaving the family without a father and the a child in a coma with brain damage, fighting for his life. A normal day changed in just seconds.
At a meeting last week I saw a presentation by a pretty amazing woman who has turned her tragedy into something beautiful. To honor the daughter she lost as an infant, she has started a beautiful program called Capturing Hopes Photography. Countless hours are given by photographers to the families of children with babies in the NICU. Some are not as big as your hand, or a cell phone, and the excitement of reaching the first pound is a milestone. At first I’m sure her grief was too much to bear, yet now she has started a program that helps others in her shoes, one baby, one picture at a time. It is beautiful and happening right outside our doors in Winston, check out the link, but have the tissues handy. Like her, I believe there is hope in every situation, even for the SC family now going through the worst experience of their lives.
I have spent a lot of time volunteering in my life, sometimes more than I should have. You know that saying, “Stop me before I volunteer again?” That has been me many a moment. Yet, when I hear stories like the ones above, it makes me so proud of the hours I spent giving my time to Brenner Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. I think about how lucky I am that I have not needed the facility, but how many people have and what it would feel like if I were in need. What would it really be like to feel such despair, such worry, such heartbreak when it comes to your child? I hope I never know. I’ll be honest, sometimes when you are chairing an event or a committee it seems as if we are somehow a little removed from the actual cause, doesn’t it? I am here to say that all of these events, every dollar raised, every hour a volunteer gives of their time, generates hope. Hope for the family of a baby born weighing 3 ounces, hope for the child in a tragic accident rushed to the pediatric ICU. Hope. Hope Captured.
There are many ways to get involved, so reach out today if you can. Brennerchildrens.org has details on “Cheers, A Toast to Children’s Health”, a fabulous event coming in April, all proceeds going to support Brenner Children’s Hospital and more information and ways to get involved with them. The Friends of Ronald McDonald House always has great events and opportunities for help, simply becoming a member of Friends support the families that stay at the house. Then there is Sport a Shirt coming in April, Character Breakfast in the Fall, Christmas Luminaries and so much more! Find out more information or join today by visiting the links above. Not to mention there are so many other places and organizations that need volunteers, our time, resources, talents, and sometimes just supplies. What tugs at your heartstrings? Babies, animals, senior citizens, the homeless, your church? Are you helping?
Seconds is all it takes to change our lives. Those words alone makes these normal days wonderful, doesn’t it? Enjoy the best of food and life, each normal day at a time, with the ones you love.