May 18, 2009

Year of Living Generously - A Brief Update

I haven't forgotten that I have a blog, I promise. I've just been really occupied with other things -- much of which had to do with the title topic -- and I haven't had the energy or motivation to write.

As you may have noticed, if you've been here before, the color scheme recently changed. I, along with scores of other bloggers, have gone purple in honor of Maddie. Of course, my scheme was actually already purple but I went with a shade that was suggested by Mrs. Flinger, whom you met not too long ago.

I should note here that I wrote all of that rather disjointed intro above almost a month ago. I am not going to go into why there was such a long gap, mostly because I'm not interested in finding a way to articulate those whys to anyone. If that sounds snotty, I apologize; that's not my intent. I'm just not in a place where I'm up for it and I want to say it simply.

My life, mentally, has been different since April 7th. It's not a mistake that my last post and the one that has stayed up there for over a month was the remembrance from the day of Maddie's service. I haven't found a way to express why the events of April have had such an impact on me, to myself or anyone else. All I can say is that they did.

I also want to say that, while I'm going to continue on with 2009 being a year that I give as much as possible, I'm going to stop trying to write much about it beyond this. It's part of what's holding me up from posting. I wrote about how I've struggled with it right from the start and it hasn't gotten any easier.

Since the world said goodbye to little Maddie, most of my giving efforts have been focused on raising funds in her name for the March of Dimes and in helping to fund support for Maddie's parents, who have had such a difficult time since their world shattered. I talked about the March of Dimes in connection with the Spohrs back in February, though I could never have imagined at that point how much would have changed and how much would have happened between then and the date of the actual walk. If you aren't aware, the Spohrs' team alone raised over sixty thousand (yes, sixty thousand) dollars for the March of Dimes and raised so much more awareness of the organization and its mission, since that time. If ever the word "outpouring" were appropriate, this was it; there was an absolute outpouring of caring, commitment and cash from people around the country and beyond, both for the walk and for Maddie's parents. The wave of caring continues on and if you're interested in hearing about what's happening, please check out the March for Maddie site.

I wasn't able to participate in one of the walks, so I instead donated to pretty much anyone I knew who was going to walk. Because I have so many wonderful and generous friends, that was quite a few people and I was happy to set my credit card on fire as they donned their purple and their tennis shoes and set out to make a difference.

And, as Forrest Gump said, that's all I have to say about that.

So now, while life goes on as it inevitably does, I have this new appreciation for the impact that we can have on each others' lives. I've realized, however, that I don't need to write about it, I just need to do what I'm moved to do.