Saturday, March 26, 2011

I cry a lot, but I'm happy...

11 years ago when Jeff and I got the news that our baby boy was born with hearing-loss, I cried and I cried a lot. I couldn't believe I was looking at - what I thought was a perfect baby boy - wondering how could he have something wrong with him. I didn't want to believe that doctors could tell a baby could not hear well, but they were right and now at almost 11 years old, David can tell me himself.

6 months after getting the news about David, we learned that Andrea had CF. My very first thought was "why couldn't it be her hearing?!" Amazing how quickly one's perspective on something can change so drastically. Hearing-loss sucks! For a long time, taking care of David's needs was actually more time consuming than Andrea's needs, BUT the huge difference is...hearing-loss is not fatal - CF IS FATAL!

I cried practically EVERY SINGLE DAY for 3 years solid. The first year was the toughest. I would cry so hard while driving that I would have to pull over and gain control, fearing I could get in a car accident from all the tears flooding over my pupils. I know I went 3 months telling people I was "just there", when asked "how are you?" The day I answered "I'm good, how about you?"...I bawled! I couldn't believe I had answered that way, because I really wasn't sure yet if I was good. The next two years the crying was less intense, but it was daily and for the most part several times a day.

Well 10 years later I can honestly say that I still cry, but not daily. However, I still cry a lot but it can be about so many different things. I've become a lot more sensitive due to the kids' health concerns, but I'm also very sensitive of all the great things going on. I cry a lot more tears of joy. 

The things people do for us - the Riders - in honor of my kids (primarily Andrea) just leaves me at awe. It just amazes me what a simple request for help can amount to. As you know I fundraise for the CFF in honor of Andrea and I ask for a lot from everyone. I ask for money, for time, for material donations, for people to fundraise, and so on. And even though I know I ask hoping to get a yes, I'm still always taken a back from those yesses. Here's a list of things people have done for us: (sorry if I left something out)
  • monetary donations in amounts of $2, $5, $10, $15, $20, $25, $50, $75, $100, $200, $300, $500, $1000+
  • volunteering for: the Great Strides walk, basket auctions, helping the CFF office with mailers, shirts, etc.
  • holding fundraisers: CF Fun Night, Locks Be Gone, Apple-pie auction, Tie Dye socks, Martini night, restaurant nights, Hot Coco sales, Cut-a-thons, garage sales, bake sales, Glazed Expressions night, Jar Wars, Game books, etc.
  • helping promote CF: Andrea's friends have done school assignments and given presentations. People have given speeches about CF for their college speech classes, designed bookmarks to hand out that explains CF, etc.
Yes, I've cried and still cry a lot. I mean, look at all the things people have done for us. How can someone not cry over things like that?  I am one very lucky and very happy person and I owe that to so many people in my life! The gratitude is immense! 

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving

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