Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Challenge Accepted?

I knew it was coming. I knew that amongst the dozens (and dozens) of ice bucket challenges flooding my facebook newsfeed that I too would soon be tagged to dump freezing water on my head in hopes of dodging a heftier donation fee to the ALS association. Which, I feel is really odd. Shouldn't we be promoting people to donate more for supporting something?

Just an observation: 2014 has brought on some interesting challenges, like the Fire Challenge which supports nothing but stupidity and the decline of the human race. Then of course this ice bucket challenge for something much better and more promising for the human race. 

Let's get this straight: We won't be seeing me on fire, or doused in ice this year kids. Sorry!

At any rate... let's review a few things we will see from me. I don't follow the crowd. HOWEVER I do like to be nice, and supportive. So we can expect that from me this year.

On the supportive note. Do you know who one of my number one supporters is? I will introduce you: 

His name is Butch, and he is my brother in law. He has been a part of my life for over 20 years. He has one of the best attitudes of anyone I know. He has dealt with and overcome more medical issues and "disabilities" than anyone I have ever met. Ever. You know immediately upon meeting with him that he never lets anything get him down. At 18 years old he was in an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was told he would be wheelchair bound for life. He proved everyone wrong by training himself to walk again. I can't even count the number of surgeries and procedures he has had since he has been a part of our family. 

About 3 years ago Butch was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Though he has had some set backs and adjustments to treatments and medications he is still his chipper self. It is remarkable how he handles what life throws at him. 

I promise, very much so promise, that I am not trying to take anything away from the severity of ALS, or the people fighting it and living with it. 
I just would like to bring awareness to other donating options in hopes that other people (faced with the ice challenge or not) will find a way to support very important organizations without the prompt of a facebook fad. Take a look around, find some things that you would like to support and do so. Don't have the cash on hand to throw out there? Volunteer a free afternoon, donate some items you have on hand at home. You never know what an organization could need or use that isn't a check that you may not have available at the time. 

I did stick to the donation part of this challenge, and donated money to the National MS Society because it hits closer to home for my family. 
In case any of you are huffy that I may or may not have donated something to someone here is a snippet/pic from the donation confirmation (cropped down because I don't need you all knowing where I live). SIDENOTE - I have actually not seen any confirmation that any of the videos I have seen in the last week have actually donated any amounts at all. Just an observation. Not discrediting anyone, but I find that interesting. 

I won't tag anyone in particular, if you find it in your heart or your schedule to give to a cause you personally wish to support please do. Need some inspiration? Check out to help you decide which organization you would like to contribute to. 

As for Butch, keep on keepin' on with your chipper self! You are an inspiration to a lot of us. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You Matter.

Yesterday afternoon I took Adeline to our local library to pick out her weekly stack of books. We found a suitable pile of reading material and then found a spot at a table so I could read a few to her before checking them all out. I really didn't want to dawdle because the list of errands was high so I zoomed through two small books.

On our way to the check out counter she stopped by the movie shelves. I was trying to coax her away from the stacks and stacks of VHS tapes because we really needed to get to the tire shop to have my car serviced.
She seemingly ignored me and scanned through the videos to make a selection. We do actually own a VHS player at home so I couldn't really pull the "nobody watches VHS tapes kiddo, let's go" line. I was trying everything I had up my sleeve to get out of there without adding to the already heavy pile in my arms.

Alas, she was already clinging tightly to two VHS tapes. I urged her to hurry and that we probably didn't need to bring home movies and books this week but she insisted: "I have to take these home". So I said that was fine let's go. The child chose these two movies:

Of course, later that evening we heard of the passing of Robin Williams. My heart sank. 

It is hard to imagine what other people are feeling and fighting, especially in a world where many of us are more worried about what we are feeling at any given time. The demons in your head can be very, very real. I have loved ones both alive and gone who do and have battled with depression and substance abuse. I have only two words for everyone, currently battling or not, to read: 

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide please contact the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 - or for young adults and teens to chat anonymously on line: 

Making the choice to call a helpline is essentially an act of courage. It takes a great deal of strength to admit you have a problem and begin the recovery process of putting your life back together. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an issue related to an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the best thing you can do is to reach out for help by calling 1-888-299-5213 at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.

Rest in peace Mr. Williams. You will be severely missed by many.