Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pay it forward

A lot has shifted since the babies were born. And I'm not just talking about my hip bones.
Almost immediately, when I held those girls in my arms, I was awash with quiet. With calm. I had arrived. I took them home still as myself, but renewed. I had been reborn when they were born.
I know that's very Deepak Chopra for this blog space, but bear with me. We're going somewhere today.
I brought them home to choruses of "you must be exhausted, I can't imagine, it must be so hard." I appreciated the good intention behind the sympathy, but I smiled inside knowing I was just blessed. My dreams had come true and here I was in my home with my family, all were healthy, and we had so much love.
Yes, the nights were broken, sleep was sparse and I was ravenous. I felt very calm, though, very patient.
I attribute this to the support I had from everyone around me and from the fulfillment of my heart's desires. People took such good care of us. Our neighbours and friends brought us food and gifts. Our home care nurse didn't stop visiting until the babies were well on their way to gaining weight. Family members flew up from great distances away to spend their time off work staying up through the night, taking Abby out to play, and cooking us meals. This all made such a huge difference in our experiences with the girls this past year, and allowed us to ease into it, feel human, and find love when we really needed it.
I have held onto this patience. Sometimes it has been difficult, and it has certainly given me the quiet to learn many whispered lessons. Hailey and Robin have been such a gift to our family, made even more wonderful by the gifts of love, support, food and hugs from our friends and family.
In one month from today, the girls will turn one. I will surely weep grateful, happy tears all day long and not even bother to wear mascara. We want to say thank you this year, but instead of buying you all cars (because Oprah-sized gestures are beyond our meagre budget), we are asking you to help us pay it forward.
All of you.
All of you who celebrated with us from afar, and who lived near enough to drop off some soup and bread. You all showed us what generous, giving spirits you have, so this year we ask you to please help us pass on this generosity.

The Whitehorse Food Bank is really hurting. They don't receive food subsidies or corporate donations of food because of our isolated geography, and their donations are lowest after Christmas, when need is in fact highest. Cost of living up here in the winter is very high, and forbidding for many. Many families use the food bank, because they choose between food or shelter.
This year for Hailey and Robin's first birthday, we will be collecting donations of food items here at our house during their birthday party in lieu of gifts. We are asking all of our kind family and friends to please forgo gifts for them this year and instead make a donation to the Food Bank.
I know many of you readers don't live close enough to drop off some canned ham or green beans, but it would mean a lot to the struggling families of Whitehorse if you would donate online.
It's easy!
Go the Whitehorse Food Bank website and donate directly through the Canada Helps link (the blue button). You can opt for a one-time donation, or a recurring monthly one. If you'd like to mention in your donation that it's in honour of Hailey and Robin's birthday, that would be so sweet!
I'll try and figure out a way to leave the donation link on the right-hand side of my blog for the next month.
Thank you so much to everyone who opened their hearts to us in our time of need last year. Your love has truly helped transform our family into better people; we can all feel it.
Thank you in advance for your donations, and I'll make sure to update you all with totals in a month when Hailey and Robin turn one!

2 comments:

  1. very nice gesture and very inspiring!

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  2. I think that's wonderful. I will definitely donate online. We are also doing food bank donations instead of presents for E's first birthday - its nice to celebrate your baby by giving back:)

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