"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." ~Victor Frankl.....
We were blessed with an Angel for 674 days, 12 hours and 56 minutes. This is the continued journey of our family... Chaotic, Crazy, Sarcastic, Funny... We are learning to TRULY LIVE because there really is NO DAY BUT TODAY. You are welcome to join in for the laughter and the tears as we continue the Crazy journey that we have been challenged to embark on!
Monday, September 26, 2011
46 Mommas Shave For The Brave "Emotionally Empowering"
What can I say this has been a very emotional week. George and I arrived in Washington D.C. on Tuesday and had some free time to get some sightseeing in. We headed to the "National Mall" and decided to do our own little walking tour. We got pictures in front of the monuments (The Capitol Building, Washington Monument, National Archives) and drove around town, through Embassy Row and DuPont Circle. It was really just a nice day followed up by dinner with my dad and step mother (who came into town for the event).
Wednesday was the BIG day, lots of excitement and nerves as we got ready to head out. We arrived for registration early and got a little time to hang out with some of my amazing Mommas. We got our head shots done and a video testimonial and then it was off to Arlington National Cemetery for a quick trip through (we had a little extra time before the Shave). I really wish we had more time to spend there, it was very moving. There were a few headstones that caught our attention as we stop to take a moment and reflect. One was "Infant Daughter" it only had one date on it so one can assume that the baby died right after birth. Another one was heartbreaking for George and I as we realized what we were looking at. It was a multiple plot, it had the Military rankings of the Father with his name and Birthday, NO death ... below that was "His Loving Wife" her name with a birthday, NO death and below that was "Son" his name and birthday followed by his death... It was a 5 year old SON waiting for his parents... Deep Breath! The one that intrigued me was that of a WWII Lt Col, Anne Weatherbee Tinges... I sat there for a long while wondering what her story was. It is very rare to see a female with rank from WWII. For those that don't know me well, I always wanted to be an Air Force Fighter Pilot (Weapons and Systems Operator...the GIB... on an F-15 Strike Eagle) but we were still in a place where women were accepted in to the military, they could learn whatever they wanted to but they were not allowed to be front line. It was very disappointing to think that I would be able to learn a job that I was passionate about but not be able to actually DO IT. I feel that my life has taken me down the path I was meant to be on, but always wish I would have done more on that path... SO, seeing this headstone really touched me. A women, out of place, holding rank in a mans world... WHAT's Her Story?!?!
From there we went to Union Station. As we got there it was so surreal, we have been planning this for so long, to think we were there and moments away from the most emotionally amazing experience ever. There were SO many people there and I was so honored to have "representation", George, My Dad, My Stepmom, My Aunt and our family friend Jen...! The excitement of the event was very powerful. But honestly it is kind of a blur. I remember being excited that we were able to donate our hair to "Wigs For Kids" and that I had the honor of meeting the amazing Mommas that I love so dearly online. I remember when it was our turn to go they let George shave my whole head, not just the first swipe as we had thought. I was doing ok until the girl in front of me that was taking pictures (which I think might have been Faith) put her camera down and looked as if she was tearing up a little bit... I kind of lost it at that point. I remember feeling Emotionally Empowered by my new look. After our heads were shaved we got a make-up make over which was fun. LOTS of pictures, LOTS of memories, LOTS of emotions. George and I both feel like this was exactly what we needed to get out of the "funk" that we have been in. This was us saying to Bryce that we are here to make a statement, to stand up and help in every way and any way that we can.
I had to leave early on Thursday but George was able to stay and go with the Texas Mommas to Capitol Hill. Each Momma was paired up with their states representatives to talk to them about the "Creating Hope Act" http://childhoodcancer-mccaul.house.gov/issue/creating-hope-act-2011 and ask for them to support it. I know that it meant a lot to George to be apart of this process and know that we CAN make a difference.
The response from my friends and family has been amazing. First of all I can NOT say thank you enough for the $6,000 in donations that I received. My goal at first was $1,000 so you all have totally blown my expectations out of the water (we are still accepting donations through the end of the year, so if you were meaning to, but forgot, or you just want to help our an amazing cause... you still can... http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/participantid/414671 . I have been humbled by the emails, text and calls from everyone telling me what an inspiration I am and How amazing Bryce was. And I am so honored to be a part of the 46 Mommas and all that they have done for St Baldrick's... Between the 2010 "Legacy Mommas", all the events ,fundraisers and the 2011 Mommas the group has raised over $600,000 and donated a TON of hair! I can not believe that I am a part of such an amazing group of Mom's!