Yesterday, we were fortunate enough to participate in a giving day for the charitable fund we have formed in honor of our son. This day is phenomenal. It is all online and raises millions of dollars for regional charities. As a co-worker said to me, “It’s like shopping…but for a cause!” The group that oversees the administration of our charitable fund coordinates this event and it is our primary source of donations during the year. I love this day. Not because of dollars raised. While the “real time” ticker is a fun novelty, the main reason I love it is because it’s a full day, 24 solid hours, of giving. To kids and dogs and hospitals and places that make our communities better just by being there. As a non-profit staffer for most of my professional career, I understand the tremendous impact a day like this can bring. How many amazing things can happen because of those donors. While $10 may seem like a small gift, imagine if you have thousands of people looking at your charity…and that even 100 of them give. That one day makes you feel like you have a staff of thousands behind you. It’s empowering. For the organizations and hopefully for the givers.
My contribution, beyond whatever my husband and I choose to give, is to remember. To remember our son and why we do the things we do in his memory. To remember the enormous community of love that has surrounded us both during his life and after his passing. To remember the names of the babies of those we love that have been lost, a list that is much too long for my liking. To speak those names, out loud or in writing…because people don’t and I will never let them be forgotten. It is a day that I see most clearly the purpose in my life as Bennie’s mom. It is the day I see most clearly the depth of people’s hearts. It is the day I feel the closest to the legion of neighbors that hoisted us on their shoulders and moved us back to the living. It is the day I see and feel gratitude from the very soles of my feet to the tip of my nose. It is life affirming. And life altering. And fills my spirit up. Oh how much I love this day, even if the reason we are allowed in it cracks my heart open. The better to fill it up I suppose. The better to fill it up. What a day.