I've often said that I would trade places with Livia if that meant I could save her life. I wonder though, if that really is a good trade. The one "blessing" that comes with Sanfilippo, is that there is no earthly hurt. No broken hearts. No worries. Livia knows nothing but happiness and joy. She is happy and loving. She loves people and is happy to just be in the presence of others. Anyone.
I experienced a broken heart tonight. For both of my children. My heart is very vulnerable, everyday. As each day passes, I feel like a little piece of my heart chips away. Time is not on our side. So, when my heart breaks because of something else, it upsets me. I dropped my girls off at the drop-in before I had to teach a class. The room was not busy, maybe only 5 other children. Both girls ran right in, happy to be there. Livia ran over towards a couple little boys and picked up a toy. One boy, probably Livia's age held the other boy back and said; "watch out for that girl (pointing) she's really weird." Livia, of course, went on playing, no idea what those words meant. As I'm hanging up their bags, I then hear another little girl, maybe 7, ask Finley; "why is your sister like that?" I watched quietly, feeling numb and feeling the tears well in my eyes. Finley completely ignored the girl and just started playing. I left the room in tears. Completely innocent, maybe a little wrong on the boys behalf, but hurtful, nonetheless. I understand and get that Livia is different. I want situations like this to present a learning opportunity. I was heartbroken to hear someone ask Finley that question. Finley knows nothing other than Livia is her sister. I'm not ready to tell her everything. However, after I read PINK! (a story about friendship and acceptance), I took the opportunity to ask Finley a few questions about Livia. Just to see where she stands with understanding Livia and if she notices her differences. She doesn't. She only knows Livia as she is. I then told her how every single person in the whole entire world is different. Not one person is the same. God made all of us in a special way and we must embrace, love, respect, and be ok with people's differences. I kept it at a 3 year old's conversation level.
Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves"
I'm speaking up for those in need. I'm praying and asking all of you; teach compassion to your children and friends. Teach them to love others. We can all learn something from each other. Everyone on this earth has something to offer. My daughter's have taught me so much in their short lives. They've made me want to love more. I feel a duty to spread this message of compassion. We can all do a little to make a big difference.
Monday, September 17, 2012
This summer was one for the memory books. As a family, and as a foundation. As a family, we really didn't do anything "big." The girls love swimming so much, so any opportunity we had to swim, we took it! A few day trips, but mostly we stuck as a four-some. Liv Life, however, had a really awesome summer. First off, the 2nd annual Liv Life Golf outing. Big thanks go out to my step-mom, Carol, and my dad, Jim for all the hard work and time you put into organizing this event. Also, thank you to Orange and Blue golf course in Savoy Illinois for helping us host this event. Your team goes above and beyond to accommodate our needs. Unfortunately, no one one the car again this year. Maybe next year someone will finally hit that hole in one! I'm excited to plan for this event next year! Each year gets better and better! All you golfers out there, keep an eye open and come join us!
Next up was the 2nd annual Liv to Ride poker run hosted by the 4-Way Saloon in Sidell, Illinois. My sister and brother-in-law, Heidi and Tim put their heart and soul into this event. Along with the owners of the Saloon, Bob and Ruth-Ann. This year's event brought in double the amount of riders we had last year, if not more! The support and generosity we saw from everyone involved in this event really speaks for the people that had their hand in planning, organizing, and participating in the ride. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for supporting Liv Life and loving our family! Tim and Heidi, thank you for everything you put into this event. We love you so much! A side note, both of my girls got their very first motorcycle rides! Not to worry, I rode with and it was a slow one just down the street and back! It was fun to hear their giggles and have the wind blow through our hair!
|Last but not least, we had the quilt raffle. This
idea came from a lovely group of ladies that are very close to my heart.
I grew up in the small community of Homer, Illinois. There has been
a group in this community for over 100 years called "Art Needle."
It consists of 12 ladies, by invitation, that gather together once a
month for meetings, dessert, a project, and more. There are 3 ladies in
this group that are especially close to me; my mom, mother-in-law, and
grandmother. The other women in the group are ladies that I know and
respect dearly. Some I know from church, former neighbors, and some I
know because of their children and I went to school together. They are
all talented Christian women, that as a group, could probably conquer the
world! Anyway, each of these women possess some type of artistic talent.
Many of them, multiple talents. As a group, they made "Livia's
Star." I had the honor of helping pick out the fabric. I chose
purple and green because those are the colors of Liv's room, and purple
represents MPS. From a lot of hard work, love, and heart came this
beautiful creation. Raffle tickets were designed, printed, and sold.
On September 7th, at Sleepy Creek Vineyards in Fairmount, Illinois the raffle was held. The
group, along with others sold close to 4,000 tickets. I chose the
location of Sleepy Creek, because this is one of my favorite local business' to
support and I wanted the drawing to be held in a public venue. I was so
excited and nervous for the drawing. I had an opportunity to speak a
little bit about Liv and MPS. Other people were at the venue that night
and bought tickets after I spoke, before the drawing. I wanted to pull a
name that I recognized or we knew as a group. I wanted someone that was
there to win this beautiful piece of art. When I pulled the name from the
large tub, I think I stuttered when I read the name, because I didn't recognize
it. But, God has a plan. The name I drew was meant to be. My
grandmother had sold the ticket at one of our family reunion's. It was a
cousin of her's that one the quilt. Let me just say that I have a really,
no REALLY, big family on that side of the family, and don't know everyone of my
cousins. However, I hope to get to know this one. The lady that won
the quilt, her daughter, is a national correspondent for NBC. When
Georgia, the quilt winner, found out she won, she immediately called her
daughter, Michelle Franzen and asked if she could
possibly get a story on the quilt or Livia. Who knows if anything will
come about with that, but the possibility is there. I really don't think
we are done with the quilt. I think we will have more news to report
regarding the quilt. We'll wait and see! Thank you, ladies of
"Art Needle." You are forever in my hearts for the love and
generosity you've shown my family. Each and every one of you have touched
my life in some way. Thank you for taking time out of your life to make
this beautiful piece of art! |
On a side note, during the golf outing I received a gift! Jake's aunt Becky had made a miniature version of "Livia's Star." Becky is so talented with her quilting. She recreated this piece for me without a pattern! I love and cherish it so much. I've yet to hang it, but it fits perfectly on the wall upstairs that you see as you walk down the stairs. Thank you, Becky, for thinking of me and making this for our family. I love it so much and I love you even more! Also, during the Art Needle meeting on Friday Sept. 7th, before the Sleepy Creek event, the girls and I went to the meeting and there, the girls received a gift! One of the members of Art Needle, told her daughter about Livia and our family. Her daughter, Jenniffer, also an artist, generously made my girls a postage stamp quilt. Livia's quilt has over 2,000 pieces and Finley's has over 1,600. They are bright in color and so fun to look at! Each postage stamp is it's own picture! Thank you, Jenniffer (see her Etsy shop HERE) for pouring your heart into these pieces for my girls! We've never met, yet she took the time to bring a smile to our faces! We love the quilts!
|All the tickets|
|My grammy, added her own touch to one of our shirts! My "Livia's Star" mini quilt in the background|
|Liv loved Virginia!|
|Picking the ticket!|
|The winner, Georgia!|