Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Were you the Recipient of an "Act Of Kindness?"

Over the next few weeks, teams of family and friends will be canvassing their communities with "acts of kindness" in memory of Sadie.

The majority of participants will be in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. As part of a Life Celebration for Sadie, teams of four will be provided with a list of "Acts of Kindness." The list will include acts such donating items to a local food pantry or paying for the person's coffee behind you in line. Each recipient will then be given a card that states the act of kindness was done in memory of Sadie (see image).

Sadie taught us so much during her short life. One of the most important lessons she taught us was to be kind to everyone, for everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. We can think of no better way to honor her life than to shower our community with kindness.

In addition to the large contingent of participants in the Chicago area, there will be remote teams performing acts of kindness in 20 different cities throughout the U.S. and Canada - from Los Angeles to New York.

Visit Sadie's Facebook page to see photos of some of our Acts of Kindness.

So...were YOU a recipient of an "acts of kindness?" Share your story in the comments below!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Honoring Sadie

It's been three months since our angel went to heaven. I haven't posted anything because, to be honest, this blog was developed as a way to update friends and family on Sadie's experiences. And, with her now in heaven...well, you see...

I speak for both of us when I say the past three months have been the most difficult of our lives. It has been hard to set aside the "what ifs" and the horrors of her last few hours. However, we have been blessed by the outpouring of support received from friends and family. It has been a humbling experience to know so many people care.

I heard a wise person say, "You can let you're grief tear you down, or you can take that experience and rise up." We've been trying to rise from this experience. I can tell you that it's definitely not easy, it takes dedication and work, but it is so worth it.

We were honored to have so many individuals and organizations help us during Sadie's short life. It has always been our desire to give back to these organizations in some way. It is through giving back that we are choosing to honor Sadie's memory.

Recently, a group of friends and family made dinner for the families staying at a local Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House is a wonderful organization that provides housing for families so they can stay near their hospitalized children. As many remember, our family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near Cleveland Clinic twice during Sadie's surgeries.  Making dinner was a great experience and we also had the ability to talk to a few of the families.

This spring, a group of us will be participating in a yard clean-up through another amazing organization, Normal Moments. This service is provided to local families who are consumed with their children's chronic medical issues. Our family benefitted from the yard clean-up for three consecutive years. I can't tell you how nice it is to look out your back door and not see overgrown bushes and weedy flower beds. The volunteers beautifying our yard gave us the most precious gift - the gift of more time with Sadie. We are happy to be able to offer this gift to another family.

Finally, we will be celebrating Sadie's life and what would have been her 4th birthday (April 29th) with a life celebration in early May. The inspiration for the life celebration came (in part) from two websites (www.thebdayproject.com and www.randomactsofkindness.org). I've always been so moved by stories of folks who perform these random acts of kindness. So, inspired by this concept - we will be conducting an Acts of Kindness scavenger hunt as part of Sadie's Celebration.

Attendees will be given a list of "acts of kindness" to perform - tasks such as helping an elderly person load groceries into their car or paying for the person's coffee behind you in line, etc. Each team will pass out a card as they perform these various acts of kindness which will explain the act of kindness is being done in her memory. We hope to blanket our community in kindness.

We hope these efforts provide some joy and comfort to others - we know it provides the same for us. It is these types of things that have provided us light during these dark days. We thank everyone for their ongoing support.