Sunday, December 26, 2010

Forever Grateful

"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven. "  Thomas Menton
As we sit and enjoy the day after Christmas, I find it hard to find the words to talk about the telethon and what that means for Finley and our RDH12 Fund for Sight.  When my co-workers told me that they had talked to the coordinator for the telethon about Finley and that we were chosen, I didn't have the words.

 (2nd graders from my elementary school.  These are my babies - they were in Kindergarten the first year I was at my school nurse job)

When the high school students met Finley and took on our cause and made it close to their hearts, I didn't have the words.

 (Finley and Cainan playing between camera time)

When we saw that the number was at $48,000 and that people are STILL calling in even with the telethon being over, I didn't have the words.

 (This is Gail - Finley's fabulous teacher from BESB.  We wouldn't have survived this year without her)

But I do have the gratitude.  Every person we have encountered in the last year that has asked about Finley, given to the foundation, volunteered their time, said a kind word, sent us a card or email telling us they are thinking about us, every person that keeps going out of their way to help our family and make all of this a little easier, I am grateful.

 (The local police force gave $2000.  They wanted to take a picture with our family)

If there was ever any doubt that there were more good hearted people in this world than bad, that truth can be told through these acts we have seen for Finley.  I still shake my head in disbelief when I think about what has been done to make Finley's life better this past year.  What over 1000 people have done for one little 4 year old girl.

 (Bella, another child with RDH12 LCA, and her dad Mike)

You would be blown away too.

Thank you isn't the right word.  Even forever grateful doesn't touch on what we feel in our hearts for the people who have helped us this year.  We feel so much less alone, and know that all of you will stand with us and be there for us, no matter what happens with Finley's sight in the end.

 (Arlington was given this hat - she loved it)

I think that once everything is in for the telethon, plus all of the company matches and the money we have in our Fund already - we WILL reach our goal of $70,000.  We started this fund less than 6 months ago.  Who would have thought we would have reached our first annual goal so soon.  And it is because of

 (Finley and I judged a contest)

Our hearts are light this year.  The heavyness we felt last year at this time just a few short months after Finley's diagnosis is more distant.  And I have decided that isn't because we are getting more used to the idea.  No, it is because of who surrounds us and the love we feel for our family.  We have a renewed strength to fight as hard as we can.

 (Finley saying thank you at the telethon with a local news anchor)

And we also have our new RDH12 LCA family as well.  Bella. Bill. Lily. Abigail. Marie.  The children who are just like Finley.  We wouldn't be here without them.  They are Finley's brothers and sisters in this journey, and they will be going through it with her.  I hope she takes comfort in growing up knowing these kids and knowing that they are just like her.  They will be there to support each other, and our families will be together.  That also helps us sleep better at night.

 (This is Bella - who also has RDH12 LCA)

While we don't know what the future holds for Finley's sight, we know that our spunky girl is going to have a full, fun life.  We will make it so - no matter what.  And we know all of you are there too!  We are truly lucky, and very blessed.

 (Finley and Bella at the telethon.)

Enjoy your holiday.  We will be traveling on Tuesday, so I won't be able to blog until next weekend.  But let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it".

Words to live by.