I don’t even know where to start. How do I thank people for buying over 500 tshirts. How do I thank LeeLee boutique for dropping off an amazing donation because she “just wanted too”. How do I thank people for being just amazing?
It’s the same feeling I had when three studio 32 dancers sold 1500 shirts, and the Choose Joy bracelets that sold. The lemonade stands! It is just surreal. This doesn’t even count the recent fall sales, continuing to watch our runners list grow just short of our goal of 400, the upcoming Mangia Monday pasta dinner that is truly a gift, or my husband’s school creating a spirit week for our little girl. And how about the amazing gifts I have found in my mailbox, and the wonderful thoughtful texts? How do you let everyone know how grateful you are?
When our Melina got sick it was the worst period in my life. EVER. And still is. But in that I have never felt so much goodness. How can I have both? The support is surreal. The fact that every shirt represents someone caring for my Melina, or someone caring for our cause or even someone just loving her style. That’s her. That’s all her. And that’s all I want. I want her everyday. I want to hold her. But while I can’t. I still see her. I see her everywhere. Even billboards these days.
I can’t express enough how Melina was always a little much. Always over the top. She went big or went home. Melina made a name for herself. She was number three but was never going to get lost in the shuffle. Melina was my joyful spirit. She was my baby. And I miss her and hurt more than I could ever say.
Yet at the same time I am more grateful than I have ever been. Trust me if I could do this alone I would never ask for help. I would fight til I couldn’t. But this is so much greater than me. This is greater than our Melina. Yet we are doing it. We have raised more money than most large foundations to start. We are working with brilliant people to start our donations to make sure that it is for the exact cause we want. (And trust me I will fill you in when I know more and we put them to work.) We want answers. Every time I see someone in a shirt, in a bracelet, in earrings, or simply in cheeto, I find a moment of peace and even a little hope. A hope that while I would have done or given anything to have healed her, she still might win. She is my fight. She is my strength. She is my how. And you are my hope. You are my joy. You are how we heal. Please don’t ever doubt that we see all of you.