I started it to coddle my broken heart. It was a way to look outside myself on a day I knew I would be tempted to collapse in. A way to address one of life’s big cruelties because I couldn’t address the one that took her. It was a way for me to put my hand to the plow and put some change in motion, live up to the love a little bit.
I had no idea.
The first donation floored me. Because they count it in people. So with $60, two people were represented. Two people I will never meet who will be directly affected by my mother – it links me to her by linking me to them. The friends who donated are linked, too. It’s this big cosmic netting of We Belong to Each Other, of Love One Another, of I’m Voluntarily my Far Off Brother’s Keeper. She loved everyone like family and those two people get to feel it now, even if they never know where it came from.
Every donation brought more of the best overwhelm. I sobbed at my computer so many times as I saw that number rise and thanked the people who so generously gave some of their resources. And I realized that whether or not we reached my goal this was a win for Good.
The morning before my birthday, with about $300 to go, I shared the campaign again. Within minutes we were only $50 from my goal.
Then we broke $1,000. I cried on the internet.
Because holy freaking cow, you guys? Who are you beautiful people who love like this? How on earth did I get so lucky to call you mine?
And it just. didn’t. stop. I cannot believe I ever worried that I wouldn’t meet the goal. You blew it away. I felt insecure about asking for this because I didn’t want to come across the wrong way. I didn’t want to seem self righteous or exploitive or attention seeking or… whatever. But you guys got it. You got me in my foggy, messy, awkward, stumbling attempt at redemption and you met me there with grace and enthusiasm to carry this farther than I had hoped we’d take it. Seriously. I am a lucky, grateful person to know you.
And sometime in the evening before I turned 30 someone donated $900 and claimed God.
At first I saw it and felt weird about it. The last several years have left me cynical and I wanted to thank them – I can’t thank you, anonymous!
Then I realized: isn’t that the God I’ve come to know? The God in friends on the phone, the God in texts and handwritten notes, the God in hugs and empathetic ears? The God in the orange sky lit up in the evening or the glittering stars over my front yard whom I can’t name or put a face to, but thank nonetheless? Whoever donated so generously – so overwhelmingly – made it impossible for me to give them my thanks, but left me no choice other than to thank the Source, the Love, the everything this all boils down to: her, you, us – my Heavenly Father. xoxo
This is how it all shakes out. That somewhere across the globe 77 people will benefit from this campaign and don’t know to thank her so they will thank God – however they know God – for the chance to go to school, for the clean water they hand their babies, for the baths and soups and hand washing. They will thank the people who help them install the well or the treatment facility. They’ll thank each other for holding the handle or grabbing them a bucket.
And all that gratitude is yours, Mom. Because you lived in a way that made everyone around you remember how to be human, how to make our time count. I hope you can see it. I hope you are there when they unveil this in Whatever Town, Somewhere. I hope you watch the babies there grow, free of the diseases dirty water brings. I hope they feel a little bit of GoGo as they carry clean water into their homes.
To everyone who donated or shared this campaign, THANK YOU. We get to claim this one, guys. This is a win for the Good Side. When you’re overwhelmed by the pain of the world remember this: 77 people. And we can always add more (ready for it) drops to the bucket!
If you’d still like to donate, the campaign will be open for a few more weeks. Just go here. :)