Monday, February 28, 2011
In order to celebrate me, the current prompt of the Focus 52 project, I am going to donate my blog space to celebrating someone else. Destiny is the 11 year old daughter of my friend Melia. Destiny recently lost her life last week in a tragic car accident that also put her 15 year old brother Riley in a coma. He still remains in a comatose state today. Melia was in ICU with bodily injuries that included a broken clavicle, some bleeding on the brain and various lacerations and bruises. While she is recuperating in one hospital, her son is across town in another, fighting for his life. Her eldest daughter, Hailey, who was not in the car at the time of the accident, is left alone to run between the two hospitals where her brother and mother are currently staying. A devastating position for an 18 year old child who is grieving the loss of her baby sister to be in.
So what does this have to do with celebrating ME?
In a word, charity. Sweet charity. My one huge passion in life. If there is ever an attribute that I would want celebrated about myself, it would be the fact that I am enormously passionate when it comes to giving to others in need. I will donate time, money, material needs until I have nothing more to give. It is the one area in my life where I feel I truly shine as a human being. Giving to others in need makes me feel good. It lifts me to a plane of existence more gratifying than even the most earth shattering orgasm. Every time I can do something, anything, to help another person in a time of crisis, I feel elevated. Closer to achieving a sense of nirvana. I am at peace even in the midst of chaos. It gives me something to devote my ever abounding energy to and provides me with a better sense of self. And, while it is said that charity should be a selfless gesture, any fool would know that simply cannot be. There is a certain selfish aspect to it. There is a certain rush or "high" if you will when it comes to knowing you have done something to potentially change the outcome of someones life. I enjoy giving. I enjoy doing for others. I don't require thanks. I don't require gratitude. I don't even require acknowledgment. All I need is to be able to achieve that remarkably warm feeling of knowing that I was able to play a small role in making someones life just a little bit better, if only for a short while.
With all that said, I am inviting you to please visit my "Cause" page to help Melia and her family try to recoup from the tragedy of this past week. While nothing on earth, any amount of money or gesture, can return Destiny to us, the family is in dire need of financial salvation. The family is going to need financial help desperately to help pay for the enormous hospital bills, for Destiny's final arrangements, Riley's long term care, the entire families living expenses and of course, they will need money for legal fees to go after the repeat offender criminal that stole Destiny's life.
The family does not have a lot as they just moved across the country in hopes of starting a better life. They need the help of friends, friends of friends, relatives, etc., to get them through this difficult time.
While there are grass root efforts being made in her home state of Arizona, Melia has many friends who know and love her in other parts of the world as well. We are reaching out to the blogging/social media community in an attempt to help rebuild this woman's life.
Please help in any way you can. Even the smallest of donations are appreciated.
To date, we the members of the Cause have been able to raise nearly $2500. However, the cost of Destiny's final arrangements far exceed that. The need is still great. Melia will need to be able to stay close to the hospital where her son is now in ICU. This will cost money. The family is without health insurance. Daily bills for the ICU stay run in excess of $20,000 per DAY. They will both require hospital type beds when they are finally released. There will be legal fees to pay. They will need special medical equipment for Riley, such a a wheelchair for him to use while he slowly regains function of his extremities. The costs are overwhelming and endless. Even if you are unable to donate yourself, just passing the word around to others and encouraging them to donate will help Melia and her young family to recuperate from this tragedy.
To celebrate me, I am celebrating the life of Destiny. I am celebrating the fact that my dear friend Melia has lived to see another day. I am celebrating the fact that Riley has not given up and that his battered body has youth on its side and he is putting up a strong fight for his life. In fact, I could not think of a better way to celebrate MY life than to introduce you to them. To be able to remind all of you how precious life truly is. How to let you all have this serve as a reminder that life can change on a dime. If this story makes you a little bit more wary on the road, stops you from running a red light (like the person who hit Melia did), makes you hug your children a little bit tighter tonight...then to me, those are small but enormously significant victories. Little celebrations of life...and in turn, small celebrations of my life as well.
Tonight, I was speaking to a friend and mentioned that it deeply saddened me every time I had to write the words "Destiny's funeral" during updates to friends. She said to me, "It is not a funeral. It is a celebration of life." And, she is right. Melia has chosen to have people dress in every color of the rainbow, Destiny's favorite thing, in honor of her daughter. No drab, somber black garb...but brilliant hues. Greens, yellows, oranges, blues, purples...all as vibrant and alive as Destiny was.
"What an amazing thing for a mother to do," I thought to myself.
She opted not to dress Destiny in a formal dress and fancy shoes, but rather, a pair of jeans. A Justin Bieber shirt. Her favorite DC brand rainbow shoes. She chose to let Destiny leave this earth the same way that she came into it...with her own sense of style. A ferociously independent little girl who had the gift of gab, a smile that could start a fire with its brilliance and the eyes of a mischievous angel.
Indeed, this will truly be a celebration of life. And I can think of no better way to celebrate me...than to celebrate her all too short, but incredibly purposeful life.
Goodnight, sweet Destiny. Rest well...and remember that every time I see a rainbow in the sky, I will know it is you, asking God to please redecorate the world.
You are loved.