Today’s inspiration came from a paragraph in the Lands End catalog.
Gratitude – There are times when thank you is mostly said as a common courtesy. When someone holds open a door or says bless you when you sneeze. And then there are the times when expressing your gratitude comes from a place so deep, it’s hard to find the right words. Saying thank you for their unconditional support, their unending love, and unlimited kindness can be difficult without sounding contrived or forced. So we show our thanks in gestures – hugs when they’re really needed, an afternoon spent listening (but not offering solutions), or an unexpected care package when you’re far away – because they say, “actions speak louder than words.”
I truly connected with this paragraph. This week has been filled with mutual Thank You’s.
Our week began visiting the firefighters that answered the 911 call 5 years ago. Many of them haven’t seen Corey since the night of her accident; others remembered her ‘rolling’ in on her 2nd anniversary, just learning to speak. Monday night, she walked in with my assistance using her cane. We also met several young firefighters that had only heard the stories of that night. We wanted to thank the men and woman that helped but also wanted to let each volunteer firefighter know how important their job was. Their comment, “we stay with you until we know you’re stable and then we always wonder how you’re doing from that point on. We remember every call”. This visit, Corey spoke for herself. She assured them she’s been working hard and will continue to work hard. She also promised them a dinner as soon as she can use both arms and stand on her own to cook the full meal by herself. They are looking forward to that night!
The firefighters were so thrilled to see Corey, they wrote an article about her and posted it to their website…www.wgfc.org.
The week closed with many more Thank You’s.
Friday and Saturday we were in Brooklyn, NY for the 5th annual Care for Corey Rock and Roll ½ marathon. Corey’s cousins organize a fundraiser within this public race. They run and will continue to run until Corey can join them. This was their most successful fundraising year. The money raised will pay for her continuing vision and vestibular therapy in Texas along with a few alternative therapy opportunities we are trying to arrange now that she has graduated from Bryn Mawr. If you are friends with me on Facebook, Team Corey was 14 strong with a few dedicated members posting virtual runs in other cities because they were unable to make it this year. As the paragraph stated above, it’s difficult to find the words that best describe our gratitude. Every runner, every person that sent a donation, and all the time and effort put into this year’s fundraiser will help her afford therapy we couldn’t provide without the help of every person that participated and donated!
Sunday morning and afternoon we visited with a few more special people. We stayed with close friends of mine from High School and met a woman that played an integral role in getting Corey her handicapped van. Laurie was a childhood friend of my HS friend. She has a non-profit company that raises money to buy adaptive, disabled vehicles for veterans. Her fitness fundraisers have provided 55 free vans to disabled vets over the last several years. My HS friend shared Corey’s story when we were first living at Bryn Mawr. Laurie knew the owner of Ride-Away; an adaptive van company. She asked his help in finding us a used van. That led to our introduction to him, his company and ultimately the purchase of Corey’s original van.
Our meeting with Laurie was very similar to a blind date. She has been following Corey’s story and we have had a few emails and texts over the years. My favorite comment, “you’re both so tall!” We had a lovely visit and we were able to thank her personally for helping Corey and our family. The fundraisers that first year helped us bring Corey home and the van gave us our initial independence.
Next stop – a visit with my Aunt Kay. For those of you that have been following our story and know our family, you know that Aunt Kay is very, very special to me. Caitlin is named after her (gaelic for Kathleen).
Aunt Kay is 92 and still sassy after all these years! I love her motto; “every woman should wear an animal print every day. If she’s not brave enough to wear it on the outside…(she gives a little wink) she should wear it on the inside”! I am lucky to frequently speak with her on the phone but incredibly grateful to spend time with her in person. She was thrilled to see Corey walk into her apartment.
Although the first week in October is emotionally difficult, every year there is more and more to be grateful for. And tomorrow is another day of gratitude…Corey’s 23rd Birthday! xoxo