Righteous Anger

Every week, I read about about the journey of Kelsey and her family.  This week it is my turn.

I am Kelsey’s grandmother, and Saturday night I went to see a movie, American Assassin—a spy thriller at its core but also a story about the limits to which one is pushed as a result of anger over a loved one. 

After approximately 15 minutes into the movie I started to cry hysterically.  I connected to the movie’s main character in a way that caught me off guard.  It finally hit me that, just like the character in the movie, my actions for Kelsey’s Kaleidoscope have been motivated by a combination of love and anger: righteous anger.  The difference though, is that my feelings are not fiction.  They are reality.

When Kelsey was diagnosed with PAN, I felt a sense of helplessness that I had never experienced.  As a mother and grandmother, I usually know what to do to fix things for my family and make them right.  This time, I was unsure as to if or how I could possibly help or improve Kelsey’s situation.  But there was one thing I knew for sure:  I would not sit on the sidelines doing nothing as my granddaughter struggled daily with a debilitating disease.  Therefore, I took the initiative to start Kelsey’s Kaleidoscope in an effort to fix the problem by raising money and awareness so that kids like Kelsey, who are afflicted by PAN or other orphan diseases, no longer suffer. 

I had always known that I was motivated by unconditional love and an instinct to make things right and better for my children and theirs.  But I now understand that I have also been motivated by anger:  anger over the unfairness of it all, anger from watching my beloved granddaughter suffer, and anger from the vast unknown. 

It has been difficult.  Raising money and asking for donations to fight PAN is the most humiliating and humbling task I have ever performed.  Indeed, it is righteous anger that gives me the strength and the courage to do it. 

In just under two years we have had successful fundraisers, generous donors and many discussions with researchers, doctors and other families who struggle with the same issues.  The support and response have been overwhelming.

It is with my most sincere gratitude that I thank all who have supported Kelsey’s Kaleidoscope.  We could not do this without you, and we ask for your continued support as we channel our righteous anger to continue our efforts to find a cure.

A little affirmation…

Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not garden or have a green thumb.  I simply do not enjoy it.

But at certain points throughout the year, weeds take over my front yard and I cannot wait another day to get my hands dirty.

This was recently the scene on a 93 degree day.  I set up the slip and slide for the kids to enjoy and got to work.  About twenty minutes in, with sweat pouring down and the heat so stifling I was ready to stop, a guest asked to join me.  It was my girl.

Kelsey asked if she could assist.  She put on my gloves and was ready to go.  She was doing such a wonderful job.  As most tasks with six year olds, she tired after only a few minutes.  While I came to that point at 20, now she was watching.

She gave up on assisting physically, but she did offer much more than arm strength.  

She followed me every step of the way, encouraging me and cheering me on.

Phrases such as, “You’ve got this Mom,”  “Wow!  This is really looking great Mom,” or “You are really doing this girl” echoed from her sweet little voice.

I actually enjoyed the final minutes of the otherwise mundane and tedious task.  A little affirmation goes a long way no matter what it is you are doing.

Today, offer one to a child, a colleague, or a friend.  Pay it forward and make a tedious task a little less tedious.

You Got This!

First Grade terrain: kindness, courage, and curiosity.  Those three elements seem to be the keys to success.

New learning can be found at every turn and understanding is essential.

As I sat in Kelsey’s first grade chair and stared around the room at the other parents, I could not help but think – Kelsey, you got this.

For all that you have endured and all you dream to do – Kelsey, you got this.

Math facts may seem troubling and language may be puzzling, but Kelsey, you got this!

Restrictions may be come and go, but strength and hope will be there to assure that you have all you need – Kelsey, you got this.

As the other parents wondered about report cards and reading levels, I took the room in carefully – Kelsey, you got this.

It was full of energy, bright colors, and excitement if you ask me.  I smiled and I thought once more, Kelsey, you got this.

Stay strong, stay positive, and smile every day- Kelsey, you got this..

I am so proud of the curious young woman you grow into every day.  The one whose kindness, enthusiasm, and courage reminds me to strong – Kelsey, you got this.

First Grade terrain: kindness, courage, and curiosity – Kelsey, you got them.

Perhaps it extends beyond first grade classrooms.  Perhaps they are the keys to success for us all.

Today, I encourage you to be all three with respect and patience for all you encounter.

The Warrior

She does whatever she seeks.

She achieves whatever she sets her mind out to do.

She is strong, powerful, and fierce.

Soft on the outside but tough as nails inside.

She perseveres.

She endures.

She is kind.

Wise beyond her years, she stands tall and proud.

As she and I stood still in Warrior Two pose, I smiled as I watched my strong, fierce warrior whose strong exterior fools the world with the inner pain and angst she faces.

But the joke was on me as we completed our workout and she said, “Mom, you remind me of the warrior because you are strong and always reach your goals.  I’m so proud of you.”

I guess the apple doesn’t fall far.  I was left speechless.

To my warrior and greatest goal yet to be reached, we pray, hope, and continue to research a way to cure your warrior body’s inner battle.