Tag Archives: help

Eme’s Army: Fight for Sight

30 Sep

Oli was recently given an amazing opportunity to work with another special needs child on a campaign by a company called Paper Clouds Apparel.

Paper Clouds sells t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, hoodies, and totes featuring the artwork of special needs children. Oli has her handprint heart on two different t-shirts and a tote that is now available for purchase. She is featured alongside another child named Logan and together they have some incredible things to choose from.

Paper Clouds Apparel employs special needs adults AND they donate 50% of the proceeds to a charity that we choose. We chose http://www.emesarmy.org. Emerie is a little girl who needs our help to get her eye sight back. Please visit http://www.papercloudsapparel.com and check it out!!

“The Cause (Sep 30 – Oct 13):

Eme’s Army
Eme is 6 years old and she is being robbed of her sight by CRB1-LCA, a very rare genetic disease. Eme’s Army, made up of supporters and volunteers like you, raise awareness of childhood blindness and fight for those like Eme. CRB1-LCA has no treatment. A gene therapy clinical trial is being conducted for RPE65-LCA right now that is working and is giving blind kids like Eme their sight back. By replacing the mutated/broken gene with a good copy of the gene, blind kids can see again. It is a fight against time. If too many of their retinal cells die, the cure in clinical trials will not work. So please join Eme’s Army and help them FIGHT for SIGHT! All money raised by Eme’s Army funds research through the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation (CRBF). An all volunteer organization, CRBF was co-founded by Emerie & her family to stop CRB1-LCA.” -Quote from http://www.papercloudsapparel.com

I can’t even begin to describe what this means for Emerie and her family. Imagine having a child go blind and then find out that there may be a way to treat it…it’s beyond incredible.

I would do ANYTHING if there was a way for Oli to see.

Anything.

I may not be able to help Oli get her vision back, but I can help Emerie in a small way.

What an opportunity. What a privilege it is.

It’s a privilege not only to work with Eme’s Army, but also to work with a company like Paper Clouds Apparel.

What they are doing for the special needs community is remarkable. They are making a difference in the world. They are making it better and more accepting and more “normal” for kiddos like Oli.

That’s something that I am extremely proud to be a part of.

If you can, please visit their website or their facebook page.

Share this campaign with your friends. Let them know that they can help too! I never ask you guys to share anything, but this is important. The more money we raise the better chance Eme has of seeing her family again.
You don’t have to share it from here. Share it from Paper Clouds Apparel. It doesn’t matter how, just tell people about it.

Thank you!

Here are a few of the shirts to choose from:

emes5

emes6 (1)

emes7

emes8

emes10

emes9

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A letter to someone I love

8 Apr

Dear friend,

I have known you for what seems like forever. We grew up together, raced cars across my kitchen floor, played in my dads’ old flat-bottomed boat parked alongside my house and rode our bikes far past the mail boxes where we were forbidden to go. You watched me dance and swim. I watched you wrestle and play T-ball. You watched me struggle through my first back surgery in middle school and saw me cry when kids made fun of me. I watched you struggle through elementary school and saw you cry when kids made fun of you because you were just so incredibly smart and misunderstood. You watched me drive away to college and I watched your face dip in the sunlight. I saw your loneliness play shadows across your face as you watched your closest friend and constant ally drive off.

After that afternoon, things changed didn’t they? I was no longer there to protect you and you were no longer there to comfort me. We had been separated by miles and miles of fields and desert. I made new friends. I didn’t call you. I never forgot about you, but I forgot how much you were like me. I forgot how much we needed each other. I forgot about our summer walks and our midnight secretes when I came home to visit. I forgot to call you when the summer ended and I forgot to continue our friendship during the long winter months.

How could I forget?

Things got hard for you at home. Your parents divorced and you got lost in the shuffle. You were left to fend for yourself and grew up too quickly. You didn’t have me there to try to console you or set an example on how to cope with such a loss and a change. You didn’t have me there to try to help you.

I just wasn’t there was I?

You moved out on your own at 16 years old. You started drinking and making bad decisions. You got into trouble. You didn’t know how to live life yet. You were just a kid. I was an adult by that time. I should have been there to help lead you through the maze and the mess that had sprung up around you. I should have called. I should have told you that no matter how far away I was, I was always there for you. I thought you knew, but I should have told you.

I should have…

Still more years pass and things get even worse for you. I get late night drunk calls where you don’t know where you are and don’t know how you got there. You get beat up multiple times and wreck your cars. You are spiraling out of control. I want to help, but I don’t know how? I want to save you, but it begins to feel like you are beyond saving. Or maybe I just don’t want to deal with you anymore. Maybe I think that you are old enough now and should know better.

I was heartless wasn’t I?

Because the truth is…no one is beyond saving. No one deserves to just have people turn their backs on them. You didn’t deserve that, but that’s what I did.

And now things are better. You don’t drink as much, but you still drink too much. Now you don’t get into trouble, but you sit at home. Alone. You sit in your apartment with your loneliness and I sit in mine with my guilt. We don’t talk about it much do we? We don’t talk about those common traits that run through our veins.

I now find myself in a position to want to help you again. I want to help you, but you’re not that young kid anymore. You’re a man. A man who doesn’t really want to be helped. I have to respect that.

But here’s what I want to tell you if I could, or rather, what I will tell you when the time is right. I’m writing it now because I don’t want to overstep my bounds and you may or may not read this post. I hope that you do read it though. And if you do…well…we can talk about it. Or, if you don’t want to, you can just pretend like you never read it.

I have to say something because I hear too many stories of people saying nothing and then regretting it later when the unimaginable happens.

Life can be better friend. Life can be so much better.

You deserve the best. You deserve to be happy. You are an amazing person. One of the best and brightest that I have ever known. You don’t have to sit in your loneliness anymore. You don’t have to sit in unhappiness. There is a life waiting for you out there that you’ve never even imagined. You are a good person. You are a person capable of loving and being loved. You mean the world to me and I don’t want to spend another minute sitting in guilt over this and wondering what I should have done. I have done that enough.

I have been there. I have felt those feelings and wondered where the bottom was. After Oli was born I thought that I would never smile, laugh, or love the same again. But, I did. I did. And so can you. It just takes looking at everything from a different perspective. It takes not always trusting what goes on in your head as the truth. Sometimes our own minds are our biggest deceivers. Our biggest enemy lies inside us. It doesn’t have to stay that way. You can change it. But you must be willing to step outside what feels comfortable. You must be willing to do something different. It’s not always fun at first, but I promise you. It is worth it.

I love you.

You are worth it.

I Choose To Call It “Helpfulness”

1 Mar

“No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say “Oh, my gosh,” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.”

― Marisa de los Santos, Love Walked In

All I have to say today is: Good thing I started a blog when Oli was born and updated it a few times because I have forgotten half of the things that Oli did between the ages of 1 and 2. Stress induced amnesia? Sleep deprivation?

She started talking around the age of 2. She had about 15-20 words back then. She only said one word at a time except on one occasion where she used two. I guess this happened?.. because I blogged about it. True to my absent minded, fog clogged brain self I didn’t mention in the post what that two word sentence was. I have no idea now. That sucks…

She used to say the beginning or the end of a word. For milk she would say “ka” and later “ilk”. For drink she would say “dri”. She did say mamma all the time. It started as “ma-ma-ma” and later became “mom-mom”. Always strung together.

Maybe she got it from Kekoa? That boy never said my name just once and still doesn’t. It’s always “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom.” It doesn’t matter if I answer right away or not. Of course I tell him he sounds like a broken record. Apparently I am no longer allowed to use this terminology with children, per the husband. He told me yesterday “People under the age of 25 have no idea what that even means. You can’t say record, tape, VHS…”

I can say it as long as I want. I can even yell it into a phone and then slam down the receiver!

When did I become old?

What was I talking about?….

Oh yeah, Oli. The main character in my story.

She also started learning to walk around this age. Not walk- walk, but Oli walk which started with me holding her up and moving her legs in a walking like motion.

So…basically it was just me, puppeteering her around the room.

I guess now that I think about it, it was ALL me.

I should describe this part instead of Oli learning to walk as Mommy forcing Oli to learn to walk. I was so impatient. Instead of waiting for the poor girl to do things at her own pace and in her own time I would impose my “helpfulness” on her.

I can only imagine what Oli is thinking when I set out to help her learn something new. Walking… talking… perhaps braille reading?

“Really mom? Why don’t you just go ahead and do that by yourself and come on back down to earth when you’re done. I’ll be here waiting in the land of reality when you get back.”

I chose to pretend that I helped her learn to walk.

Okay, really I didn’t. But I tried. I tried for almost 2 years. When Oli was ready to walk she did. When she was 3 and a half. Despite my deceptive attempts to tell people she was learning to when she was 20 months old. Who did I think I was fooling? If you came over to my house and saw me hunched over, carrying my 2yr old with just her feet dragging on the floor, would you have been convinced that she was walking?

“Look World! I am a genius! I give you—-Oli’s first steps! Just pretend you don’t see me here doing everything for her.”

I can’t help but laugh at my faked enthusiasm, my I-rock-at-this-parent-thing attitude and blatant foolery in my old blog posts.

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