The last day of the year was always when I'd take a look at our finances to see what donations we were able to do for the year. That all stopped while Vern was sick. No time, no extra dollars. I believe it's important to "pay it forward", to "make a difference" if we're able ... so I'm once again spending New Year's Eve deciding where I can give. There are many worthwhile non-profits out there, but Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation/Camp Widow/Widowed Village are at the top of my list. They were there for me when I was at my lowest point. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week I could log into Widowed Village and find someone who "got it", someone to chat with, someone who listened, someone I could encourage. Priceless. Thank you, Robin. Camp Widow helped me to grow, to learn that I could step outside my comfort zone by going somewhere that I knew no one. They provided me with the resources I needed to move forward, and they provided an opportunity for me to meet some of the wonderful folks I had gotten to know online. Soaring Spirits is the mother organization of both Widowed Village and Camp Widow. Michele's vision of providing peer-based support for those who are grieving is focused on hope and healing. If you're able to help, please consider a donation to this amazing organization.
Widowed Village Donation This link is to Robin's Widville-specific donation page
Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation Donation Soaring Spirits is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
So this is my third New Year's Eve without Vern. In our younger years, back in Michigan, we used to go out with several other couples to a fun celebration with a band and dancing and party hats and horns (and alcohol). Seems like a lifetime ago. I guess it really was. After we moved to Las Vegas, we settled into a quieter routine (yes, there's some irony there, I know). Just us, together. Sweet times. Tonight will bring a quiet entry into the new year. Alone physically, but not really. He's always right here with me. In my heart. Wherever I happen to be.
I had this photo put on a 16x20 canvas last year and it's up on the fireplace where I can see it from where my laptop sits (I admit that I spend most of my at-home hours in this spot). Vern's a little scruffy, but it was a perfect day. He was able to get into his Mustang and we took a drive on a beautiful April day in 2010. When we got home, I asked if he felt up to letting me take some pictures. He was tired and he had to use his walker, but he managed to make it up to his rose garden. I ran into the house to ask Jer to come out so I could snap this photo. I had no idea that my love would be gone just 5 short months later. Make the best use of the time you have ... there are no guarantees how many days any of us have left.
Speaking of making a difference ... this year Brave Girls Club sure did it for me! They're not a non-profit, so no donations to give (well, I have been known to gift a class or two to special people) ... but they have just announced something we can all do to make a real difference in this world. Please click on this link, watch the video, and make some Truth Cards. They've provided a pdf that has everything you need to do that. And just think about how those brave sisters in Manila will feel when they see your card. What a way to bring in the new year!
Brave Girl Truth Card Exchange
P.S. And just so you know ... I have slept better and longer since clearing off the bed. Who knew?