Saturday, June 5, 2010

Leaving Tomorrow!

Well, here I sit! 2131 here in New Jersey on June 5th, and I am sitting here in my bed, still in utter disbelief that we are leaving for a trip to Washington, D.C. tomorrow.

While I waited for more laundry to get done today, I sat and read some of my older entries that I had on our CaringBridge website. Things like being told that Michael may never wake up....he would never walk...never talk...we had to start was like someone hit the reset button on him...things about Mackenzie, like how she could barely kick a ball, she couldn't write, and didn't have any of her basic math skills...all, at this point, almost inconceivable to us.

Now, here we are, almost four years later, with a trip that could only be conjured in a dream awaiting us. I simply cannot believe that this is really happening.

I have spoken at just about every event we have been to so far, and I say the same thing. I remember almost everyone we knew in, friends, everyone...telling me that there had to be a reason for this. That there would be a light at the end of this tunnel. That, even though we couldn't fathom anything that could be so important, so valuable at the time, there was still a bigger reason for all of this horrible sadness and tragedy.

THIS is it.

By that, I don't mean the trip itself. I mean that through just the experiences we have had with Children's Miracle Network so far, I know my children and the pain and suffering they have gone through-it's HELPED another child. When I go to these Wal*Mart's, the Costco's, the Dance Marathons, and tell their story, you can see these people, and their motivation brewing inside of them to sell those balloons and help this great organization-and it's all because of MY Champions, and the other Champions out there just like them.

My mother, Sue, she was probably the most amazing person to ever walk the earth. I am sure lots of people say that about their moms, but there are also a lot that don't. My mother was special. She had a special purpose here with us. Her love was unconditional, and went further than anything you could imagine. Her death amongst all of this, no longer feels so much in vain. Why? Because she LOVED children-AND, she was a MOM! She would be so honored, so beside herself to know that through her death, and through this tragedy, something beautiful has come of it all. I know, as painful as it even is to say out loud, that deep in my heart, she is smiling above at all of this. Cheering with all the employees at Wal*Mart during the kick-off...dancing with all the college kids at the Dance Marathon....getting a good whiff of those awesome pancakes at IHOP on Pancake Day-and all for the sake of the children. My God, she would be SO HAPPY.

Of course, the selfish side of me wishes more than anything that my mom could be HERE with us right now, to experience all of this happiness with hug us and the kids and hold us and wish us well on our trip. But, it is okay for now. It is okay because someday, when it's my time, I am going to get the biggest hug ever from her, and I KNOW that we have made her proud. Even further, we have honored her memory in the way that she would want it to be...with LOVE.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Almost ready to go!

Well, this is it! The last few days before our big trip to Washington, D.C. to meet all the other Champions we have for 2010, and do some amazing things for Children's Miracle Network. The anticipation is driving our whole family insane. The kids are so excited they barely get to sleep at night!

I am still awaiting the pins from am praying they get here by tomorrow! Otherwise, I am going to have to have my father fedex them to use at our hotel! :(

The kids had a super busy morning today, as we went to a Walmart Grand Re-Opening in Toms River, and the kids were given HUGE bags full of stuff for summer! Beach towels, water sprayers and water guns, waterproof cameras, and more! We were late, but we made it, and I was relieved-I am sure Dawn at Walmart was, too! LOL

Mackenzie & Michael have been in quite a few news stories as of late. This one aired last Friday on the 11 o'clock news on Channel 9. You can check it out here:

We cannot even wait until Sunday!!

Walk N Roll, Piscataway, NJ

What a fantastic way to celebrate Michael's 8th birthday! On May 22nd, the day before Michael turned 8, we attended the Children's Specialized Hospital Walk N' Roll in Piscataway. This walk is sponsored by Kohl's and directly benefits OUR hospital that we represent as NJ Ambassadors.

We got there early, and had SO much food, played games, and danced to some great music. Our dear friends, the Clutter's & Riccio's were also in attendance, and it was a great way to spend a Saturday!

Mackenzie was even able to check out the video camera that one of the TV reporters had! It totally made her day, being that she is an aspiring film maker! It was my proudest moment of the day to see her so happy!

Hackensack, NJ Costco

On May 24th, we were asked to help the Costco in Hackensack, NJ sell some balloons and tell Mackenzie & Michael's story to the employees and customers. Apparently, this was the first time that any NJ Champions have been to this location, and of course, we were happy to oblige!

This particular Costco went above and beyond! They had a stand set up right in their lobby, where they had cotton candy, Italian ice, drinks, face painting-and EMPANADAS! All for free when you made a donation to CMN!

We had a great grand tour of the place, which was very clean and organized. We were also given a free one year membership to any Costco, a tetherball set, Michael was given the new Super Mario Galaxy game, and Mackenzie was allowed to pick out any DVD from their store. They were so super generous!!!

All in all it was a fabulous day! We were so happy to be there!