Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What if?? Part 2

If you haven't read my previous blog post titled What if?? Part 1, stop now... do not pass go do not collect $200 just go read it or this one will not make sense.

Okay, assuming that you have read it you will know that I shared my favorite contemporary Christian song Blessings by Laura Story. A beautiful song no doubt regardless whether you are a Christian or not. Earlier last week, last Wednesday to be exact, I received a Facebook message from a very good friend of mine. This person, my friend Aniko is an amazing person and a true example of how you must live every day as if it is your last; she knows what that is like because she lives every day not knowing if it is hers. She was born with a terminal disease and has literally endured hundreds of surgeries over the course of her life and she is the same age as me. With each surgery her risk of not making it grow but with two amazing little boys, a husband, and a loving mother by her side she fights to come out of each one.

I remember meeting her several years ago in a "Mom's Club" that I had joined to meet new people in a town I had just moved to. At the time, I was pregnant with my son Zane. Me joining this club was comical in itself and certainly out of my box considering that I was typically "one of the guys". I had never been on a "play date", did not have a jogging stroller and always forgot the necessities when I carried a diaper bag. I was very happy to have gained a few true friends during my short run in this club; Aniko being one of them. Finding out about her illness immediately connected me to her. People with this kind of strength, and with these kinds of stories draw me in because they are OOZING with hope and perseverance.  She inspires me with her will to live, her will to fight and her hope that she is sticking around despite this nasty disease. She has good days and bad and I have seen her on both... and it's powerful to watch.

She tells me in this email that she has a friend who was looking for an inspirational blog and she thought of me. She went on to say that her friend also has a radio show "Hope's Not a Crime" and that she was looking to possibly interview me for it after hearing about my blog and my book. After talking about how she thought of me and how her friend "Shellie" would like to connect with me, she ended the email with "oh by the way, I had surgery Monday and so far all is well. (so nonchalant) I was elated to hear that her surgery went good and happy and flattered that she thought of me.

I contacted her friend the next day via email after looking her up on the Internet and Facebook. I wanted to see what this Hope's Not a Crime was all about. I quickly realized that Aniko and this woman's son shared the same fatal disease and that she runs a Christian ministry through this radio show to inspire people to have hope because having Hope is Not a Crime. She wrote a song called Hope's Not a Crime after being frustrated with doctors' telling her and her son that he needed to plan for his death. This was cool... I wanted to be a part of this! Later on that day I was on my way home from work; mom was at my house with the kids. I had my usual radio station on and the Blessings came on. It was still playing as I pulled in the driveway so I sat there with my car running so the song could finish. I walked in with a huge smile on my face and a tear in my eye. I told my mom about the song and even sang a few notes of it. Later that evening Shellie and I had set up a phone meeting to talk and do my initial interview the next day at noon.

On Friday, as I shopped at Ikea with my mom and my good friend Lara, I got a call from California and Shellie Nichol, singer, songwriter founder of Hope's Not a Crime interviewed me for a possible spot on her show. We chatted it up for roughly 30 minutes and learned that we had a LOT in common; which explained why we also had a common mission to help others find hope in times of adversity. The interview went great and she accepted me for a spot on her show to not only plug my book, but my blog AND my daughter's Down syndrome Awareness You tube channel. I will keep you posted on dates of the airing. During our conversation she asked me a question about what changed me, and after telling her the things that I felt had, I also shared with her that the song Blessings by Laura Story had meant a lot to me in my journey. She chuckled and quickly said... "Laura is one of my friends". WOW! Just WOW!

You see, life is nothing but a road... many of us travel down it without a map hoping to find something worth while and amazing. We are meant for purpose, and we are meant to have meaningful, rich, joy-filled lives. In order to experience that, we must simply realize that we are not traveling alone.

May you find blessings in raindrops and healing through tears....