For as long as I can remember, I have made it a habit to give what little I could to a worthy cause.
"Would you like to donate a dollar to autism?" Why, yes I would!
"Spare change for St. Jude?" Sure! Why not?
"Pennies for Parkinson's?" Of course!
It always seemed like the very least I could do, and really the effort was really no effort at all, but I felt good about it even if just for a minute.
For my business, I spend an obscene amount of time in my car (like, 50,000 miles in 8 months obscene). In early June this year while driving down one particularly gorgeous neighborhood, I passed a little lemonade stand, manned by a black-haired girl with a severe bob and a Hello Kitty shirt. From the sign duct taped to her table it looked like her little lemonade stand was for a "cause." Something tugged at me and I impulsively pulled over.
I inspected her goodies and read the sign. She was raising money for a Baby Patrick who had just been diagnosed with cancer and inexplicably my eyes filled with tears, overcome by the though of this suffering child whom I had never met and by this tender hearted little girl. I accepted my cookie and lemonade and completely emptied the contents of my wallet and gave them to her. Her eyes widened at the wad of bills and coins I gave to her and said, "Wow, thank you!" As I turned to leave I saw her mother standing at the door watching the exchange. I smiled and waved. She nodded at me and gave me a look that told me how much it meant to her that I would stop and take part in her daughter's efforts for Baby Patrick.
Tears sprang to my eyes again as I got back in my car. I remember thinking to myself that from that point on I would always, always stop at children's lemonade stands. I believe in karma and if Olivia ever had a lemonade stand, I sure wanted that kind of karma to come back around.
Just three months later, it did.
Just after Liv was diagnosed, the children of a family we know wanted to have a lemonade stand for Olivia. I instantly remembered the lemonade stand for Baby Patrick. I was so touched. The day after she was released from the hospital after her eye surgery was the day of the lemonade stand and it was a roaring success. And since then, the support of our friends, loved ones, church, and community have poured their kindness over us at pumpkin patches, photography, and the fundraiser in Utah. It has been amazing in the truest sense of the word. It is completely unreal.
I call it Lemonade Karma.
The burdens that have come with Liv's chromosome deletion disorder and her cancer diagnosis have been staggering. I have never felt the weight of the world quite so heavy. I would so love to thank everyone individually, but it is an impossible task as I know I would surely leave someone out and I can hardly bear the thought of someone feeling unappreciated. But please, please know we are so deeply grateful. Hardly a day has gone by that I am not overcome with emotion at the love bein shown to us. You can't even imagine the depth of our gratitude.
So. Think about karma next time you pass a lemonade stand. For me, I will always, ALWAYS stop.