Today at Julie Michaelson Training we held a bootcamp fundraiser for a local mom, Krystal Warwick. Krystal has 3 children aged 3 and under, the youngest born this February. She learned shortly after the birth of her daughter in February that she had a brain tumor that would require radiation and chemotherapy. When I learned of Krystal's situation, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something to help ease their burden.
To be perfectly honest, I do think of myself as a true superhero, which would mean, essentially, that I'm invincible. Therefore, I've never given a thought to the fact that something could potentially happen to me, removing me from this earthly world, and leaving my children motherless. When I heard of Krystal's situation, it really hit me: "This could happen to anyone. This could happen to ME!" It hit me pretty hard, actually. I didn't have a plan for the "what if". My parents are 70, my daughter would be too young, not to mention I wouldn't want her to be burdened with the responsibility of raising her 3 younger siblings. Where would they go? What would become of my children? Yes, you better believe a solid plan has since been put into place and a big thank you to a dear friend and her husband who agreed to raise my children should the unthinkable happen.
Everything happens to us at just the right time and for a perfect reason, although we don't always understand it. I didn't know Krystal when I volunteered to do the fundraiser. Never met her. I just knew that I wanted and needed to reach out and help her. I was delighted to meet her this morning. I don't know if we caught her on a good day or what, but she was full of life and light and an incredibly strong and positive spirit. When the gym cleared out, Krystal and her husband stuck around and chatted with us for quite awhile. Krystal spoke some words that my ears definitely needed to hear.
It's a rare occasion that I'm not boogy-ing around my house getting my clan ready to head off in one direction or another, cleaning, cooking, working on gym stuff, the list goes on. I can't tell you how many times my head is in laptop working on a project for work, responding to emails and a little person (or a teenage person) tries to get my attention and tell me something and I respond with something like..."Not right now, I'm really busy." When Krystal was telling me this morning about how her 3 year old son will interrupt her while cooking and she just stops...and focuses on him as though nothing else matters...because it doesn't. Before her tumor she would respond like most of us moms: continue cooking and half listen with the nod and occasional "uh-huh" to trick the child into thinking we're listening. "Nothing else matters." She is so right.
I've been thinking about it all day. All the "small stuff" we all sweat every single day...and none of it matters. Life is short. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. This moment is all we have. Most of us are constantly going at lightening speed trying to do as much as we possibly can in a day's time, meanwhile neglecting the things that really matter...our people. I'm guilty, so guilty of doing this daily. What I got from doing this for Krystal today was so much more than I gave. Knowing that if my cape and tiara fail me my children will be well cared for and well loved lets me sleep at night. Remembering that no matter how much chaos and craze my children seem to bring to my life, they are my gifts and they are worthy and deserving of my undivided attention...at least more than what I've been giving them.
Mostly, seeing Krystal smiling through her pain reminds me to practice gratitude daily. When I think I'm at the end of my rope (which seems to happen a lot) I will think of Krystal and it will push me to suck it up, end the pity party and keep moving forward.
Thank you, Krystal, for delivering to me a much needed message. You are truly inspirational and your life will touch many, many people.