A big Thank You! To all of you who have helped us through this first year.
There is a saying that “time heals all wounds”. Having worked in a surgical setting for most of the past fifteen years I can honestly say that; the saying is a bunch of junk. Time does not heal any wound. Time helps in the formation of scar tissue that can hold the edges together, but the tissue will never be the same. This first year has been a challenge. We have had some good friends who have helped us along the way. The death of a child affects those around the family in different ways. Some Friends that we thought would be there forever have slipped out of sight while others have poured forth with goodness and support. We received several cards from those around us this past week. A “Thinking of You” balloon was attached to Anna’s tree in our front yard on Sunday. An “I Love You” balloon was at her grave. E-mails and texts provided support. It is nice to know that she isn’t forgotten and is still remembered by those around us – which makes us feel good and validates our feelings about Anna. Don’t be afraid to mention her name to us – we won’t break down at the mention and in all likelihood will be happy that you thought of her.
Angels for Anna has also made it through the first year. It is a 501(C)3 charity; meaning contributions are tax deductible. We are incorporated in Ohio and managed to raise over $3000 for charities including: 4 Paws for Ability, Starshine Children’s Hospice and A Kid Again. We also planted 500+ flower bulbs in the Centerville/Washington Township area to help brighten up the spring. People helping out have dropped off angels from Germany to Taiwan. On the anniversary of Anna’s death we placed ceramic wind chimes and Angels in the Dayton/Cincinnati area. All of the “gifts” were made by Angels for Anna volunteers at one of several “painting parties” where we painted the pieces in anticipation of them being fired.
Angels for Anna has big dreams for the future. At our painting gatherings we have talked about a facility for life enhancement for all individuals: A facility for hydro and aquatic therapy at a reasonable cost, where all individuals could participate in hippo/equestrian therapy, where therapy could continue at reasonable cost once insurance benefits run out, where kids could have the opportunity for life skills training, where parents and kids could work with our engineering team and say; “I need something that can do this” and together we can build it . We envision a “farm” where we can grow non enhanced products and drug free livestock. Where someone can say “I want to help out but have no idea how” and we can find a way to help others. From packing “Palliative Parent Packs” (meal ticket, blanket, toiletries, t-shirt, pajama pants and fuzzy socks) available for those emergency admits, painting ceramic pieces and making blankets, to driving a tractor, physical labor and horse handling – If you want to help we will find something for you to do. If we are going to dream, we might as well dream big.
The death of a child is the greatest stress one can go through. The original stress scale did not include it as they could not imagine how to rate it. To steal from The Beatles: “We get by with a little help from our friends”. It isn’t easy – in fact it (insert expletive if you choose) (and again here plural). We still like to laugh, quote old movies, eat too much, and sing bad eighties songs. Thank you to all of our friends – both old and new who have stuck by us. Thank you to all of the Angels for Anna volunteers who want to “do something nice, for someone else, every day” and honor an amazing little girl along the way.