Sequence. Order. Format.
You'd be surprised to know that I'm actually extremely cool with complete deviation from those kinds of things. For example, you may notice that there is a check mark next to Becca's name on her button, but no blog about that iPad yet.
I noted the reasons regarding her private donation in the Recipients page, but that blog I will get to because there is a personal angle I want to talk about and it relates to my relationship with Becca's Mom, Kerri, from WAY back in the beginning of my son's experiences with Infantile Spasms.
Also, Jaxson has received his iPad, but there isn't a a blog because I have a few things I want to say about that iPad that go beyond just the device and the family and the photos. And as for Jake, I haven't received their photos yet, but I will, and I am not about applying the pressure on any of the parents...the photos come when they come. I want the parents and the families to have as much time to enjoy what they are experiencing, we'll get the 'iPosts' up when we get them up.
And I certainly LOVE it when parents are already Bloggers, because it means that they will have LOTS to say about the experience, making my job SO much easier by the parents writing so much material, especially if they beat me to the punch. And with what I have been experiencing lately, the less time I spend on the computer typing the better off my neck and arms are! :)
Shannon, who writes a blog called Chaotic & Comfortable, has a daughter named Marissa. To those of you perhaps visiting this space for the first time, this is not the Marissa who is mentioned in any of the blogs about the original iPad 2 contest, that is a different person.
Her family received the iPad2 this weekend, and she posted about it over there. I'm just going to reprint that post here because I love being able to share the words of the parents directly. They are much more profound than mine.
'All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don't discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others.'
Many months back, I made an announcement here that Marissa was named as one of 40 recipients of an iPad through a 'contest' hosted by another blog. Without drudging up all of the ugliness that has ensued over the past several months surrounding this 'contest', I'll just say that the promised iPad was never received. I have no idea the real circumstances and although I have my own personal feelings and suspicions on the subject, I'll keep them to myself because I am no more qualified to act as judge and jury than anyone else.
Anyway, back to the purpose of this post. Some other contest 'winners' decided to take it upon themselves to right some wrongs and single-handedly restore the faith of the special needs community as a whole and created Mission iPossible. This group of folks is truly amazing and took on this task with nothing to gain for themselves. They had no idea how they were going to do it or how long it would take, but decided that their mission was to get an iPad into the hands of every kid who was promised one and whose family still wanted to proceed. Selfless - yes! Compassionate - yes! Crazy - totally! Ken, Heather, Maureen and Darcy have given birth to something big and I don't see it ending with these 20 iPads. Recently, they have also partnered with The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, another incredible organization dedicated to improving the lives of others.
Honestly, I didn't expect to receive an iPad for Marissa, at least not for a very long time. Not because I didn't trust Ken and crew. I just couldn't imagine four people getting together on a whim and making this happen. Heck, I know how hard it is to raise money. I know how hard it is to try and convince people that what you're doing is worthwhile and important. It's nearly impossible. Truthfully, being a small part of this mission (as a recipient), watching iPads land in the hands of deserving children has meant so much more than getting something. It has given me a renewed faith in humanity. It has reminded me that goodness still exists in the world. TRUE goodness - you know, people who not only talk the talk, but actually walk the walk! Those people are hard to find nowadays. I have 'met' some truly amazing new friends through this experience.
Well, this week, it was Marissa's turn! I've pretty much been speechless since I got the email from Ken that funds were secured and Marissa's iPad was due to be purchased. We all know speechless is something that I'm usually not. It's "just" a computer, right? To us, it's a door opened for ALL of our kids. When I think of what this piece of technology might be able to provide for Marissa, Esen, Kamila, B & H with all of their unique needs; it brings tears to my eyes. This is not something we would ever have been able to justify spending money on so it is truly an incredible gift! I will admit, I'm a wee bit frightened of it - after all, we still live in the land of the free flip phones and yes, there is still a walkman hanging around our house. No, we don't have an iPod, MP3, XBox, or any other type of gadget; heck we just finally bought a laptop less than a year ago! But, we're eager learners and I'm pumped to find an 'app' that might just do the laundry for me!
So, on to the million dollar question - how do you properly thank someone who has changed the lives of your children for the better? I don't have the answer yet, but knowing the Mission iPossible team, I think, for now anyway, this will suffice just fine:
Sure does! What a bright, shiny smile she has. It is so infectious, I showed the photos to Bennett, who always reacts to photos of other children very well, and who giggled and smiled while looking at the pictures. He loved them.
For me, during this weekend where he has just not been his usual jovial self and almost more than I could handle, making me have that much more fear than I would like over what could be happening inside his head that could be causing this level of behavioral shift, it was an incredible lift, almost a divine gift, not just from you but from all the parents who have sent photos. They are nourishing to my soul like you would not believe, and I thank you very much for them, very much indeed.
They are like treasure. Treasure whose value is unable to be measured.
Keep 'em coming.
On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group