Tomorrow Came

And of course, tomorrow was different.  Hours after posting my last entry, I had a conversation with Jess where I asked her to remind me that when I’m struggling like that, that the best thing I can do for myself is to take 15 minutes to just sit and write it out.  Thoughts that are so jumbled in my head while I’m trying to work through them become so much clearer when I finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard but that doesn’t sound nearly as poetic).  As soon as I hit “publish” I felt some of the weight lift off of me and I was able to focus again on how to make “tomorrow” better.

Now of course, it didn’t hurt that the actual next day was the 2014 Toronto Buddy Walk, and I think it’s fairly impossible to be anything but happy when you’re immersed in such an amazing experience.  We were lucky enough to have the perfect weather – sunshine and wind and just warm enough to enjoy the walk without feeling like it was work! The Down Syndrome Association of Toronto did an incredible job putting the day together, there literally was something for everyone: face painting (my personal favourite), puppet shows, police cars, Carlton the Bear leading the warm-up, and cupcakes at the end!  Everywhere you looked, people were just happy to be celebrating our kids, our siblings, our cousins, our friends.  If I had been feeling any of the darkness of the past week, it was erased – wiped clean that day, and I was able to start fresh.  And of course, a huge part of that was because of our very own Team Lily Bug.  I’ve said it a million times and I will say it a million more, we are so lucky to have some of the best people surrounding us and having some of them walking with us brought tears to my eyes a couple of times that day.  It’s just overwhelming to me sometimes how much love Lily gets and especially on this day, I need to thank our new friend Lori.  We met Lori about a month before the Buddy Walk, at our friend Joey’s 5th birthday party because her son Jack is one of Joey’s favourite people.  During the party, Lori stole Lily from us at some point and spent ages just snuggling with her, telling us later that she had just fallen in love with her.  Fast forward to the week of the Buddy Walk and Joey’s mom, Theresa, emailed me to tell me that Lori really wanted to join us for the Buddy Walk and just wanted to confirm that it was okay if they tagged along.  I was touched and was just excited to have a bigger team, but I was blown away when they arrived at the park that day – not only were they there, in blue and yellow (our team colours), but they brought with them a crazy huge and totally unexpected donation that they had managed to raise in just a few days.  It was overwhelming to say the least.

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And life has just been a crazy ride since then.  My dad had his surgery, successfully, a couple of weeks ago and that’s a huge weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders.  He enjoyed some snuggle time with Lily just before he went in, which made me happy.  I wasn’t incredibly worried that it wouldn’t work out, but with surgery there’s always that thought in the back of your head, and I was happy to know that IF that had been my last memory of him, it was a great one.  But there was no room for such morbid thoughts, as he came through with flying colours and is happily back on track with his life goal of dying at the age of 99, being shot by a jealous husband.  At least I know I come by my dreamer personality honestly!

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Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Today I was, once again, reminded that life can sometimes throw you incredible curves and that within mere moments everything can change.  While I’m at home tonight feeling very grateful that our scariest moments with Lily ended happily, my heart is with other people and hoping that, for them, tomorrow is a better day.

Tomorrow is also my dad’s aneurysm surgery.  We’ll be up bright and early to meet him at the hospital downtown before his surgery begins and then then spend the day waiting to hopefully hear that the surgery was a success.  As a bittersweet bonus, Lily actually has an ophthalmology appointment at Sick Kids at 8:30am, just after the surgery begins and it’s directly across the street from Toronto General, so we’ll head over there for some much needed distraction.  There is nothing I hate more than just sitting around in the surgical waiting rooms, it’s like hanging out in the place that time forgot – everything moves so slowly.  But, fingers crossed that by this time tomorrow night all of this will be behind us and we’ll be focused on getting my dad up and moving so that he can get home as quickly as possible.

So, with all of this, I feel the need to send a little good karma out into the world.  First of all, I want to say a gigantic huge thank you to any and all of you who were kind enough to donate to Team LilyBug for the Toronto Buddy Walk this weekend! We feel incredibly supported and were genuinely shocked at your generosity – including our anonymous donors (who, by the way, should at least make themselves known to us so that we can say thank you properly!).  We certainly weren’t expecting to raise a lot of funds, and were just hoping to do our small part to raise awareness around Down syndrome, but it has ended up with a pleasant surprise and we’re so incredibly grateful.  If you’re interested in donating, or joining us for a 3km walk on Saturday morning, you can check out our page here!

 

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Lily with one of her favourite guys, Joey, who will be walking with us on Saturday!

I also want to say thank you to the 77 people out there who have registered to become Organ Donors as part of our campaign! Our original goal was to get 50 people registered and when we hit that, we doubled our goal to 100 people and now we’re almost there! Let’s just do the simple math on that.  Each organ donor can save up to 8 lives.  77 new donors x 8 = 616 saved lives.  That’s the size of a small elementary school! If you haven’t signed up, please just take 2 minutes today to sign up.  You can follow the link to join our campaign. To become a hero – a person who saves the lives of 8 people and helps countless others – all you need is your health card and 2 minutes.  2 minutes to save 8 lives…you can’t tell me that you’ve ever accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.  Or, wait until tomorrow and when you’re having an unproductive moment at work, come back here, follow the link to register and then you can justify the 20 minutes you spent reading Buzzfeed.   Then, share the link and convince the people you love to register as well.   Do it for me, do it for my dad, and of course, do it for Lily!

77 people!!

77 people!!

 

Buddy Walk!

In 1995, in a little town called New York City, a little event was held for the first time called the Buddy Walk.  It was organized by the National Down Syndrome Society and was created to raise awareness and funds for people living with Down syndrome and their families.  Over the years it has grown and grown and in 2014 there will be 300 Buddy Walks happening across the globe!

And one of the best ones happens in our own backyard – the 2nd Annual Buddy Walk in Toronto!

Last year, we sadly had to miss out on this event and we were broken-hearted.  Spending a day surrounded by the amazing members of the Down syndrome community is like an all-day party – laughter, fun, sunshine! So, this year, we made a promise that we’re going to be there and we’re hoping you’ll come out and join us!

We know, know with every fibre of our being, how much Lily is loved by our friends and family and one of the greatest experiences of our lives has been watching that love grow since the day Lily came home to us almost 3 years ago.  What would be great is if we could show everyone else in Toronto, in the world, just how many people this little girl has touched.

So, if you can join us on Saturday, May 10th, we would love to have you! No other committment is required, other than showing up in some comfortable walking shoes and being ready to have a great time, all while walking and raising Down syndrome awareness. It’s time to show the world that Down syndrome is something to celebrate!  If you can’t make it, but feel like showing us some love through a donation to the Team Lily Bug campaign, we’d be happy to accept that as well.

You can follow the link here to see our page, or just touch base with me if you’d like more information about joining us on May 10th!

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