Maxie's Fourth Birthday Benefit

I don't yet have the photos back from Maxie's Birthday Benefit on you'll just have to trust me when I say that it was packed and everyone seemed to be having a great time.  We had about 200 people - SO many friends, friends kids, family, and many unfamiliar faces as well.  We raised a lot of money for First Candle - over $31,000.  Everything went mostly pretty smoothly.  All in all - a great success and something that we feel really good about.

I got an email from a friend asking me if I was satisfied with how the event turned out.  The truth is that it isn't a really "satisfying" venture.  In many ways, it feels very very empty for me - and I can only speak for myself.  It is one of the things I do to try and work through this gigantic loss.  I do it because I'm scared that to do nothing might feel even worse.  But, there is something super icky feeling about asking people to support you.  It can feel selfish and desperate. 

On the other hand, it is amazing when people actually do answer the call and step forward to lend their support.  Some of the people who lent a hand aren't even people I've personally reached out to or people I know very well - like so many of our sponsors.  What gigantic hearts they have to support us without even really knowing us - just knowing the very basics of our story.  There are also a handful of individuals every year who help me take ownership of the event and really work with me from start to finish to make sure every detail is covered.  I wouldn't be able to pull off this event without them.  They go above and beyond and I am grateful to them.

I came home on Sunday night feeling incredibly sad.  I should have felt ecstatic: the event was over, I'd seen so many wonderful friends, everyone had a ball, we had been so supported throughout, we'd raised a ton of money.... but I just felt sad.  There is something so incongruous about drinking beer and eating delicious food, and face painting and arts and crafts and big smiles and warm "hellos" and bidding wars over gift certificates - and how I really feel about the birthday party of my boy who I love more than life itself who isn't here to celebrate.  Behind my smile, you may not see how empty my world often is without him. I keep saying it, but I know there is no way for you to know.

I am so grateful that when I build it - you all come.  I know that kids missed naps, that dads (and moms) missed Sunday football (hopefully you DVR'd?), that perhaps you were nervous about seeing me and not knowing what to say, or that you only knew me and I was too busy putting out fires to spend time with you.  I am grateful that despite those challenges - you came, you bought into our vision, your kids had fun, you guzzled some cold ones, you bid on some auction items you probably didn't need (but are so happy to have won), and you helped to celebrate the life of our special little boy.  He wasn't here long but his impact is still felt.  Thank you for that......

1 comment

T said...

So happy to hear that Max's benefit was such a huge success! You are such a good mama--making sure your baby's life is celebrated, and his joy passed along to others despite your incredible personal pain.