Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

(Submitted by Chad)

Today, I'm thankful for caregivers that truly care. From the little extra time that a physician might take to answer those last few little questions from a patient or family member to a thoughtful nurse that elects to turn a door handle before simply letting the door clank shut, good caregivers deserve more - from thank-you's to compensation. I also am thankful for those that don't get paid to take care of a loved-one or check-in on a friend. This truly requires more work and patience than any actual paid position. We owe a debt of gratitude to those that genuinely care. What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What a little yarn can do.

I've been completely amazed by the creative generosity of children who know about The Kyrie Foundation. Like Emma & Abby who asked for donations instead of birthday presents; like Madison who incorporates The Kyrie Foundation into her school reports and art projects. And most recently for Brett.

A while back his mom told me that he was making bracelets to sell. Half of the money, he said, should go to a good cause to help sick kids, and his mom suggested The Kyrie Foundation.

Now, Brett has been an avid fan of yarn for some time now, making his first loops when he was just in first or second grade. So when his mom told me about his plan, I asked her to send a photo of the bracelets right away. This week, I received a lovely letter and ... half a dozen yarn bracelets!

Brett's method is VERY scientific, as you will see from his report that he sent as well. Highly planned and documented.

I am wowed by this for several reasons: entrepreneurial spirit like Henry Ford, artisanship like couture designers in Paris, methodology like Louis Pasture and philanthropy like Carnegie—all in the idea of one boy.

As for the bracelets, here is a sneak peek at what Brett will have available at the Clearwater craft fair in the fall!

Thank you, Brett, for helping save kids from brain cancer!!!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bunny trail.

Easter Bunny & Eggbert are planning their hop-along to Wesley Hospital again next month! We'll let you know the confirmed date as soon as we can. In the meantime, our eggs-tra special friends are readily accepting any donations to the trip, like fun, little activities for kiddos confined to hospital beds, or even a few dollars to support the visit would be appreciated.

If you'd like to help, you may send your donation to:

Susan Jae Eckel
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

UPDATE! Easter Bunny & Eggbert will be doing good on Good Friday, April 10 at Wesley Hospital!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The state of today.

A couple of days ago motherof2 asked how things were for the family personally. Her question made me stop and take stock of how Kyrie is woven into our lives today. The following thoughts are just from an aunt's point of view. Jordan & Lacie will share their perspective in a few days.

I can tell you that not a day goes by that I don't think about that little munchkin. Whether I'm in a stressful meeting or in an airplane or weeding the flower garden, Kyrie makes it very easy for me to keep a healthy perspective on life and people. Much of the stress in meetings doesn't matter. Flying in an airplane is a miracle. What you do right now with your time makes a huge difference in the future.

I intentionally think of her more often when I'm up against a difficult person. She keeps me collected and focused, reminding me that this, too, shall pass. She reminds me of the sweetness I need to discover in each 24-hour span, as if I'm looking for wild honey every day. She reminds me that each day that passes is a day that we're closer to heaven.

There are frequent, blinding flashes of pain, too. It's usually when I least expect it, like passing an endcap in Target filled with glittery, girly shoes. I am awash with red heat when I hear someone complain about his or her healthy child. This time of year, my jaw tightens and my throat feels full just seeing Easter decorations. I still have a white chenille headband with pink bunny ears that I bought for her but never had the chance to give.

I deflate whenever I hear of another child/family fighting brain cancer. In half a second, images of two years ago speed across my mind's eye like the pages of a flip book. The shock. The heartbreak. It aches in a place that will never find the air to heal.

And then I take a deep breath, knowing that we're doing something--we're really, really doing something to change the world.

I see her everyday in some way, and I especially see Kyrie in her little brother. The physical likeness is uncanny. A boy version of her big, shiny, blue eyes and round pink cheeks. He's funny now, the bud of a little sense of humor, which is exactly how Kyrie was at his age. Jordan says that he loves being outside, like Kyrie did, but he's developing his own personality, too, like when he digs in the dirt or tries to make truck noises.

I still watch Kyrie's video, sometimes as a pressure release, sometimes to make sure I don't forget. I suppose that is what people most assume as time passes. If you laugh, you must be "over it." If you take a vacation, you must be "passed it." If you talk about the pain less, you must hurt less. This is not true at all. I know for sure that the grief is still there. In the last two years, though, I've stirred the Kyrie Foundation into that grief, which has made it possible for me to breathe again.

I've never believed in that adage about God never giving you more than you can handle. I don't think that's true based on the existence of debilitating depression and suicide in our world. Plus, I think that it is really unfair to dole out more pain to those who seem to "handle it" better, meaning if you can't handle much pain, you get to have an easy life. I think it's better to think of it as "God doesn't give you anything that He can't handle."

And that's where we are today.

There comes a point when it's too much to bear. It's too difficult to understand. So we give all of our suffering back to Him. And we keep going because this is not the end.

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches.
If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise,
since everyone suffers.
To suffering must be added mourning,
understanding, patience, love, openness,
and a willingness to remain vulnerable.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Friday, March 13, 2009

Something kinda cool.

So if you were one of the lucky Kyrie Foundation patrons who was able to attend our art+gift auction, Metamophosis 2008, you would have had the chance to bid on a couple pieces from a very talented artist, Grady McFerrin, who resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Grady donated a really cool concert poster for The Decemberists, an over-sized, letterpress print of an illustrated wine label and a vintage poster for the Kent State Folk Festival. All super cool examples of his creative talent.

Now you, too, can purchase Grady's style with some new work he's done for Chronicle Books.

Like beautiful, over-sized sticky notes.

Or a bohemian-looking photo album.

Or bookplates and stickers.

Talented and generous to our cause. Love that. Hope to see him represented again at Metamorphosis 2009!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for those who have a true passion for their work in the healthcare industry. More than "passion" per se, I'm thankful for those who work in this field with compassion.

There is a reason why it's called "healthcare." Too many times the "care" part of that word is optional or completely absent, which makes those who put care in to their work as nurses, doctors, physician's assistants, surgery techs, anathesiaologists, front desk specialists and certainly those who work in billing that much more special. As a patient or family member of a patient, everyone with whom we come in contact, from the scheduler to the surgeon, represents not only that particular facility but the medical industry as a whole. I'm thankful for those workers who express kindess and care even if they only speak with the patient for four minutes, even if the only time they come in contact with this person is while he or she is asleep on the operating table.

Since health insurance is such a formidable part of the health care system, I hold insurance representatives and customer service specialists to the very same compassionate standards as doctors and sincerely appreciate those who allow themselve to care, to feel and to help.

With Kyrie, we had several really tender and compassionate medical professionals who are still in our world today. And of course, we experienced a few who did not meet those expectations. That's how it goes for most everyone. Hospitals and illnesses are marked episodes of unfamiliarity, fear, stress, inconvenience and worry already. So it's nice when someone is willing to pull you out of a situation like that any way they can, even if it's just a smile.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Scrapping details.

Hope you and your crafty friends are looking forward to April 25! This Kyrie Foundation Krop is shaping up to be another fantastic day to relax, renew and create.

Several fantastic companies have generously come on board to supply goodies and fun stuff for you, like Making Memories, CK Media, Simple Scrapbooks, Provo Craft, K&Company, Eyelet Outlet, Magic Mesh, Creative Memories and more!

We will once again have complimentary coffee & tea to keep your energy humming, as well as free-will donation, therapeutic chair massages. Just typing that makes me more relaxed.

We'll host another silent auction, too, loaded with fun, cool, creative items. And I'll let you in on a little secret:

come a little closer ...

a little closer ...

it's about the freebies and goodie bag ...

My guess is that you will likely leave with enough free stuff to nearly cover the cost of your seat. Can you believe that?!

There are more details to come, too. So stay tuned!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What really counts.

Some tough stuff these days, huh?

If you watch the news or even if you don't, you're likely feeling the looming gloom of our current economic forecast. If it hasn't directly affected you, it has likely affected someone you know. And in this time of contraction, we, as a country, are facing facts that today's generation has been too modern to heed.

You know how you'd return to your grandparents' kitchen as a teenager or as an adult, and nothing had changed since you were 3 years old? The same textured wall paper, the same tissue cozy, the same cookie jar. Or maybe you remember as a child seeing a movie or ordering pizza knowing it was a very big deal? How about when you'd notice something around your parents' or in-laws' home that really should be replaced ... but wasn't? There were reasons for all of those things. And those resourceful, responsible reasons are why I love homemade birthday cakes, rotary dial phones, any 1999 or prior vehicles still on the road, backyard gardens and overalls.

I've often professed my love for the Midwest for many reasons, the first being pragmatism. I love Midwestern practicality. None of this flighty, hoighty-toighty, marketing mumbo-jumbo. Purchases must be practical, efficient, affordable and durable. Stylish, if you're very lucky. Basing purchase decisions on those criteria could keep a gal out of a lotta debt, worry and trouble, however no one talks about these things on any of the reality shows or in People magazine. Up until last year, those shows and magazines really just talked about stuff.

That made me wonder if we've lost the value of values. Maybe not everyone in the entire world has, but those in the decision-making positions of banks, mortages, investment firms, car manufacturers and insurance companies certainly did.

But they are not the only reason why we're in this state. Movies, TV shows and commercials have given us plenty of modern ways to size up other people. It's by your cell phone (what kind? how new?), your car (what model? how tiny or ginormous?) or if your clothes are stylish (where did you buy them? what size are you?) or if you have white cords coming from your ears. Pretty silly, huh? Especially in light of the things we've shared here on Kyrie's blog. Hard to believe, but I've seen this materialism seep into my beloved Midwest, too. For shame. Perhaps this economic contraction is really the labor pains to birth a new appreciation for who you are not what you are, not what you have but what you do.

If that is the take-away from today's painful group lesson, then what a wonderful world tomorrow will be.

There are times when it is hard to believe in the future, when we are
temporarily just not brave enough. When this happens, concentrate on the
present. Cultivate le petit bonheur (the little happiness) until
courage returns. Look forward to the beauty of the next moment, the next hour,
the promise of a good meal, sleep, a book, a movie, the likelihood that tonight
the stars will shine and tomorrow the sun will shine. Sink roots into the
present until the strength grows to think about tomorrow.

Ardis Whitman
American Author

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today, I'm thankful for support which can come in many different forms. It could be the support given by a friend, loved one or spouse. It could also come from family when times are tough or it could come in the form of someone supporting The Foundation by using GoodSearch or simply spreading the word. We all need support at different times and I am truly thankful for those that seem to show up when most needed. What are you thankful for today?