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Friday, June 3, 2016

Let's proceed. guys, 

I just had the kind of week that felt great. It felt like an easy, everything was flowing as it should, birds were chirping, the sun was shining, everything in my garden is growing sort of week. And I wanted to share a little bit of it to hopefully inspire you.

So in case you dot know, our foundation, Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation, supports families who have children with a congenital heart defect. We usually help families in financial ways, and we strive to award big, miraculous grants which will hopefully aid a family in a significant way. What we hope for is that if we can alleviate some financial stress of a family in crisis, then that family can redirect their attention to their sick little one, so that that baby (or big kid) is showered with love and affection - the best medicine and therapy for any of us!

We cannot just give a family cash, though. We typically pay a bill or several bills for them, and they can sort of move money around as needed. We have a pretty great system of awarding grants, and it fills my sometimes heavy heart that we can help families who are fighting this exact fight that we fought with our Oakes. I have said it here before, but I know that this is the great work that I will do in my lifetime. I will raise two amazing girls, and I will run Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation in honor of my amazing boy.

When it comes to paying bills for people it can sometimes be an afternoon of making 1-800 calls, and talking to people in call centers who know nothing about me, MOHF, or the families who I am calling about. These calls always start off with the annoying, pre-recorded prompts which lead you in the direction which you need, but they always end with a smile on my face, or even a tear stained issue to the side of my computer, because every time I make one of these calls it is a quick opportunity for me to talk about Oakes. To share what I am up to. To tell my story, and the story of Oakes. And I think almost always, that person on the other end, who I imagine has pretty typical calls throughout the day, is touched by what I have to share.

This past week I called a large national bank to make a payment on behalf of a family. I shared that I was a third party, that I had this families account info as well as our checking account info and I wanted to make a payment for them. After sharing my 3 minute little spiel, the lady on the other end of the phone paused and then said, "This is gorgeous and wonderful!"

I said, "I completely agree, and I'm so happy you can help me with this."

As our conversation went on and and we got down to business, sharing info and numbers as we moved money around, after I would share info with her she would repeat it all back to me then say, "let's proceed." I bet she said this a dozen times during our brief call, and it really struck a cord with me.

Google says:
Proceed verb
  1. begin or continue a course of action.

    synonyms:begin, make a start, get going, move, set something in motion; take action, act, go on, go ahead, make progress, make headway

    • move forward, especially after reaching a certain point.


      go, make one's way, advance, move, progress, carry on, press on, push on

    • do something as a natural or seemingly inevitable next step.

      Such a simple phrase: let's proceed. And the lady at the call center probably says it everyday, all day long, with the intention to keep her calls moving along. Maybe when I am on these calls my heart is just wide open, I am so tuned in,  I am genuinely excited but I am also sort of hyper attentive, sharing numbers, and info that is critical, I don't know, but this just resonated with me in a big life lesson sort of way. 

      Sometimes it is easy to pause, sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes staying where you are is just comfortable. Sometimes it is just hard to let it go or drop it. We fall into ruts, we get in our own way, we stop moving. Sometimes we don't know what to do, or how to react and so we do nothing at all. Sometimes, life is really, really hard, but when the inspiration comes, when we see that it is time to continue our course of action, and move, by all means, lets proceed. 

      My conclusions on this call that I recently had:

      Do gorgeous and wonderful things. Help however you can. No contribution is too small. You may not know how important your gift may be, or how much you are needed. Then move along. Keep going. Proceed.

      XOXO, Becky