So here's the thing...
When I posted last week, in all my humility, I never thought in a billion years how far that post would go. I'd hoped, prayed, pleaded to the sky to receive just a few dollars. I knew the blogging community was a-freakin-mazing but OMG I am speechless. Completely speechless. Overwhelmed. Grateful. Humbled. I've tried typing this post twelve times but nothing sounds right. Nothing's good enough. I want to say THANK YOU but those eight letters are so insignificant compared to the temporary stability you've provided for my family. Thank you pretty much sucks. I need a better, more impressive phrase to show you what you mean to me.
That's more like it.
But the best part...the best part is the inbox full of personal letters telling me it's okay to ask for help, it's okay to need a hand, I've been there. You've told me of being so broke, you learned how to stretch your oatmeal into cooked patties (yuck). You're still reeling, still dealing with the premature birth of your baby (at 25 weeks) and you have medical bills of your own. But you still want to help. You emailed me about the devastating earthquakes in New Zealand when your newborn grandson was simply trying to survive after a difficult pregnancy and unimaginable complications thereafter, all while fleeting for safety from the falling rubble and concrete.
You cried to me about your infertility, your poverty. Told me you used to self-injure, too. Said your house is being taken and your life is in shambles but you felt compelled to act. You donated your last dollar. Sent diapers, formula and books for my babies. Books for me. Thanked me for simply telling my story, for being brave, courageous, a heroine. I don't see that, but you do. You believe in me, even when I don't. You care about me, even when I don't. You care about my family, even though you don't know them. You came to me with words of encouragement, words of hope, words that have been like gold to me. You've shown me it gets better and that we are in this together.
"TOGETHER WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL," you tell me. And I always sort of knew it but never had this kind of good fortune to really feel it. That's not to say good things haven't happened to me, because I'm extremely blessed, but financially...this is beyond anything I could have asked for.
Because of you, my family can eat. And eat. And eat.
Because of you, I have my wedding rings back.
And they will not leave me again. Ever.
Because of you, baby S has formula and diapers.
He can poop forever if he wants (I think he will)
Because of you, our electricity will stay on.
Because of you, child #1 will not be kicked out of school.
In fact, she's paid through the end of February.
Because of you, our car will not be taken.
Unless someone steals it.
Because of you, we are not broken anymore.
WE ARE NOT BROKEN ANYMORE.
While the storm hasn't completely passed, you've provided my family with an umbrella...a chance to stay dry for awhile. Things are still showing up in the mail, through UPS and Fed Ex. It's like Christmas every single day. My heart is so full. I've been smiling for a week-and-a-half. Played with offspring #1 a little longer each day. I breathed in sweet baby S a little more. Hugged my husband a little bit tighter. My kids can see how much lighter I feel, how much easier it is...to breathe. Because you've pulled the weight off our...off of MY shoulders. Instead of being preoccupied with how I'm going to get through it, I've been released...
Released by you.
Now, some numbers for you, as of Thursday, January 12th, though I don't feel it appropriate to say exactly how many donors (a lot!), how much money was raised both online and through the mail (more than I ever imagined possible...) or how much of that Paypal ate in fees (grrr).
200+ emails (I'm still responding)
I've never spoken to about 90% of you
1 CHUCK SAMBUCHINO!
70+ new blogger friends
Countless links back to me (THANK YOU)
You don't [physically] know me, but you still care. I am closer to you than my a-hole cat. You know everything. No secrets. You tell me your life story, I tell you mine. You have my back, I wax yours (if you need that kind of thing). I will most definitely pay these debts forward when someone else is in need.
It would be my pleasure.
I want to hug each one of you for an awkward amount of time. To those of you with no email attached to your blog comment, please know I'm so thankful. I will spend the next three years personally thanking each of you through your Paypal addresses. Please be patient as I get organized. If you've requested a query or MS crit, please forward them my way, though it still won't be enough to ever repay you. If you've declined those offers but change your mind in the future, I'll still be here, as thankful as ever. To Chuck's donors, I'll forward your emails to him, and he'll be in touch.
Now, someone get me an agent so I can sell my book to pay you back, thank you in the acknowledgments, and/or become a best-selling author who will brag about how cool you are.
One more thing: If you haven't seen it already, this is me:
Also, I have a great friend who is donating a percentage of all Scentsy sales to my family as well. If you love this stuff, please order through her. If you've never tried it--PLEASE DO!
You all are our angels. 2012 is looking up. Now, hopefully, we can save enough money to buy a house in the coming months. So baby S will no longer live behind a small curtain next to our bed. It's like a claustrophobic jail cell. So offspring #1 can paint her walls purple as she's always wished. She loves purple. So we can have a bedroom door. We have NO DOOR. So we can finally have a place that's ours. Our family now complete, we need a place that's ours. With all the things your generous donations have paid, this might actually happen. Before, it was just a dream...
I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for helping me, so I can help my babies.
With so much love,