“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Love, Pray.
I can’t begin to express how powerfully this statement hit me when I read it. I can NEVER possibly payback the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who have touched our lives in the past couple of years. I have wracked my brain, trying to come up with SOME way, ANY way to express our sincere thanks to everyone involved in helping Abby. I have come up terribly short of being able to possibly pay back everyone. I can surrender to the miraculous scope of human generosity like Elizabeth Gilbert suggests and just say thank you…again and again and again. I will never stop saying thank you.
I’m thinking of all of this now because today is the last day of school for my kids. It is the last day of elementary school for Abby. She can’t be there and it is breaking her heart a bit to know that she is missing it. Abby attends an accelerated learning program that is housed in the public school district. She has been going to school with most of these kids since she was in third grade. This class has attended school together for four years now and you can imagine that they are close. Next year they will all be going to different jr. high schools. They will be starting middle school without Abby as she will still be unable to attend school at the start of next year. It will be the last day of a camaraderie with the amazing teachers we have come to love and call our friends that teach at the ALA. It will be the last day that Abby will be in the class with kids who have amazing parents that I have just started to get to know as well as I should have years ago. It will be the last day I feel I will be able to say Thank You to the ALA “graduating” class of 2012.
I want each of you in Abby’s class to know what a huge difference you made in not only Abby’s life, but on us, her family, as well. You loved Abby the way best friends should, always there with a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a phone call, a letter, and a powerful knowledge that you would always be there for her. She never had to worry about ridicule or feeling isolated or alone or different because you all reached out and lifted her up, and I believe that in doing so you also learned to care about each other a little more deeply. You were willing to work to help out Abby. You were willing to do this:
Under the guidance and example of an AMAZING teacher…Mrs. Cameron, you all made this year the most miraculous school year we will ever experience. So, thank you! We hope you will come visit when Abby is able to have visitors. We hope you will still call for tennis games, movies, birthday parties, band practice, and anything else you’ve got going! We love you all. We love your parents. We are truly grateful for each of you.
I also want the faculty and staff of the school my son attends to know how grateful we are for there support of Abby as well. Wasatch Elementary, you went above and beyond to help raise money for Abby’s transplant. Your peer leaders led the way by organizing a spare change drive and your efforts had quite an impact. Thank you for helping Abby get her new heart. To all the other schools of Ogden district involved in helping Abby, thank you!!! We appreciate all you did, and know many of you worked to help with raising money for Abby’s expenses.
Thank you to the community of Ogden. This town gets a bad rap in many other communities of Utah, but I am convinced that Ogden is filled with amazing and generous and wonderful people. This community rallied together to help raise money for a little girl that most of them didn’t know personally.
These tables are proof of the goodness and generosity that surrounded us the night of Abby’s benefit concert. Donated items, most of them from Ogden and surrounding communities, lined the halls of Ogden High School. The night was overwhelming and brought tears to not only our eyes, but to many of those who came and witnessed the generosity first hand. Thank you!
To those who contacted businesses, helped with the concert, donated items, gave of your time or talents, sent Abby donations, sent cards, gifts, and well wishes, cheered her on, came to the concert, bought donated items….THANK YOU.
To those we know outside Ogden who came to support us, thank you. We love you! You know who you are. Those who came even though we haven’t seen you for years, those who donated generously, those who bought items and bid GENEROUSLY…THANK YOU!
To those who live in our neighborhood and ward….THANK YOU! You have watched my cute boys, brought us dinners and meals, taken my kids to school, given Abby love and support, visited at the hospital, sent cards, and generously supported the fundraiser through donations. We are forever grateful for each of you!!!
The bottom line is…I want to say thank you. I can’t repay you. I don’t even know all of you who have loved and supported Abby…but know that we felt of your overwhelming support. I have experienced a sense of a bit of the weight of the worlds being lifted off my shoulders–because of ALL of you! I have always been a believer that the world is full of good people, that humanity is still alive and well in a good portion of those around me. This experience has reinforced that belief. I saw the good in the world around Abby first hand. We can’t repay each of you personally, but we have determined that every year, on the anniversary of Abby’s new heart–April 13, we will pay it forward, so to speak. Finding some good to do, reaching out to others who are needing the support and love that we have received from each of you. Your influence in our lives is impossible to put into words, but know it is HUGE. We will take what you have given us, and put it to good use for others whose hearts are broken, emotionally or physically, and attempt to help heal those broken hearts, just like you have done for Abby.