Such a perfect picture of the image I have of her looking up at me when I would talk to her...
Today I spoke FOR her for the last time. This afternoon the last chapter on what I call the business / legal / insurance side of September 17, 2017 was completed. For those of you murmuring to yourself ‘STILL?!’...yes, still.
I have tried to be as transparent with all of this because I know I have so many people who have invested themselves or their resources into me and my family and I feel I owe it to you all to keep you informed. For the last time today I took the stand to talk about/discuss the nightmare I lived to tell about.
After all was over, I was able to hug the mother and brother of the dad from the other vehicle for the first time. I was also able to shed more tears than I ever have with a complete stranger when I hugged the mother of the 16 year old who was taken from their family.
To all of you who gave in some form or fashion over the last 2 years, thank you. Between food/gift cards to ease the burden on Heather, to financially, which quite literally allowed us to stay afloat, words will never do justice and I’ll never be able to hug you all enough!
While this chapter closes, the book never stops emotionally. I’m confident none of you have any idea what goes on in the mind of someone who has lost a child, and I pray none of you ever do. But I will share these points I remind myself daily: Don’t just survive, THRIVE. Be the bigger person. Don’t make permanent decisions on temporary feelings. Ask yourself if the juice is really worth the squeeze. Don’t sweat the small stuff...and it’s all small stuff. 💚
To steal a quote from the mother of an organ donor in a Sports Illustrated article: 'The best thing from the worst thing doesn't erase the worth thing; it just makes the worst thing mean something.'
For me, the opportunity to put together an event that brings people together and raise money/awareness for organ donation is my 'something.' When a defining moment comes along, you either define the moment...or the moment defines you.
I have been invited to present the funds raised from Ryan's tournament ($10,349.90) to Midwest Transplant Network on December 6th during their organizational meeting. I will be given the opportunity to talk about the little hero whom this is all for, and I'll be speaking about the tournament and the incredible folks who have helped me thru the entire process.
I share all this to say THANK YOU again to each and every one of you who contributed, donated, sacrificed, and/or allowed your child to be a part of the event. I look forward to the opportunity/challenge of doing this all again next year, and I hope your experience this year warrants your interest in participating again next year. 💜
Updates from the tournament organizer, Ryan's dad, Matt Hampel, and his amazing wife, Heather.