July 17, 2011: TendHER heart luncheon

Charles Tillman, and his wonderful wife Jackie, put on an annual luncheon for mother’s that are “regulars” at Children’s hospitals. Cancer, heart transplants, genetic disorders….not the regular check-up kinda moms. The luncheon is all about creating a welcoming, beautiful, time for mothers to share and be spoiled for an hour or so as we enjoy company with other women who “get it”. We get dressed in our Sunday best and went downtown to the Omni Hotel. Charles shared their story of their daughter who had a heart transplant. This year was an emotional one for sure. I met some wonderful ladies, and had a very nice time, just like last year. They were so generous that they gave away nooks for all the mothers in attendance. Amazing!

Most people couldn’t imagine owning a seat at my table. Two moms who have children in heaven, mothers watching their children battle cancer, one with a debilitating disorder and no support other than her ill mother, Kelly and I with a terminal illness diagnosis, and a mother who’s child just had a heart transplant. That was just my table. There were at least 20 other full tables. Tables of moms with stories. There is a time to share. I did last year, and many women remember me as the woman with 2. Whenever they are having a bad day, they comment that they think of me…..

I did notice one thing-if I may. It doesn’t matter what diagnosis your child has or doesn’t have…you want their story to be told. You want their life to have significance. “Normal” children’s mothers discuss the best school districts, organic foods, and what sports or grades their child is excelling at….”Special” children’s mothers talk about what foundation they have started in their child’s honor. I am not trying to say one is better or worse, just, different. I know full well I would be in the other camp if things were different.

As I wanted to quickly jump in with all the things I am doing-or want to do, I came to this thought….I just want to BE with my kids. I just want to focus on THEM and WHO they are, not what they DO, or don’t do. Or, what foundation I have started or how much I have done for it. I am just tired of the rat race. The keeping up with the Jones…who are they, anyway!? I just realize more and more how hard, no matter what your circumstance, it is to not compare and not be jealous….

I also was thinking about how silly I feel getting my picture with this guy I hardly know. But, after thinking about it, I am honored not because he plays football for the Bears, but because he is a Dad who “gets it”. I just love the Tillman’s heart, and am so grateful that there are people like them in this world. Just real people.

Lord, have your way with me and my life. Tell my children’s story to the world through your grace…let their life, my life, be YOUR story and give YOU the glory….no matter what happens. Let my selfish desires for my children die. Let my dreams for them be your dreams. AMEN