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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Moment of Courage


My Moment of Courage


     I worked until midnight the night before my Zen walk. I showed up 30 minutes early for the night shift so I could ask my co-workers on payday to pony up the change in their pockets for Cystic Fibrosis and Zen. I felt my courage wane as I walked up to my first victim, the big wig. He instantly gave me a warm smile and pulled out a bill. He graciously asked if it was enough.

    I was thrilled. I also asked other co-workers in the break room and down on the floor. One of my younger bosses told me I was “probably not allowed to do that.” I had the feeling she was telling me to protect me, but her discouragement did not stop me. In my mind I was doing this for my young friend and “probably” was simply not enough of a reason to give up.

     It is funny the things we can screw up courage to do and why. For myself I would not have plodded on with my donation hunting…I realize that now…but my heart is not the scholar I bill myself to be or my fresh new label of “checker” that my grocery store has bestowed upon me…my heart is that of a “housewife” and “mother.” I know that since I lost the house years ago and my divorce kind of killed my “wife” label I might actually be stripped of both technically but I can’t seem to shed the loyalties all of us housewives and mothers share. My heart is always going to side with any child…and Zen is one I know who wears many labels, a minor one being his CF label.

    I ignored being told I should not persist in soliciting donations from my fellow employees. I casually name dropped my first donor and kept walking on. I went through all areas of the store and gathered many donations before I had finished.

    Everyone donated something or apologized for not having cash on hand. I took each donation and placed it in an envelope and scribbled the benefactor’s name on the outside. I had over 15 before my shift ended.

     The next morning, I was up before dawn. I wanted to write up the donations and put them individually on the website but that just did not work. I had to give up and focus on creating proof of my affiliation with CF and Great Strides. After a conversation with my dear Ex, Gordon, I realized I also had to make some sign and print something with the Great Strides logo on it to add legitimacy to my charity. He said it would be best to get a large sign with the Great Strides emblem but I did not have time for such a thing since I did not know until this week that I was walking here in Sonora doing a local walk.

     I printed my blog page...I had already created business cards with the info for how to donate on them.

       Ann had gotten up early to see me off…she wore a proud smile as she hugged me goodbye and told me it was OK to borrow the truck to gather some more of my boxes of things after the walk.  As I backed Mike’s truck out of its cozy home in the garage I carefully turned fully towards the rear, like my father taught me to do when backing up.

      And that is why I was startled completely when the driver’ side rear mirror broke clean off as it hit the side of the garage door.  I stopped the truck and hopped out in my Italian dress, with flowing scarf drooping loftily as I scrambled to pick up the shattered glass.

     Now Mike is a jovial sort but he is a man and they sometimes can react rather strongly when damage is done to a vehicle. But there was no more time to waste on problem solving my way out of this mess when I had a walk to somehow be coordinating. I figured the Universe would figure it out for me on this one.

     Since I had run ads and spoken to a few people who said they might show up…I really had to get to the track with more envelopes in tow in case a few people DID make it. My friend Sandy teaches there and she helped me make a sign and gave me tape to slap it up somewhere. And then I waited. I had my tights on and ballet flats. My dress made me look nothing like a person who was walking the track, but instead I smacked of the tourist visiting Italy just as I had since returning home. Well on any day that I picked out my clothing I instead of donning my Monkey Suit for the job.

     When my start time happened and no one appeared I waited 10 minutes and started walking. I had completed 3 laps when my daughter delighted me by showing up with a Starbucks in hand.  We were engulfed in a complex conversation about the dangers of International Politics and the foreign service (especially the death of the ambassador to Libya this week!) when another walker joined us. Valerie from the paper showed up and joined us for a bit longer. I was probably at 3 miles already but I was so happy to be walking with others, I was not going to stop until forced to.

     My daughter left to find out if her tires were now mounted on her car and finally Valerie left too.

     I went to the tire place and found my daughter still there. During the conversation the friendly guy behind the counter also told me he could look at the broken mirror. He told me he would call on Monday with a quote on the cost. I was thrilled. The Universe had taken care of it…without any interference or planning on my part.

     I then took the car to the storage unit and loaded boxes of books in the rear in a frenzy so I could meet up with my daughter again to look a baby clothes for a dear friend. Afterwards I ate with Sandy, Mike and Ann. I laughed so hard at times my eyes watered. The conversations are always funny with any one of us but when we are all telling stories the content seems to reach new heights.

     I visited my work again on the way to water a friend’s yard. I walked out with even more donations. And I found out I was working with  the girl who had singlehandedly put on the CF walk I missed in April. Her sister has CF and she understood why it was important to me.

     When I got home to get ready for work, I felt exhausted but it was a good kind of tired. I was glad I had worked hard and overcome things to accomplish an important goal. And I know that my real goal of seeing Zen’s life expectancy go longer and longer was well worth any price I pay.

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