Wednesday, July 29, 2015
When I was a kid, my mom found a card with my name on it and the meaning written beneath it. It read:
Helper of Mankind"
She always told me that the meaning of my name fit me perfectly; that I was the kind of person to help others. I don't know how well I've really lived up to my name, but I can say that I do try to help others and spread some goodness wherever I go. Maybe I've subconsciously had it rooted in me because of my mom's opinion of me.
Some people may think I'm a little bit crazy for starting The DEANA Foundation. Some frequently asked questions include:
"Don't you have enough on your plate?"
"Shouldn't you be putting more of your energy into your mom rather than a foundation?"
"How does this benefit your parents (mom specifically)?"
These are probably all fair questions and they are all questions I have asked myself. Sometimes I wonder why I take on these ambitious project9s. Why can't I just be "normal" like the other moms around me and spend my time volunteering at the kid's school, or join the PTA? (By the way, this was always my plan as a mom). I am always second guessing myself and I've spent many hours pondering these questions. These are some of my conclusions.
1. "Don't you have enough on your plate?"
*Yep, I have a lot on my plate. I always do; that's a part of life. Just when you think things are going to calm down, something else comes up. I'm the kind of person that likes to stay busy. I don't spend much time in front of the TV; I like to be productive with my time. I will always have a lot on my plate.
*It isn't something I can really put into words, but I feel inclined to do something in the face of the disease. Early on, before I started writing this blog, I felt the need to be proactive in the dementia community. Being involved keeps my mind busy and gives me a focus. It's easy to sit back and let the sadness and despair consume me; I feel so helpless with my mom and in some way this makes me feel like I'm doing something.
2. "Shouldn't you be putting more of your energy into your mom rather than a foundation?"
*I feel like being involved in this cause and in this foundation actually helps me to put my energy and focus into my mom, rather than away from it. I am reminded how much my dad needs support and I try my best to be there for him and my mom. There aren't many times of the day that my mom isn't at least in the back of my mind. I think it also helps to bring our caregivers and our community together and more aware.
*One day, my mom will no longer be here. That is a sad reality that we've had to face; we lose her little by little, more and more each day. When she is gone, there will come an emptiness. Even though there's an emptiness now, I still devote a lot of time and energy to taking care of her. I need something to keep me going when she is gone. I don't want her to be forgotten. I feel like this foundation is a good way to honor her and keep her memory alive. I hope it's inspiring and encouraging for my dad to see how many people support and love my mom.
3. "How does this benefit your parents (mom specifically)?"
*There are no guarantees that this will benefit my dad and mom. I didn't start this foundation with selfish intent. Nevertheless, my dad is free to apply for a grant just as any other family is able to. He will go through the process and our board members will vote on who receives what amount of money. Our goal is to help as many families as possible; certainly he isn't exempt.
*My family is not the only family suffering. Who knows if one day I or one of my children could be affected? Aren't we all here to help each other??
I struggle daily with self-doubt. I harbor the fear of failure. I want this foundation to succeed. I want my mom's name and legacy to be remembered. I want to help other people who are suffering from this heartbreak. I want to live up to what my mom always thought of me, to be a "helper of mankind."
With all of that said, I do want to invite all of my readers to check out our foundation website. It is actually getting a professional make over right now, so if you check back next week it will look different (and way better!!). Our foundation needs help to give help. If you feel inclined to join the cause and help others on this journey, there are many ways to help, whether near or far.
For my local readers, we have a foundation charity event coming up on August 21st. It is going to be an evening of fun with dinner, karaoke, some magic, and raffle prizes. I'm posting the flier here and you can also visit our facebook page and website. Tickets must be bought in advance in order to plan for food (deadline is August 17th). You can buy them on our website's "shop" page or through me personally.
Thank you to all who continue to support our family and The DEANA Foundation!
To visit The DEANA Foundation, please click here.