We went to our first CF fundraising Gala in 2016 and I cried the whole night. There were ranging emotions- everything from sorrow and fear to a heart-bursting joy. They had speakers and stories were told and it was just a lot for this new mommy to handle. Avalyn was just over a year old (if I'm remembering correctly) and it was all so "fresh" to me. Each year at this Gala, the Foundation recognizes an outstanding CF family. In 2016, they recognized a family who's son has CF and was just gone off to college. When his mother got up to speak, she made all CF Mammas stand to be recognized....
Obviously, I lost it. I was standing there among women who had been fighting longer than I and some of whom had lost their kids already, and people were clapping for us. I am now privileged to be friends with this other mother and I enjoy talking to her and participating in CF-related events with her.
That same night, we became friends with a couple sitting right at our table: Alyx and Tommy Danger. Yes, that's their real last name. Tommy, is a CF fundraising extraordinaire and that night was auctioning the chance to design a flag that he would carry to the top of a mountain. The 5th of 7 summits for CF... his final summit will be Everest.
We bid hard for that flag but were beat out by another family. I looked at Mike and said, "Next year, that flag is mine"
So that brings us to 2017, last year's Gala. We were lucky to have a table all our own, filled with friends and family. When Tommy's flag went up for auction I went at it with all I had. It was an all out battle and I won! You could not have taken me off the cloud I was on that night. After we were declared the winning bid, Alyx came running over and gave me a giant hug.
Now to design the flag. What would I want at the top of that mountain? Avie is too young to have a favorite animal, or even an opinion of what to put on that flag so I couldn't ask her. My husband didn't want to weight in, he wanted it to be my creation, something I could be proud of putting together by myself. The more I thought about it, the more I realized one thing for certain: I wanted her face up there. I wanted her sweet, dimpled smile to reach high above the clouds... her very first mountain.
So I started with a photo... then I added the meaning of her name: beautiful breath of life. Then I thought, what do I want her to gain from this photo? Tommy is an inspiration... I guess I want her to feel inspired, supported. So I started looking for verses, quotes, anything that would make a heart swell and elate.
Who better to do that then Dr. Seuss? (I tweaked this a bit to customize it, obviously)
It's wider out there in the wide open air
and wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best
wherever you go, you will top all the rest
you'll move mountains, Avalyn
and you'll do it with flair
today is your day
your mountain is waiting
so get on your way
This photo was taken at a base camp because the summit was really windy.. I have a photo from the top, but you can't really see the whole flag. Thank you, Tommy!
If you're reading this post, please take a moment to check out his website: mtjm.org, the More Than Just Me Foundation.
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