May 092012
 

TO  SHE WHOM MUCH IS EXPECTED, MUCH IS GIVEN.

(Visitors: What we have here is a LOVE FLASH MOB. It is a celebration of LIFE and LOVE and HOPE that we Monkees hold once in a blue moon. We come together here to support a Sister, a Sister who might need a reminder that She is Loved and Watched Over.  In short – We Make Magic Happen, Baby.  We do it by showing up, giving what we can (up to a $25 maximum), and trusting that the money raised is the least of the miracles that result. Join us, EVERYONE IS INVITED!)

 Everyone, meet Claudia.

Claudia is a single mama diagnosed with ALS,  also known as Lou Gherig’s disease. She has three children, all of whom have Fragile X syndrome. She currently lives with her youngest son, who has autism, and his caretaker, Amy.

After suffering through a difficult childhood and young adult life, Claudia found her passion in saving the lives of others. For nearly two decades, Claudia served her community in emergency services. She was a volunteer firefighter and EMT, a paid-reserve firefighter, paramedic, Emergency Department RN and helicopter flight medic. Her second full-time job was advocating for her special needs children and other families with similar challenges.

Claudia says:

“I began having slurred speech in October 2004. In August I was diagnosed with ALS. I went from being “gregarious” and “articulate” to being presumed to be mentally impaired. My voice is weak and sometimes I can barely speak above a whisper. I’m frequently very short of breath. I use a wheelchair full time. I’m in near constant pain from my increasing spasticity. I sleep using a breathing machine. All my symptoms are progressive and eventually, while mentally alert and with intact sensation, I will become totally paralyzed.

 My ALS Progression is VERY slow. My slow progression is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is obvious: I have more time with my children and friends; I treasure this time with my children. The curse is that I will pass through the stages of losing function in slow motion. With the loss of functioning comes an increased need for resources that I simply don’t have.  Life is often hard, but I feel blessed. It is amazing to think that coming to the end of my physical, financial, emotional, and relational resources helped me learn to truly rely on God!”

Kay. Well, I  believe God can be depended upon, but I also believe that that God shows up through other people. And today, WE ARE THE PEOPLE, PEOPLE. We’re the ones who are going to show up for Claudia and remind her that God loves her and her family, that the Universe is on her side, that she has not been forgotten, and that We Belong To Each Other.

Here’s how we’re going to do it:

We’re going to buy Claudia a (fully loaded, fully outfitted) handicapped accessible van that will accommodate her special needs as well as those of her youngest son. Right now, Claudia has no vehicle that will hold a wheelchair, so she is not able to attend her son’s frequent doctor’s appointments or even her own. She’s not able to visit her oldest son, who lives thirty minutes away. Amy, the angel caretaker who lives with Claudia, can’t take Claudia to museums or parks or even outside to see the beautiful world that Claudia spent so much of her life saving and loving and serving. Clearly, this is unacceptable.

So the times, they are a changing. Today. Today we raise the money needed to buy a van for Claudia. To give her back some of her freedom, her love of adventure, and her ability to nurture her children – all of which are the stuff that makes Claudia, CLAUDIA.

OH….. ONE MORE THING.

Meet Paul and Mindy and their gorge kiddos.

You’ll remember these folks from this miracle post. Mindy’s family is so beloved by her neighbors that one of them, Matt, sent us a letter asking us to help fix Paul and Mindy’s aging car. Matt told us that he loves Momastery but finds the label Monkee too feminine, so he refers to himself as a Donkee. Donkee went on to explain that Paul and Mindy’s family deserved a break, like, yesterday. You see,  Mindy’s been diagnosed with stage 4 lung, bone, and liver cancer. Matt said that their medical bills get so high that sometimes Mindy and Paul just can’t get their car out of the shop.

Mindy defies her diagnosis. As she told us:  “I have so much to fight for, I don’t plan on dying anytime soon.  My “baby” is 5.  He is full of life and for that I am thankful.  I look at my beautiful children and my wonderful, supportive, and handsome husband, and remember that I too am alive and will be alive….my fight has to be great! I’m not going anywhere!”

And to that we say, No ma’am, not in that clunker, you’re not. So we’re gonna go ahead and buy Mindy and Paul a new van, too. They’ve got enough to handle without car trouble. Just, enough said.

So . . . .Two Vans.  Eighty- five thousand dollars. No problem.

 Here are the Love Flash Mob Rules:

1. EVERYONE IS INVITED.

2. There is a $25 dollar contribution limit per person.

Please remember that the Croyles were sent on a vacation of a lifetime largely due to 5, 10, 15, and 20 dollar donations. Because of all of your five and ten dollar bills, Kristin Croyle, in the wake of her treacherous diagnosis, was able to put her feet in the sand, feel the warmth of the sun on her shoulders, stare out at the big, big ocean, and listen to Lance and her children play in the surf . . . for the first time.

We can do no big things, just little things with great love. Each of our offerings will be little but together, they will become great.

EVERY donation makes a difference. BE the change you want to see in the world. Don’t sit this one out. Jump in. You are worthy. You are powerful. You can change the world. WE ARE THE PEOPLE. YOU ARE THE PERSON. NOW IS THE TIME.

Press the Van-tastic Button on the right of this page to donate to the Claudia/Mindy Van Fund. It has a Monkee and a van on it, and when you press the button it will direct you to our paypal account where you can donate.

I’ll update you frequently as the miracles unfold.

And while you’re at it, think of five friends who have a heart and twenty five (or five)  dollars and invite them to share in this miracle, too.  Share this on Facebook, the car pool line, wherever there is SOMEONE TO INVITE.  Love Flash Mobs are as much for the givers as they are for the receivers – and we want as many human beings as possible to be part of this miracle. We want thousands of souls invested in these families . . . thousands of people praying and sending healing energy and loving on Claudia and Mindy and their families.

Love, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!!  TWMF

(The Whole Monkee Family)

Now…..GO!

May 082012
 

ATTENTION!

MONKEES AND ALL LOVERS OF PEOPLE AND HOPE AND JOY:

EVERYONE, EVERYONE, EVERYONE  IS INVITED TO THE BIGGEST, BOLDEST LOVE FLASH MOB IN MOMASTERY HISTORY.

 

INVITATION

If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

-Shel Silverstein

 

 

DATE: TOMORROW, MAY 9, 2012

TIME: 9 AM EST…BUT WILL CONTINUE FOR 48 HOURS!

PLACE: THE MOMASTERY

REASON: WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER

HOSTS: THE WHOLE WORLD

 

Pray-ers start praying, Yogis start posing, atheists cross those fingers, Catholics start your novenas, energy senders start energy sending. We will need every ounce of love and hope available tomorrow. And the thing is, since hope and love are infinite – it’s ALL available. Tomorrow is going to be MAGIC. Flax golden tales will be spun.

 

COME IN!

Love,

G

May 032012
 

*This one’s for Laura and her Sister. I forgive you, and I’m sorry, too.

 

 

 

 

“On Sunday morning, the gospel choir would walk by my cottage in their robes, singing Oh shout it out! The first time I heard them, I ran to the front porch in my bathrobe and started crying. They pulled children in wagons, their voices visible in the cool air. Every Sunday I waited for this.

All I needed of religion, I realized, was the beautiful sound of someone else’s faith.”

-Megan Mayhew Bergman, Birds of a Lesser Paradise

 

Sometimes, Love Doesn’t Win. Or that’s how it feels anyway.

Sometimes we desperately need a miracle that never comes. We pray, we hope, we believe, we KNOW and we are left empty handed and broken hearted. Beloved parents and sisters and brothers and children die. Where the hell is God? We hold up our WTF? billboard prayers to the heavens. We wonder why other people got their miracles and we didn’t get ours. When we hear people say that PRAYER WORKS or that LOVE WINS or that IT ALL HAPPENS FOR REASON, we feel, well, a tad homicidal. None of it makes sense. Anybody worth talking to will admit that from the human perspective, life makes no sense. As my minister friend Anna – who lost her husband in a car crash- would promise us,  it’s all just ABSURD. GREAT word to describe life, one of my favorites. ABSURD!

For twenty years I knew I would adopt a baby. I tried actively for seven years. Craig and I poured  our hearts and energy and time and bank accounts into this dream time after time after time. We never gave up hope. We trusted in God. We followed the signs. We fully expected miracles.  As you know, our third adoption- this time from Rwanda- fell through last month. We were so close this time that I could actually FEEL that baby in my arms.

After a few weeks of mourning, we decided that maybe our fourth baby would be biological. We talked to my doctor who said, in so many words  . . . “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MIND? You are chronically ill. You can barely take care of yourself. No. No, no, no, no.”

When we left I said to Craig: Hm.What do you think she meant by that?

Honey, he said. You know what she meant by that. Everyone in the office knew what she meant by that. She was YELLING.

Right. Optimism and delusion are sooooo close.

No adoption. No pregnancy. No miracle.  And we know, in our hearts, that it’s time to let that fourth baby go. I’m not healthy. It’s time to stop obsessing about that miracle- it’s time to take off our miracle blinders, and use our peripheral vision.

Because sometimes we don’t get our miracle, and that hurts like hell. But the way the world works is- if we turn our heads, we can still find one. We can share someone else’s miracle. We can enter into it and claim it as our own. It takes some work and humility and a STRONG WILL, but it can be done.

Look. I’m not going to get that Rwandan baby for whom we all prayed so hard. But turn your head. Use your miracle peripheral vision and CHECK THIS OUT.

 

 

Look at her. That’s my baby Sister. That’s my lobster. Who was crumbled on the floor, three years ago, with no hope, no GLIMMER of hope, facing a divorce that would leave the faith of our entire family in shambles.

She moved in with me after the divorce. I hung a sign on her wall that said, “For I know the plans I have for you says the LORD . . . plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

And we would both look at that sign, crying together in a Sister heap on the floor, and we would silently say to the sign, to God - BULLSHIT.  Just, BULLSHIT.

 

Now please look at her. Eventually . . . . after a while – she stood up off that floor. She trusted the absurd world again. She found her other lobster, John. He is as kind and as gentle and as strong as a human being can be. And he loves her so much that I can finally, for the first time in my life, relax. For the first time in my life, I KNOW that my Sister is cared for by a man in a pure, deep, forever way.

And now she’s seven months pregnant. We are having a BABY, MONKEES!

For John’s sake, I hope that the baby’s not Rwandan. But I’m not gonna lie- it’d be nice for me.

IT’S MY PERIPHERAL MIRACLE.  Do you see? I didn’t get my exact miracle, the one in my direct line of vision. But sometimes PERIPHERAL MIRACLES are even BETTER. Because you can love them and love them and love them but you don’t have to send PERIPHERAL MIRACLES to college.

I am so in love already.

We’re HAVING A BABY!!!!!!!!!

See. Still. Love Wins. Just gotta keep those eyes wide open and sometimes –  turn our heads.

 

 

Love you forever.

G