How do I even start to put into words how you have all made Troy and I feel? I had not planned on doing another post until, at the very least, after Thanksgiving. But, yet here I am.
So much emotion is jumbled up inside of me right now that this could very well be the hardest post to write. And that is coming from me, Diann the great rambler!
When I wrote the post yesterday, I simply wanted to let everyone know that the TTF party was taking a little break and so was I. I just wrote that simple line as my title. I honestly just figured everyone would see the title and say, “Oh, okay. She is probably taking off for Thanksgiving. I better take the link off my post for her party this week.”. Seriously, that is what I thought would happen.
Never…EVER in my wildest dreams did I think so many of you would take the time to read the post and comment, FB or email.
The word that keeps coming to my mind is Humbled.
Troy and I have not smiled a true and honest smile in days. Our hearts have been hurting so bad that we have felt we would never survive this ordeal.
Yesterday, we witnessed a miracle. For the first time and completely unexpected, we both felt a small little light enter our hearts. There has been such a huge heavy darkness and void in our chest that when this light entered us, it was as if for the first time in days we breathed.
And we have all of you to thank for that! Just knowing and then honestly feeling the amazing amount of love, concern, prayers and caring you sent our way was unbelievably powerful!
We have all heard the term “the power of prayer”. Troy and I have had faith in this and have sent and kept so may people in our prayers during the times that they truly needed it most. But, let me tell you, to be on the receiving end of that power is awe inspiring! To honestly feel it enter us all day yesterday was a pure miracle. How reaffirming this has been! A true testimony of faith.
How to thank all of you for this incredible gift you have given us? There are no words strong enough. To feel a smile cross our lips, to feel a light enter our hearts, to feel love coming from unknown places, to feel the strength coming from everywhere. You humble us and empower us.
I know that all of your are dealing with different heartaches, problems and crisis in your own lives at this moment. To think that you gave some of your time, prayers and support to us is more appreciated than you can ever know.
The blogging world truly is one of the most powerful communities out there. To be able to touch and be part of people from all over the world that we normally would never have been able to do is a miracle in of itself. But, to create a friendship, a kinship and a connection to so many from so far away is a true blessing.
As corny as it sounds, it feels like all of you, in spirit, have wrapped your arms around me and given me courage and strength. You have no idea how much I need that. I didn’t realize how much I needed that!
We are blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful family and equally wonderful friends. These people will do anything in their power to help if there is a way to help. The thing is, they all know Lia and have been a part of her life since infancy. They are all hurting as well. They give us love, support and comfort but, we can feel the heavy pain in their hearts over all of this.
I think that is why all of you were able to reach us and touch us. All of you, coming from different places, shared your anger, rage, helplessness, love, support, concern and prayers all day. You were able to touch us. And thank God you did. You gave us that boost of strength we so needed.
Because of the amazing people you all are, I know that the feeling of helplessness is so painful. You all have such generous hearts. I know that when I see a family member, a friend or a blogging friend going through something so painful that it breaks my heart, I always say, “if there is anything I can do please let me know”. I always mean that but, at the same time I feel so overwhelmingly helpless. Sometimes, regardless of how sincere I mean it, it just feels like an empty statement. I know a lot of you are feeling the same way. Your hearts are so giving and generous and it is hurting you not being able to do anything when you sincerely want to.
The whole point of this post is to tell each and every one of you that you ARE helping. We NEED your continued prayers, positive thoughts, anger and concern. It is honestly helping us. To know there are so many people out there standing right next to us in spirit and giving us encouragement and strength is so powerful. You are helping us continue to be strong and have courage to put some of the hurt and pain to the side so that we can do what we have to do to get Lia back to us.
I know that many of you have reposted yesterday’s post on your own blogs or on FB or possibly other areas. We appreciate that very much. I now truly understand the power of numbers. And let’s face it, we bloggers are a very powerful group!
So many of you have asked to send us a little money to help in our fight to get Lia home. Quite honestly, I was shocked by this. I know that each of you are working so hard to pay your bills and maintain your homes and expenses. Not to mention, here we are at the holidays. And a few of you yesterday got very creative and sent us money through unusual methods without even asking or telling us you were doing it. How do I thank you? How does a small time blogger like me get honored by so many of you?
Okay, now I am crying again. Geez!
I am not one of the mega bloggers out there. I don’t show you all these amazing creations I have come up with. I am not this awesome foodie blogger. I’m not this cool home remodeler blogger. I am just this little simple person living in a small community talking about silly ways I save money here or there. Or some treasures I bought while thrifting. Or little moments in my life. And yet here you all came, opening your hearts and wrapping me in your arms. Yup, this is where that word “humbled” comes into play again.
A couple of days ago a friend gave me a huge hug and said, “Diann, you HAVE to let us all help you now. We know you and we know what kind of person you are. But, we all love Lia too. We all need to feel we are helping. If you don’t let us help, you are hurting us and making us feel even more useless.”. Wow, what a slap upside the head that realization was!
Pride is probably my worse sin. I have always done whatever it takes to take care of my family. I take great pride in that. Maybe too much pride in that. I have always been thrifty. I have always, in time of financial need, turned one penny into the value of five pennies.
I will continue to be creative when it comes to making every penny count. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that our bills are paid and continued to have a happy, safe and secure home for Lia to return to. I have a few ideas to pursue to generate more income.
But people keep asking, so after talking with close friends and family and of course Troy, we have decided to accept help from those of you who have offered. This is very uncomfortable for us and in order for us to be able to do this, we had to do it in a way that would allow us to feel better about the whole thing.
This is what I came up with.
Some of you may have read a recent post I did about Lia and the product she created to help a local animal shelter she has been involved with this past summer. The post is HERE.
We are going to continue to sell Lia’s products at the shows we do. We know this is a very serious thing for her and she will ask us about it when we finally see here again. One of the other things she had planned was to make sure to take packages of her cat toys to the local animal shelters and donate them so that the cats could have Christmas presents.
At the last show she went to with us, she had a long talk with Santa (yes, she tried to sell Santa some of her cat toys LOL). She talked about her reindeer food that she makes and sells and she also explained her involvement with the animal shelter. She told him that she was going to give some of her toys to the lonely cats at the shelter for Christmas. Santa told her that was a very good idea.
It would break her heart if we did not do this for her. She worked a lot of hours to create a lot of inventory of her product to sell and donate.
As a way of honoring Lia and her beautiful generous heart and a way of honoring you and your beautiful generous hearts, we are going to accept those offers that will help Lia in many ways, return home safely.
For any contribution that someone makes, we will give one of her cat puff toys to a local animal shelter in your name. Troy has designed a special label for these packages. It will not matter what the amount is, a package of “Lia’s Catnip Puffs” will be donated in your name.
I will be using my PayPal account firstname.lastname@example.org . And I will add it to my sidebar soon.
Does that work? Do you think that is an acceptable way to handle this? I really do want your opinion.
But, I must tell you that your prayers, positive thoughts and love is so vital to us. It is helping more than you can know. Do not, under any circumstances feel you have to send anything. That would break my heart for sure. Like I said earlier, I know these are rough financial times for all of us. Just the mere fact that you have reached out to us through comments, email and FB has touched us so much. I get so much strength from all of you. It is priceless to me! This is not a request for contributions, it is simply us, being willing to accept the offers that have been made and do good by your generosity.
What I do want to ask is that you continue those prayers and good thoughts for us. And keep Lia in your heart.
In a few days we will be heading to our family cabin in the northern woods of Michigan. We will have no internet access. I guess that is probably a good thing. As a family, we need to come together for some time away. We need to encourage each other and give each other strength and hope.
When I return, I will return to posting, I will go on with silliness, thriftiness and fun things. I have to. I know of one little girl who is counting on Mama to make sure things will return to normal and will be happy and safe again. And I will not let her down!
At the end of each of my posts there will be some sort of little update regarding this entire thing. It would be horribly unfair of me to just drop this bomb shell on all of you and then not keep you in the loop. Sadly, for the near future, there will be little real news. The courts are notoriously slow. Know that you will continue to be kept informed of any news.
With all of our heart, thank you so very much!
Diann and Troy (and Lia)