Tags: babies, birth, brother, family, pregnancy, sister-in-law
So here’s the big news. I’m going to be an aunt! My big brother, my only sibling, is having his first child! I have this crazy overwhelming feeling of love and joy that I can’t even explain. I didn’t know I’d feel like this. In all of my thinking of the future, I never was thinking of my brother as a father. I mean, the idea of us both having kids and them playing together (the way I did with my first cousins) did cross my mind, but the reality of it has taken me by storm. I could not be more proud of my brother or happier for his wife and him.
Up to this point, I’ve played many roles in my life. But all of them were under the guise of “Dana”. This new addition gives me a new name. Now I’ll be Aunt Dana. Aunt Dana. Wow, I really need to get used to that. I’m still getting used to referring to my sister-in-law as my brother’s wife, and now I’ll be calling them mom and dad when I talk to their child, and my parents grandma and grandpa!
Coming from a very small family, this addition means the world to my family. This child will be carrying on the family name, the family bloodline, and hopefully some of the family traditions and culture (mixed in with his mother’s family traditions and cultures of course). Things haven’t been easy for my family over the past few years. This child is a good luck charm, a symbol of hope.
Wow. I’ve put a lot of pressure on this unborn child. He (or she) has a lot to live up to! This child is going to have more love that it knows what to do with. The whole family is going to love this child with all of their might, with all of their soul, with all of their being.
I can’t wait to hold the next generation of my family in my arms. I may never let go.
Congrats Jess and Ira!
Tags: aspca, career, dogs, girl scouts, life, non-profit, road runners club
There are a few experiences from my childhood that I now recognize as opportunities to support the greater good. The first was my experience as a Girl Scout (Brownie Troop 1678 represent!). As a Girl Scout, we did lots of fun activities – we camped, we played games, we held bake sales and of course sold the famous Girl Scout cookies (I was a Samoas fan). I was so young I didn’t know that I was part of a larger movement to empower girls, to expose them to the great outdoors and to the larger world around them.
The second experience that sticks out in my mind was my father’s involvement with the Road Runners Club. As a member, he ran in 10 marathons in New York City, and countless 5K runs, etc. He usually raised money for cancer, having lost both parents to it. His last run was for heart disease, an illness he conquered, but that’s a story for a different day.
I didn’t hear of the phrase “non-profit” until I was older. I didn’t really know about the millions of people working to solve the world’s problems, until I became one of them. I’m lucky enough to know this world now, but I know a lot of people still don’t really know it.
I wanted to do more than collect a paycheck from a cause that I worked for and believed in. I wanted to start giving back. There are so many problems in the world, but little by little, we can make a dent. A few years ago, around the time when I got my dog, I found a cause I was truly passionate about. With all that my dog gives to me, I was compelled to give back. I have chosen to direct the majority of my support to the ASPCA, an organization that works to protect our pets. There are many organizations that do similar work, but I chose ASPCA because their message is simple, not too extreme, and as a national organization, they have a wide reach. As I get older, I hope to be able to give more, and perhaps choose a few other worthy causes to regularly support.
What the non-profit world does best is to create a community of hope, from the youngest supporters to the oldest. Who we donate to often relates directly to a pain we suffered or an inspiring experience. What we support, what we work to change or improve or advance, defines us and gives us a greater world to live in tomorrow.
What do you do to make the world a better place?
Tags: death, financial problems, illness, life, problems
Not everything in life is hunky-dory. We all have our problems. I do my best not to blog about my problems, so there are some things I have not yet blogged about.
There is personal illness, family illness, financial problems, death. There are struggles, things I’ve conquered but have not yet been able to discuss outside of my own head. There are things I have yet to conquer which I’m still searching for the answer. I know that, at least for the things that I have conquered, sharing my story would be beneficial to my readers, give strength and hope to those going through similar situations, but I haven’t yet blogged about it. In some instances, I just haven’t found the right moment, and in others, I’m just not ready to share my story with the world.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m a fairly open person. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve held back on sharing my problems with the world. I don’t even write about them in a personal journal. If they don’t appear here, they don’t appear anywhere. My closest friends know that if they don’t hear from me and they know I’m not busy, then there is probably something very wrong, and I’m just not talking about it. Of course, we all have our moments where everything just pours out, even if we don’t want it to.
There is a sense of embarrassment that goes along with a lot of problems. With illness, we often feel humiliated, alienated. Why is my body fighting against me? Why am I different? Why do I have to go through this? With financial issues, we just don’t want pity. We fucked up, or maybe we didn’t. We need help. Who can I turn to? Nobody. With death, we all react differently, all feel like nobody can relate. Like nobody has experienced the death of a loved one before. The truth is that we’ve all gone through these or similar situations. It’s part of the human condition, the society we live in. Grief is part of life that we all experience.
It takes a strong person to show weakness and vulnerability. Right now, I’m being strong for the people around me who need me to be strong for them. I’m still working on being strong for myself.