Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Better Late Purple Than Never

Some might say Purple Day 2011 has already faded into the sands of time. I, however, beg to differ.  After all, as long  the EANS will be the beneficiary of the upcoming Lions Breakfast this Saturday, courtesy of Purple Day, I say it's still fair game.  Which is a good thing, considering I haven't had an opportunity to do any Purple posting until now.

So. Purple Day. 2011.

It having been a bit of a crazy few months in the Free Falling world, we didn't manage to paint our little corner of the world quite as purple as we did last year.  But we still made a respectable showing, I believe.

Horton High School once again took up the cause, with the Blue Jay (this year, with the help of the Kit Kat)  and her classmates again selling purple cupcakes, handing out information and taking donations.  She also had the chance to make a school-wide announcement and explain the purpose of Purple Day before the big day, which was nice.  And it appeared that the whole school pretty much really got into the spirit, with Purple Day posters lining the walls and a sizable portion of the student body decked out in their finest purple gear.

We hit the local Mall again this year, actually, we spent all day Saturday as a family affair at the Mall, where we once again sold bracelets and purple cupcakes, handed out information, pins and ribbons and took donations.  Mucho donations.

Well mucho, considering I have never approached our Mall adventures with the intent of them being fundraisers; their primary purpose is to educate people and get a conversation going.  So it was very gratifying to see now only how many donations we got (and how many $20 donations, at that!) but also how many more people were aware of Purple Day this year than last.  The word is clearly getting out there.

Our family has struggled through a long and often painful journey with epilepsy.  Not as long, not as painful as that some families have and will continue to go through but certainly longer and more heartbreaking than any child or anyone who loves a child should have to face.  And no matter what the future brings for the Blue Jay, I will always be eternally grateful for the past several years of relative peace.  The Blue Jay's life is still not easy (and likely never will be) but things are so much easier for her (and, thus, all of us) when the ugly seizure monsters are held at bay.

And yet, really, I think it's the very fact that the Blue Jay's seizures are so well-controlled at the moment that motivates me to be so involved with Purple Day.  True enough, were it otherwise, I would no doubt be equally but differently motivated to take up the cause, both on her behalf and for so many others.  But for now, it's the fact that we have it so much better than so many others, that we have found, even if turns out to be only temporarily, our magic panacea for her seizures that makes me appreciate how lucky we are and how wrong it is that others out there are still in the position we once were.

I suppose we will always be a Purple family.  Actually, perhaps more accurately, I truly hope that we will always be a Purple family.   There are many, many "good causes" in the world and no one person can take them all on.  But person by person, family by family, we all can make that extra effort to support and promote at least one. 

Epilepsy has touched our family deeply and will always leave a scar.  But I believe it has also left us with something else, something positive and good and pure - the requisite empathy that moves compels us to step up and contribute our small piece to the far larger effort needed to help others who continue to fight a daily battle, not only with this often devestating neurlogical disorder, but with the equally, if not sometimes more damaging, effects of public misconception and the resulting social stigma.

So what cause is personal and near and dear to your heart?  And, more importantly, what are you doing to help make life better for those who live it?


Kris, in New England said...

M - you look great in purple my dear and should wear it everyday. Your compassion and strength is your purple, for certain.

doorkeeper said...

I'm purple...and also walked in the autism walk here on Saturday. Everyone should have a "cause". It does the soul good.
But I think I get the most satisfaction from my work--making one elderly person's life better, a few hours at a time. I get far more than I give. Thanks for listening!