Earlier this year, after delaying and deliberating, I finally underwent surgery for a chronic condition on my foot. The recovery process required me to have my foot elevated above my heart for two weeks and then wear a special shoe for another six. During this time, I could not feed, bathe, or even get to bed alone without help. I had to count on my family 100% of the time to take care of me. I remember feeling afraid when left alone, feeling so helpless. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way, perhaps when I was a young child? I realize how much the loss of independence impacted me AND the humility required to ask for help and allow others to take care of me. I learned how much I had to slow down, be patient with the healing process, say no at times and appreciate the circle of friends, family and colleagues who contributed to me in their own special ways. I felt empathy for others on a whole new level…I really got “take nothing for granted.”
In reflection, I thought of the homeless youth and families that La Casa Norte serves; about their loss of independence, about their shame and humility in asking for help; about when they questioned where their next meal would come from? About where they could bathe today or where they would sleep tonight? And if they felt safe? I’m clear that our clients “take nothing for granted” – that many of them are unable to depend on a positive and healthy network of people to help them...YET all of them want to heal, want to be independent and positively contribute. It is at this nexus that La Casa Norte is partnering with youth and families every single day to realize the life of their dreams, one filled with dignity and grace.
Today, I am walking fine, I continue to feel some pain, have swelling and at times limp slightly. My body will never be the same, but my spirit is much grown from this experience. On October 11th , I will participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where over the course of 26.2 miles, I will reflect on the blessing it is to serve at a mission based organization; I will picture the faces and remember the storie of the families and youth we’ve served; I will channel their resiliency and strength to find a way, mile by mile to cross the finish line, while taking nothing for granted.
I’m asking you to join me by making a donation to our marathon fundraising goal, by confirming that you too are taking nothing for granted including supporting the mission of ending homelessness in Chicago.
CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION:
In spirit and gratitude,