Friday, May 17, 2013

The kindness of neighbors…

Today was a gorgeous, sunny Florida day.  It was warm with just enough breeze now and then to keep things comfortable…a perfect day for a yard sale!  My dad and Lisa joined us and together we got it organized, set up and ready to go.  With well placed signs to guide customers our way, we had a great turn out.

To honor my commitment to ALS Awareness Month during the yard sale, I wore my Sam's Twysted Ride t-shirt and I placed a jar for donations to the ALSA on a table in the yard.  Living in a small beach community, most of the Friday shoppers were locals and many from the nearby neighborhood.  As people came up to pay, we pointed out the ALS Awareness flyers and the jar.  We shared a little about ALS and my story while encouraging people the check out my blog as a way to learn more. 

Since going public a few months ago, I have had to find my "voice" for sharing my diagnosis with people personally.  This has been admittedly tricky for me because, I think in some ways, it is kinda weird to basically tell someone I have a terminal illness.  Especially in the beginning, I wondered what kind of reaction to expect?   I certainly don't want to make people feel sorry for me, but I do want to be honest and spread awareness.  It seems like a fine line and one I have had to learn to navigate.  The beauty of it is, people are wonderful.  They offer such kindness and support without making me feel that dreaded sense of pity.  Many are interested in learning more, some want to know how they can help, and others just quietly step up and do what they feel compelled to do, rather it is offer positive words, a hug, or a donation.

Today, I saw all of these positive reactions from my neighbors and community members.  It truly warmed my heart to see the beauty and strength of my family and my neighbors, making me proud to be a part of this little beach community.  Thank you!

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