If there is one universal truth that I’ve learned in the past, say, two years or so, it’s that human beings are only meant to take on so much. Granted, I don’t think anyone uses their potential to the max, but nowadays it seems that, in a fast-paced world where tasks are expected to be completed faster, and sent sooner, people are expected to be operating on all eight cylinders.
That is precisely what I think is happening to me. Don’t worry, no one else is necessarily doing this to me; I’m trying to motivate myself to take on more challenging tasks, especially with promoting the spina bifida cause.
This past weekend, I was able to attend different events at which I both helped out and generated awareness of spina bifida. Here are the Cliff’s Notes:
- Mami and I volunteered to help set up for United Cerebral Palsy’s annual gala, An Evening at the Palace. The list of regular attendees includes actress Cheryl Hines, who co-hosted the gala on Saturday. While poring over lists of volunteers as they checked in, I shared my mission with the other volunteers I worked with. UCP serves many children with spina bifida, so my words did not fall on deaf ears.
- Yesterday (Sunday), I attended the University of Central Florida’s annual KnightWalk for Babies, benefiting the March of Dimes. Some of you may recall I was invited last year by the ladies of UCF’s March of Dimes chapter to attend and distribute flyers about Holdin’ Out for a Hero. These girls were gracious enough to invite me back this year! So, back to the main campus I went, along with Mami and my friend, Vionet-Edith, both of whom helped me set up and distribute information. I was able to connect with some truly wonderful people who seemed genuinely interested in the cause!
- On Sunday afternoon, after spending a few hours at the Walk, I dashed over to a local hospital for the SBACFL board meeting. This was our second board meeting since the new board was elected in late November, and I was really excited to share with them how I had been promoting awareness of spina bifida. I even wore my “Spina Bifida Association of Central Florida” shirt to the Walk!
- Before leaving the hospital upon the meeting’s adjournment, I was able to spend a few precious moments with someone who has been my friend on Facebook and in the blogosphere for a while, but whom I had never met in person. Amanda Kern gave birth this past week to a baby boy named Chance. He has spina bifida. A photographer as well as a professor of graphic design at Valencia Community College, Amanda has been documenting her pregnancy via both photography and prose on her blog. Amanda has a very sincere, no-holds-barred, yet heartfelt writing style, and even endured heavy criticism during her pregnancy while she struggled to make the decision that would be best for her family and for Chance. I continue to lift the Kern family up in prayer as they hold a collective breath during each hardship, and rejoice in unison at each triumph.
Despite its title, “Holdin’ Out for a Hero” is not about “heroes” in the figurative sense of the word that movies and television shows love to portray– it’s about real, everyday people, famous or not, making a difference. It’s about parents that are faced with the tough dilemmas of raising their families and also raising a child with special needs. It’s about faith and hope. It’s about not only “holdin’ out for a hero,” but striving to be one every day.
And yes– sometimes, it’s about longing to be in two places or more at once, and coming to terms with the limits of our human abilities. Whoever can overcome that is already on their way to being a “real hero.” I have to work on that! But hey– the cool part about being human is that, while I have to make an effort to get to each destination, I get to take God with me wherever I go. And, I feel I take all of you with me, too.