By nature, I'm a pretty self absorbed person. My family and my life occupy my thoughts and my plans. I love my friends fiercly - which is why I have so few of them. You can't go expending that kind of energy on just anyone. This is why I don't bother to watch TV. To paraphrase Erma Bombeck (which I do a lot) I'd prefer to spend more time laughing and crying while watching life. Specifically, my life. Besides being self absorbed, I'm also cynical and jaded. Yes, modesty is one of my better qualities.
Everyone's got a story. Usually a sad one. Unless yours is about abandoning a baby, having been abandoned as a baby, or saving an abandoned baby, I'm probably not listening.
Then someone pointed me to a little girl named Mila. When she was just two she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Now I know more than anyone that it sounds like the beginning of a joke. For one brief moment I let my guard down and I learned more about Mila and her mom, Andi. What I found was a little girl who didn't have much time left and a mother who was carrying the weight of the world just to continue smiling and singing for her little girl. I saw Mila smile and heard her sing - and my heart melted.
On June 18th, just 2 months shy of her 3rd birthday, little Mila passed away. My heart broke into a million little pieces. Normally I'd wonder about someone who was so openly sharing in a stranger's grief. Those tears I shed, and they were quite a few, for this little girl I'd never met were honestly and truly just for her. Not in a "what if it had happened to me" kind of way. I mourned her passing and all the things she'd never do, and I cried for her mother and the heartbreak she was going through.
Friday night I went to a party for my foundation. We talked about all the babies saved and all the lives changed by safe havens. We celebrated those lives, and for once, we didn't talk of all the ones we couldn't save. Someone had given me an envelope, a card I'd received at the foundation's address. I dropped it in my bag and went on with the making merry.
On the way home I opened my bag for gas money and found the card there. I looked at it a minute before opening it, it had no return address and was from AZ. I'm not much for pondering, so I opened it and was surprised to see a thank you card from Andi, Mila's mom. After all she's gone though, this amazing woman is taking the time to write thank yous to all the people she received sympathy, support or donations from. (damn those dangling participles) Now, at the mere mention of Mila's name I usually tear up. When I opened that card, so unexpected, I actually smiled and thought of Mila singing "You are my sunshine" and hoped that Andi was doing well, and that maybe she was smiling, too.