Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and like most others, I’ve been thinking about gratitude.
A couple of months ago, my good friend, Anna lost her twelve year old son in a flash flood. And it was yet another reminder to live in the moment – be grateful for everything I have right now, this very minute. I thought I had a good handle on those priorities before…but this? THIS?? This was an invaluable lesson on appreciation for what truly matters in life. I would give it back in a heartbeat if I could…but since that’s not possible, I’ll settle for the wisdom. And I’ll be so, so grateful for this one more day with my children.
On the flipside though, this horrible loss was a sledgehammer blow to my already cracked and crumbling belief in magic. I know that I once thought anything was possible – that magic could always intervene at the eleventh hour. But I’ve become more cynical over the years. For both good reasons and bad, I stopped believing in magic. And this senseless tragedy offered some serious validation of that attitude.
But leave it to the children to help us find magic in the world.
Anna’s ten year old daughter, Margaret is a bright, shining sparkler of a girl. And even in her own crushing grief over the loss of her only sibling, she’s managed to find ways to make her parents smile.
One day her Dad asked for a list of things she wanted from the store. Here is what she gave him:
When Anna posted that picture above, she had no idea how many people would take it seriously. Take it to Twitter. Write e-mails. Beg favors… People really thought this was possible. And that’s one of the things I like about people: they believe in magic. They make me want to believe too.
It’s a long story – and many of us have written various parts of it. But the end result was this:
In response to the outpouring of tweets and e-mails – or possible because of just one called in favor (who knows – and does it really matter?), Coca-Cola and Dick Clark Productions arranged for Margaret and her parents to fly to California and attend the American Music Awards. And as if that wasn’t enough, there was even an opportunity for Margaret to meet Justin.
I don’t know about you – the the fact that this seemingly impossible thing ACTUALLY HAPPENED makes me believe in magic.
It also makes me willing to make good on ridiculous promises.
My friend Minky Moo sent out the following tweet…
…and in the heat of the moment, I said “I’m in!” Because, you know – that was really going to be the effort that pushed this movement forward…
Sigh. So without further ado, here is my very amateur, very poorly lit (despite those extra lamps I strategically placed in the room!) thank you vlog to Justin:
In honor of magic.
I’m so grateful that something good and hopeful and magical happened to my friend’s daughter. Her family needed it. Their story isn’t over yet, and this is tangible proof that good things can happen too. That they will again.
And that is a very good reason for giving thanks.
*The “Belieber” posts are already going up! Mama Mary was the first. Funny Girl, Lizz actually used a “live impersonator” in her vlog! Minky will post her’s tonight or tomorrow. I’m going to link to all of them here – so let me know if you have one too.
**In full disclosure, I have to admit that the Justin Bieber poster is no longer on Eleanor’s door. She felt it was a little “too boy-sie” for her girly room. So instead we donated to a teenage neighbor named Emily who was eager to give it a good home.
***In case you are wondering where you can buy a Justin Bieber poster, I found mine at Michael’s. I first tried Target, but they don’t sell posters. I also burst into tears in Target while explaining to the twins why we needed a Justin Bieber poster. They both thought it was a good story, but due to my being a bit choked up while telling it, George now believes that beavers were somehow involved.