"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature." ~St. Augustine

Friday, July 6, 2012


Gratitude.  Sincere, from the bottom of my heart gratitude.  That is the only way I can describe what I am feeling after last weekend. 

As you may have read on my last post, we had decided to do a garage sale to  help raise funds for Parker's ABM therapy.  I am so blown away by the results that it is very hard to even put this all in writing.  But I need to tell everyone how amazing it was.

As I said before, we had the biggest outpouring of donations.  There were people from my husband's school, people from my school, family, friends, even people we didn't know were bringing items to our house to donate.

It all started (thank goodness) with my aunt and cousins coming by to do a "pre-shop" on Thursday night.  They couldn't believe all that we had.  I am not exaggerating when I say that our garage was filled to the ceiling, our front living room was full and our driveway was half full.  We had planned to just get up early and get it all set up.  My aunt looked at me with her eyes wide and said "Really???"  Jimmy and I looked at each other and decided that we better just pull an all nighter and start getting things out right away.  Good thing she snapped us back to reality because literally, we worked from 8:00 PM to 9:00 AM the next morning and we still were not done.  I did take a nap from 3:30-5:00AM because I was delirious, but Jimmy stayed up and kept working.

Toasting to the start of Garage Sale Extravaganza!


The next morning when the sun came up, our house looked like a HUGE flea market filled with lots of treasures.  But that is not the incredible part.  The incredible part is all the people who helped us.

These are the people I really want to tell you about:

  • The staff at my school: Kiki, Adam, Jennifer, Rhonda, Alix, Stacey, Brittany (and her mom Lynn), Kendal, Sue, and all who donated items. 
  • Becky Loo who didn't have time to donate items so instead she wrote me this note with some money.  (she is far from a slacker!)
  • The staff at Jimmy's school, Terry and Kristen, Karen, Sarah, Joe, and many others for all of their help and donations
  • Dave and Sharon who helped, donated, and spread the word
  • Doug, a friend of a friend who we did not know, delivered a huge load of wonderful items to us on Thursday afternoon. 
  • Leroy, a man walking his dog in our neighborhood (again someone we don't know), learned about what we were doing and came back with his son and donated a practically brand new Foosball table.
  •  Ben, a boy who was probably 9 or 10 (don't know him), when he asked me how much a bear was, I told him $2.  He said "I won't give you less than $5."  His mom was also just as amazing as she paid me $10 for some kitchen gadget.  Are you kidding me people?  
  • Ed and his wife Karen, neighbors from down the street, came down and gave us a check.  They didn't buy anything - but wanted to donate.  I gave him any remaining coats we had for a coat drive that he does every year.
  • Another friend of a friend (who we didn't know) brought by 2 loads of items to donate.  She sets up model homes, these items were NICE!  
  • Two different parents from our school district - Trina had her sweet son Ian deliver 2 bikes (nice!) and some other great things.  And Bob, another parent, brought me a load of his wife's clothes.  His lovely wife, Katie and another teacher, then also brought me a 2nd load of clothes the next day.
  • Brad and Tammi, a couple we have never met, pulled up and gave us $20.  Then they shopped around and bought (overpayed) $60 worth of extra stuff.  Tammi also suggested asking people to donate airline miles and offered me hers.  Did I mention that we don't know them?
  • Remember Doug from above?  He came BACK with his 2 kids (one who they are sending off to college this year) and he donated another HUGE load including a full weight set and bench, antiques, a Lane Hope chest, and so much more!
  • Our past nanny, Amber and her husband Shawn, they are a young struggling couple themselves with brand new twin baby boys.  They bought a few things and wrote me a check for $50 and on the check wrote "for Parker".
  • Another cool girl who works at Peet's Coffee in Bridgeport.  Young, just got a place and I am sure struggling to make ends meet herself (because weren't we all at that age?) - and she gets a few items.  She asked me how much I wanted for it all and I add it up in my head and say "$20?"  She said, "how about I give you $30?"  Now you know that NEVER happens at a garage sale.

Our incredible neighbor, Jennifer Logan.  She has always been so sweet to our family, but we have never had a chance to really get to know her and her family very well.  That changed.  She came over on Thursday night as she saw Jimmy and I working to set things up.  She said she would come help us the next day.  And help us, she did!  She was at our house Friday  morning at I think around 6:30 AM (not exact on times because the past 3 days have been like Ground Hog's Day - just kept doing the same thing over and over again.)  She did not leave until around 8:00 PM.  She was pricing and setting things  up and wheeling and dealing and telling people about Parker.  She was AMAZING!    Then on Saturday and Sunday she was again helping us ALL DAY.  Her sweet daughter, Rachel, was also helping us by either entertaining the boys or going on a coffee run.  Her husband, Matt came and helped us set-up and break down.

Our other neighbor Nancy, who I had never officially met, came and helped us for 2 of the days.  She also stayed out there all day, pricing, talking about Parker and helping sell items.

Of course, as any of you who read my blog know, my wonderful mom was here also all 3 days taking care of the boys.  She was here by 7 AM everyday and didn't leave until around 7 PM.  And our house was chaos so this was no easy task.  She also cooked us dinner, brought us breakfast, and got some much needed groceries for us.  My Dad was an amazing helper as well, bringing tables and doing the heavy work!

The way that everyone pulled together for this fundraiser was so amazing.  I don't even have words to describe it.  But I am so grateful.  There was such a a sense of community and love from everyone.  It was very powerful. 

This is just a sampling of the wonderful stories from the weekend.  There were so many more and with each one, I was moved to tears.  I have to tell you, I was a teary-eyed mess.   I am sure the lack of sleep and food made me a little more emotional, but this weekend was deserving of some tears.  (of happiness)  And while there were some brief tears of sadness and horror (when the tent broke at 2:37 AM), the good by far outweighs the bad. And although we still need to pay to fix the tent,  we made our goal!  We will be able to pay for one of our two trips down to San Rafael for Parker's therapy, and we leave on Saturday!

Brady taking a test drive.  It was hard to let this one go.

Day 3 of the sale...almost done!

What was left...

 As a parent of a child with special needs, there are times that I feel alone and isolated.  There are times when I feel like no one else could possibly understand, and that often times people don't want to.  And while I try to stay very positive and thankful, I am far from perfect, and there are some times when I just get pissed off that Parker has cerebral palsy.  I forget to be grateful.

Not so this weekend.  We were not alone or isolated.  In fact, we were surrounded with love and the support of so many people, many of whom we didn't even know.  All of these people may not fully understand our life, but they were there to be a part of it and support our little man.  They were there to say, "Good luck," or "God bless", or "What can we do?"

And for that, and so many other reasons, today I am grateful...

Thank you.


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson