Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Things That Matter

The past year and a half has been rough for my family. For lots of families, I am sure, but also for mine. That's the less than fun thing about the internet, if you write something about yourself, you have to specify that you are only speaking to your own story. You have to let the world know that your experiences do not reflect on them. On the internet anecdotes become opinions and opinions become facts. All are fighting words, in this place where differences are meant to be debated and acceptance of those unlike ourselves are only celebrated in inspirational memes. For example:

Unless you are different from me. Then I'll yell at you.

The past year and a half has left me holding on with both hands. Put down the phone. Log off. Pay attention and HOLD ON TIGHT.

The past year and a half made me realize, when something REALLY matters, nothing else will.

It's easy to become enveloped in the things that don't matter here. Here in this quiet glow, where all keyboards are created equal. Here where our lives are laid out in black and white narratives, our filtered pictures calmly tell our stories. We stand up for injustice with strongly worded keystrokes,  and practice superhero diligence over crimes of semantics. We pass our days, sustaining our egos with like counts and validating our worth by refreshing our character.

Like Oscar speeches and open letters, none of it really matters. And so, when our eyes eventually grow heavy, because no amount of caffeine and blue glow can keep us up forever, we X out and log off. We sign out, plug our lives into the charger and we move on to tomorrow's theme. If it weren't for #TBTs and Timehops we'd almost forget what we thought we cared about.

So much of what we do here just really doesn't matter. It's filler. It's busiwork, sent home as proof that we are DOING. Proof that we are LIVING. Proof that we are Keeping Up With Someone. I'm not downplaying the importance of a good laugh. Laughter is the best. And I'm not ridiculing the importance of social relationships. Loving and sharing, both giving and receiving each, is the very stuff that makes life beautiful. These things can matter very much. I am a strong believer in finding truth in the world of make believe. It's just that when something else REALLY matters, nothing else will.

So, over the past year and a half, I've needed both hands. Because of my children. Our children are what make us strong, make us roar, makes us love and make us believe. Our children are who we hope for. Our children lead us to the knowledge of what matters, that decisive line between courage and serenity, the wisdom to know the difference. My children, quite simply, are my Why. In a world where we each have so much access to that which doesn't matter, the children lead us to that which does.

Once in a while, something here, in the virtual world where we crop thoughts like photos, really matters. Two years ago I became part of that. Donna. Donna matters. Because every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Every three minutes parents get news that force them to hold on with both hands and navigate a world that is unjust and cannot nor will not be forgotten. There is no Xing out. It forever matters. Donna forever matters. It can't stop mattering, because cancer doesn't stop. IT DOES NOT STOP. So even this once upon a time blogger, squints at captchas, resets her Blogger password and sits down in hope that someone is reminded.

Reminded that we still need you, YOU MATTER.    DONATE HERE.

Reminded of why this is important, CHILDREN MATTER.  ST BALDRICKS

Reminded of Donna. DONNA MATTERS.    DONNA'S STORY

If you've never read Donna's story, please, do it now. Take time for the things that matter. Be thankful to have them and grateful to know them. May the children guide us on the delicate journey of holding on tight and gracefully letting go.

To the things that matter.