“How are you?” friends and acquaintances ask and I pause, take a deep breath and then say, “Good. I’m good.”
You see, I have to pause. I have to take a deep breath because this has been a year of loss. Our 13 year old dog died in January. My 64 year old sister died in September. My 90 year old father moved into a nursing home where he could be safe as his mind becomes increasingly untethered from reality. I feel a bit raw on the inside. But during that pause and deep breath, I think, “I have a roof over my head, a comfy bed to sleep in, food in my fridge, my daughter and I are healthy. There is no war outside my door. No wildfires have savaged everything I own.” In that breath, I remember each small thing, which allows me to say, “Good. I am good” and mean it.
But here’s the thing. Some people aren’t doing so well. Some people don’t have roofs or food or healthy bodies. Some people have suffered much more loss than I have.
In Bastrop, the library had a devastating loss of books. When the wildfire devastated the hundreds of homes, all the books that were checked out were lost as well. The Austin Society of the Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators(ASCBWI) is raising money and books to fill the children’s and teen section of the Library with books. If you would like to help restore the library’s shelves, you can donate here.
In Austin, a University of Texas professor Carla Petievich started the Hoshyar Foundation to raise and distribute funds in support of human empowerment through female education. Just by watching this amazing video, you will trigger a $1 donation and you might be inspired to give more to this project.
Before she died, my sister Libby taught me this very important thing: Being alive is the opportunity to touch another’s spirit. Giving is one way to do that.
I will be taking a week off from blogging in honor of this holiday. My love to you and all you love. See you on November 29.