So it’s me, Summer! I’ve been sitting here staring at the computer for a good five hours. I promised myself that I wouldn’t take a shower until I get this blog up. Well, I'm pretty darn greasy and I have to get to the post office to send out packages so I'm finally wearing myself down. I've answered emails, drank two cups of coffee, brought in the garbage cans, organized my daughter's school supplies, turned on a motivational tape and put a hat on, so I'm running out of distractions. I am so excited to get this message out, but I want it to be perfect and I actually want it to be a video, but I cry when I make videos and this girl has no time to cry today!
You see, I've come to terms with the fact that I'm allowed to hit my goals for Brave Gowns without being embarrassed or ashamed. When I usually hit goals, I get quite and overwhelmed. Too much goodness in the world is hard for me to bear. I feel it physically in my bones. It's paralyzing. Somewhere along the line, I learned to handle pain easier than it was to handle achievements. Because of this, I probably made some poor business choices, but you will never meet someone that listens to her gut like I do. The instant that something doesn't feel right to me, it's like I was sucker punched in the stomach and I run. It's saved me from a lot of poor decisions and anytime I tried to fight it, I regretted it with all my might, because my gut was always right.
For a year you would never have heard me talk about Brave Gowns out loud. I felt like it was something so much better than I and I wasn't worthy of being the source behind it. Then recently something just switched. I get emails, texts and calls from families every single darn day updating me on how their kids are doing. What the test results were, how the surgeries went, their MRI results, the actual images of their bone scans, etc...God picked me, because a Brave Gown isn't just a product, it is a gift of hope, a sign of someone out in the world saying, "we can't even imagine what you're going through, but we wanted to show you support from our family to yours." I was given the gift to bring Brave Gowns into the wold, because I lived it. I was in the hospital with my family at times when we thought my brother wasn't going to make it through the night. We lived through moments where we were told to say goodbye and then he lived for months and became cancer-free. We lived through multiple moments where we'd be sitting there laughing and then he'd go into cardiac and before you know it, I'd be thrown into a hall with doctors and nurses running past me and watching them revive my brother and then life would resume to be "normal" again. There is a smell that sticks with you that you never forget. Once in awhile it still hits me and I drop straight to my knees and remember how scary, yet wonderful life once was. So I do not just selling a product, I make sure that I am in contact with the families of every child that wears a Brave Gown. I know their names, the illnesses, the important dates coming up for them and their families phone numbers. I get texted when they get results and when they come back with wonderful news, we celebrate together. When scarier news comes, I provide any and all words of encouragement and offer prayers, because that is all I can be in that moment. Through their families I get a moment to be there again, with one more shot at a happy ending.
Next month, I have the opportunity to partner with an organization that is already in every children's hospital. They work closely with the child-life in the hospitals and has their own corporate and private sponsors that will be able to do what was always my end goal "PUT A BRAVE GOWN ON EVERY CHILD BATTLING AN ILLNESS!" I will still own and run Brave Gowns, but the Give-A-Gown program will be ran by them. I will still be able to "give gowns" but it will be through their "Give-A-Gown" program, so Happy Ditto would be a sponsor as well. Ironically, if we move forward together, the launch would be on Halloween. The exact date that my brother was diagnosed and the exact date where I painted his face as a zombie and triggered the thought of Brave Gowns! It's so amazing how the universe works and if you trust the process and have faith it works out exactly as it was meant to be. I can't wait to be able to sit down some day and tell the real story of Brave Gowns and all the miracles I've witnessed first hand!
With that said, I want to finish what I started and know that we finished what we set out to do! We are still 500 gowns short for St Jude. I know that we can hit this goal! I am asking that one last time you can give $36 to provide a gown for a child at St. Jude. That together we can hand this off knowing we hit our goals and that we started something that the next group is going to have huge shoes to fill and that we can say one more time, "Hey Mac, look what we did, Buddy. We did good, Kid! We did good!"
I am forever grateful for all of your support! This is just another chapter in Brave Gowns journey!