It's a little peculiar when I start to think about how much time my husband and I spend going to fundraisers. Tonight's event at Bourbon Street was for the husband and children of a co-worker who just lost their beautiful 40-year old wife and mother to cancer. As pictures flashed across a giant screen showing the woman aging from smiling little girl to blushing bride to doting mother, I realized how fleeting life can be. So we go to fundraisers to help the grieving and perhaps in some way try to ward off similar tragedy by buying raffle tickets and participating in silent auctions. Not exactly full-proof, but the Irish are a superstitious lot.
As the games closed down, Daniel gave me a tangled glob of tickets and told me to pick the prize I wanted to win. Naturally, I dropped them all in the White Sox raffle bucket. And wouldn't you know who won 4 tickets with parking to a Sox game? Captain Tenacity struck again. He quickly walked over to us, handed us the prize, and ran back to the raffle area to make sure he didn't win anything else. I love the eternal optimism of 7-year olds.
The theory of pay it forward came into play tonight when I noticed that one of the raffle baskets was an Indianapolis Colts gift. Last summer, Jack ran his head right into the corner of a hutch and started to gush blood that shot 3 feet across the room. In a panic (and fairly convinced his brains were coming out), I called an ambulance. I hadn't thought of who was going to go with Jack or watch my kids (Joe was at the firehouse), but my wonderful neighbor rushed over to help without question.
I threw a screaming Joey at her (not noticing her arm cast) and left a bloody rag, two distraught boys, and a sinkful of dishes in my wake. When I returned, the house was immaculate, the kids were calm, and the rag had been discarded. Her husband is a huge Indianapolis Colts fan, so when I saw the Colts basket, I figured I'd have to drop an entry ticket in for them. Of course I dropped most of my other tickets into the bucket for a spa treatment, but I didn't win that one. So I will be delivering the Colts basket tomorrow. As a permanent resident of my superstitious and God-fearing community, I figure this will buy me at least 2 more years without another ambulance ride.
Unless of course I'm in trouble for putting too many tickets into the spa basket.
So tonight I will hug my children in their sleep and pray for that grieving family. I will also pray for enough time in this world for my own children to know me and learn the importance of fundraisers. It's what we do here in Beverly. It's who we are.