I was watching the season finale of The Middle the other day. In the show, one of the characters is upset because she is graduating from high school and through a variety of incidents, she’s feeling like she has no legacy. It’s got a happy ending where she recovers her lost yearbook in which all the pages are filled with messages from her classmates about how they noticed her and how she had impacted their lives. That got me thinking…..
We all have big dreams. I didn’t start on this journey with the intent to start a non-profit, and I definitely am not trying to become some grandiose organization that is known world-wide and has trillions of $ to spend – in fact, that terrifies me because when one gets too big, they lose sight of the reasons they started. When it becomes more about the business of things than the serving those very people you set out to help, things have gone totally wrong. I don’t know where that balance is, and we’re not near the point where I have to worry about it just yet, but it’s there looming in the back of my mind.
Then I start to think about the legacy of Tangerine Owl Project. What is it that I am going to leave behind with this organization? Sometimes its hard to seem like the “downer” because I make it a point to discuss things that aren’t bright and cheery. I am an advocate for lots of things associated with pregnancy that bring up how things can and do go terribly wrong. I wonder if people look at me and all they think is oh, there’s the woman who lost her baby. People have told me I’m inspiring and it’s really hard to take that compliment, not because its wrong, but because sharing my story is sharing Delilah’s story, and people should know how inspiring to ME she is. BUT she is not more deserving of recognition than that any other life lost too soon, any other parents fighting their way through life without their children. So many of us share in sadness, and many are creating their own legacy in their own way. So what is it I want from the Tangerine Owl Project?
I want to show my children that being there for people in times of uncertainty, despair, and all hell breaking loose is just as important as being there for their brighter counterparts.
I want to break barriers to discussion of “taboo” topics on a larger scale. I want people OUTSIDE of those experiencing it to allow those subjects in, even though it may be uncomfortable.
I want women who are watching their lives fall apart around them to feel empowered and ABLE enough to get the help they need, not stifle their rawness and their reality because of idiotic words from people who simply aim to dismiss them. I want these women and the ones who love them to understand they’re not “being emotional” or “just depressed” with the situations at hand, like its something they can just snap out of.
I want honest compassion to be the norm instead of the exception when dealing with NICU or bereaved parents, across the board, from every care provider out there.
I want to provide a moment of true peace within chaos for these families, and I want them to feel supported instead of isolated.
I want a lot of things.
Most importantly I want to build a community of others who will promote and encourage all the above, because you’ve got to start somewhere if you’re going to make your mark on the world.