Monday, June 8, 2009

It was about a year ago this time.......

That I was struck with the urge to do something big for Everett. It started small, but a seed had definitely been planted in my mind, to do something special, to commemorate Everett, and do something good and honorable in his name.

Our grief was just six months old, very new, very raw, very irrational (as it often is, but to a lesser degree), and I was grasping at straws, trying to control things I couldn't control, trying to master things I didn't understand. A part of me thought, back then, that I could control how deeply I hurt, or how badly I longed for my baby, by doing grand gestures, and helping others. I imagined that if I could do something incredible and admirable, in the name of our love for him, and raise awareness about his life and his battle, then I could offset the pain somehow, and I would feel proud, or validated, rather then crippled with grief and loneliness for my lost baby.

Sick Kids was an obvious choice. He was treated there, he died there, and they fought like mad to save him. They did everything possible to keep him with us, and though I never thought to search their faces for signs of pain when he died, I know they felt it, I know they felt defeated, and hurt, and sorry for us. Its an amazing hospital staffed with phenomenal people. Raising money in Everett's name, for them, felt like the most natural choice.

Don't ask me where the idea to host a gala came from, since making that choice I've lamented that no sane person makes their first fund raisng effort a gala! I should have started with a lemon-aid stand. But hindsight is 20/20, and one could argue whether or not I am actually sane, so there you have it, I chose a gala, and in my head it was magnificent.

I asked my good friend Allison to design me a logo, which she did, an incredible logo, which my other talented friend Marj turned into a stunning invite. Sophisticated, elegant, beautiful, the image in my head of my gala was captured perfectly by these designs. I envisioned dancing, elegant table served dinner, light hearted conversation, music, eduction (on heart defects and Sick Kids), and Everett. I'd introduce the room full of guests to my son, his life, his battle, and our loss. I'd have a captive audience of people to tell all about our experience with having an amazing pregnancy, a glorious delivery, two beautiful healthy twin boys and then the life shattering experience of losing one. The ladies in the room would stifle back tears, men would be effected but try not to show it, and I'd feel validated, because I had made X amount of people aware that I had twins, beautiful, healthy, fabulous identical twin boys, even though you can't tell by looking at us now. The emotion in the room would be high, but we'd shift the focus with music and conversation over dinner, and then the auctions and the raffles would begin. The tone set at the start of the event would have people feeling touched and emotionally connected to Sick Kids and all they do, and they'd want to help, donations would start rolling in. By the end of the night we'd be exhausted, both emotionally and physically, but we'd be proud, and we'd be excited to hand over a handsome donation in Everett's name. We'd be a success.

With this day dreamy image in mind, I planned our event. Slowly over the process of a year I made plans, selected the menu, ordered the centerpieces, arranged the music, ordered the tickets, started advertising, and waited for the requests to roll in.

For reasons unknown to us, this event was never meant to happen. Ticket sales just never took off like we hoped. And we had to make the decision to let it go. This is feeling painfully similar to our entire experience with Everett. It started off beautifully, with high hopes, and for reasons unknown to us, it just didn't work, and we had to make the difficult decision to end it, oh my, irony maybe?

Whatever it is, its done. The Everett Peca Gala for Brave Hearts will never be, though a lot of people were rooting for us, it never got off the ground. We're trying to resign ourselves to this, we're trying hard not to feel upset, or disappointed, or angry. We're instead trying to feel relieved. As we realized in the past several weeks, that things weren't going our way, we panicked wondering if we'd have to cancel, we dreaded having to make that choice, because in our heads and hearts it meant failing, it meant letting Everett down, and Sick Kids, and our few devoted cheerleaders and volunteers. Canceling felt like giving up, and we're so emotionally connected to this, that we couldn't see that giving up on an event wasn't the same as giving up on Everett, so we resisted, and pushed on. It weighed on us. It was an unseen pressure, a looming deadline, and an unavoidable future failure, it became something very different from what it started as. It made us hurt.

And now its over. We've been relieved of the pressure, and the deadline, and the fear, and the angst, and now, if we can resist wallowing in the hurt and the disappointment and the anger, then we should feel liberated, freed from our burdens. I know in my heart that Everett is un-bothered by all of this, and I know God knows we tried our hardest. I know that is "Okay" that this dream was never actualized, and I know there's a reason, I just don't know what. And I know, for future reference, that I don't have a career in fund raising.

Canceling our gala hurt, it was a loss and it stings like all loss does. It was the death of a dream, of a plan to do good in our sons name, and we're struggling with how it never came together, but we have such experience now in coping with loss, we'll handle it like pros.

Onward and upward right? On to new things, new plans, new hopes to make the world aware of Everett, and how precious and life altering he was. Maybe not such grandiose plans though, in future attempts, when we're ready, we'll keep it very, very simple. My heart can't take another failure, or another dream not attained, I don't know if I have the strength to put myself or Elvis through something like this again.

"There's nothing I can say, there's nothing I can do now.........."


1 comment:

  1. I am sorry katie. No words I can say will make it any better, but please know there are so many of us that have and will continue to keep your entire family in our thoughts and well wishes.
    I truly am sorry that things did not come to be.