Today is the ten-year anniversary of my mom’s death. I think Dr. Phil calls it one of the 5 defining moments in your life, I think this was my number 1 moment. My mother was hit by a bus, yes I know it’s an expression that doesn’t really happen but in her case it did. She was 60 years old, celebrating my dad’s birthday with all of their dear friends and loving life when this happened not only to us but to 3 other families as well.
A decade later and I still miss her everyday, think about picking up the phone to give her a call. I wish she was here, to see the men her grandsons are becoming. Some days it feels like yesterday and others seem so much longer, since I received that fateful call in the middle of the night.
The tears stopped long ago but that void is always there. I think the magic and irony of loss is that with it comes growth. There isn’t a forest fire with out new fertile soil and a new forest, an earthquake without rebuilding, a death without a rebirth.
My mother’s death began my rebirth. I really do appreciate moments that before, went by unnoticed. I spend my time and try to use it as the gift that it is. I am driven to make a difference and feel she is propelling me to do so. My joy comes from my children and truly by helping others. This is my rebirth.
It began a year after my mother’s death when a friend asked me to come down to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. My friend John, was a hospital chaplain, for a hospital that had 300,000 patients come through its doors with only 2 chaplains, no one at night and no one on weekends. He asked for help from 10 of us and I knew it was something I had to do. In that hallway at CHLA almost 10 years ago we founded The Spiritual Care Guild, a non-profit that provides non-denominational chaplains at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Today, we have chaplains 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Founding Spiritual Care Guild was my rebirth. Seeing the thousands of families that have chaplains by their children’s bedside has brought purpose to my mother’s death and giving has brought more joy than receiving ever could.
I know each week I tell the stories of people who started these non-profits but what I haven’t shared with you is that their story is mine as well. I too am one of these people. This is not my pulpit but simply my voice. Giving, service and charity have healed me in unexpected and imaginable ways. I share this in hopes it might do the same for you or someone you love.
I still miss my mom but know that wherever she is, she’s smiling.
This is why Charity Matters so much to me.
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