We have decided that I'm in no condition and have not nearly enough time to put on another large scale event. Even though I always have enough help that day, leading up to race day, I spend at least 30+ hours a week working on race things, and I do most of it alone. Last year, my health went down hill fast the very week following the race and I spent months in a downward spiral and I do believe that was, in part, due to what the whole thing takes out of me.
I have all these little people counting on me who need me more than anyone I might help through Rachel's Legacy, so I am putting my priorities in order and praying and trusting that God will bless that. Unlike 2013 when I decided to not do a race because I was pregnant with Ezra, this decision has not been as hard on my heart. That year, it was excruciating to say no. I felt like I was failing... and although I knew that I was actually saying "yes" to God, and eventually saw that there would have been no way I could have done it physically, I struggled a LOT with it hurting in my heart. I missed it so much.
This year, I feel really at peace with not doing a race - and since at this point, I would have already spent MONTHS preparing and have MONTHS left to go - I'm also really thankful because I'm so busy I can barely keep up as it is! Not to mention, I now have another little one I'm carrying and this pregnancy is not going well. (prayers appreciated)
The issue lies in that the race is the sole provider of the money we use to run Baby Rachel's Legacy all year long. The first few years, we donated over $9,000 in PROFIT to the organizations we supported. Last year, I didn't do any pre-race solicitations as I waited for our 501(c)3 to go through and so our profit was I believe under $4,000. It's still excellent for one day, but the day costs over $4,000 to put on - so while we actually took in over $8,000, a lot was spent on the event. All that to say, I have been trying to come up with a way to raise money for the non profit that doesn't have as much overhead and doesn't require so much out of me and take so much from my living children.
What I have decided to do is a "Virtual Walk/Run/Dance". This will be something you do from where you are, any time within the first week of August to memorialize August 4, the day we got Rachel's diagnosis. You can run or walk any distance you choose - with your friends or alone - on a treadmill or with your kids to the park - or you can follow your own route, use our certified route (shown on our website at BabyRachelsLegacy.org) - count it in another race you are running that week - or if that isn't your thing, you can DANCE... or if you can't physically do that, do something, anything (swim, spend time with someone who needs help, make something for someone...??) for 43 minutes and remember her with us. I do not have the registration site open yet, but will soon and will post when I do.
I also hope to still set up a baby remembrance ceremony where the local baby loss mamas and I can get together and remember our babies together. I have absolutely no idea what that will be yet, but my mind is working on a vision for it and will probably make an event page where I can coordinate that. It's really important to me that I can still support other moms that walk this hard journey. That's my heart... now to find the energy!! If you are local to me and this is of interest to you, please email or message me and let me know if Aug 1 or 8 would be better for you!! It will probably be 1-2 hours total... maybe including some ice cream together! (pregnancy talking, I think! lol) But more details on that coming soon too.
For now, I have set up an online shirt fundraiser with this year's logo on it. The shirts are green for the color of Anencephaly Awareness and the logo reminds us how Rachel taught us how to dance in the hard times, rather just waiting for the storm to pass. I also read the verses in Ecclesiastes 3 that say:
(True story: I didn't highlight that above... I went to preview it and it was highlighted!! Godwink!)
And I feel like my time of weeping and mourning have finally ended... I finally don't hurt every single day. I never thought that would happen, but it has. It took YEARS longer than I was told it would or expected myself, so my encouragement to anyone still in the trenches is allow yourself to be there while you are. It's ok. One day, it will start to shift, believe it or not. But it's OK to be in the weeping and mourning times. It's healthy to feel your way through it.
I do believe my time to laugh and dance is now. And I know I do it with Rachel just as much with me as before. It's got nothing to do with moving on without her or "moving past this". And it doesn't mean I'm done crying over all I miss with her. Just this morning, I found her pregnancy announcement and cried... what a long, hard journey it's been.... but grief has become more a part of who I am and not so much a piece of what I do, if that makes sense.....
I chose to do the shirts this way because the online company handles all the sizes and shipping and that SERIOUSLY simplifies my life. I won't make much off each shirt this way - but the more we sell, the more profit we make per shirt and we have to sell a certain number of shirts in order for them to even print. If we don't reach their requirement, they will refund everyone's money and not print so there is no risk in buying before you know if we reach the goal. They will ship directly to you within 2 weeks of the campaign closing so you will receive them in plenty of time to wear them for the event!
After the event, I would love for everyone to post their pictures on our Baby Rachel's Legacy Facebook page and say what they did to remember Rachel with us, bring awareness to Anencephaly, and support Rachel's Legacy. It would be so awesome to also see everyone sporting their "Team Rachel" shirts with her little prints on them, as I truly couldn't do any of this without her amazing "Team" of supporters... YOU!!!
Here is where you can purchase your shirts... event registration info coming soon!
click here for Rachel's Virtual Race Shirts!!
Here is what our logo looks like! I absolutely love it! It was created by LNG Digital Design who you can find also on Facebook! Please order one today! We only have 29 days left for this campaign!
Also, financial donations are tax deductible and can be made using our Paypal button on the side of the blog or by check to:
Baby Rachel's Legacy
PO BOX 454
Rochester, NH 03866-0454