Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"I Can't Do Nothing"

A couple of months ago, I wrote about 7-8 blog posts, all around the same subject, that I couldn't get 'right' so I never posted.

Well, it's time.

Since I'm being told that this is apparently something some believe to be a "sentiment among other people", I'm going to tell you exactly what your 'sentiment' does to my heart.

I posted my original blog 2015 Race Announcement and was pretty clear on the why's of me making a decision to do a virtual race. (go ahead, read it so we're on the same page here!!)  I was pretty clear on the fact that this was a healthy decision for me and my family and that I was at total peace with not doing a big event because it's not WISE for me to do so at this point in my life. (you know, minor things like having our 7th CHILD on the way, a BRAIN ANEURYSM, Chronic pain, high blood pressure, homeschooling... ETC!!)  But, I still need to make an income that will support what we do for ministry throughout the year if I am to keep our 501c3 going.

I THOUGHT that people would think that was good.  I THOUGHT people would support that I was making a HEALTHY and GOD LED decision to do less - a decision that MY family was wanting for a long time.

And silly me, I actually THOUGHT that the participants I know at Rachel's Races actually came there because they wanted to support Rachel's Mama at remembering Rachel and doing things in HER memory.

I knew this event was not going to bring the strangers who usually come to run just because they want a road race.  But I believed that my long term supporters would support me in the ways I was changing things in order to be a better wife and mom to my living family and because of the ways in which Rachel has impacted their lives.  And in fact, when I posted it, I had DOZENS of comments on Facebook saying just that.

And I am not sure if I'm truly angry or not - but I guess I feel like if I step out of my being mad, I might start crying and never stop because what I am finding is more of the same - EVEN these people... even the regulars at Rachel's Races that I thought really loved me and her and were there to support US - were really only there for themselves because they like an event that makes them feel important and where they can attend a ceremony for their baby.  And these are not things I'm coming up with in my head, I have now been told this by 4 different people who are all people I have always seen in my mind and heart as "Rachel's Team" - and for as many times as I have said that some people only stuck around here long enough to get what THEY wanted or needed from Rachel, these people were not people I expected to do this and honestly, I'm OVERWHELMED with discouragement because of it.

I can handle people I don't know, or people who haven't felt like my "constants", not supporting me if they don't like what I've chosen to do because they'd rather do something else.  But this is too much for this mama's heart.

I have had a very small amount of people singing up for our virtual race - 17 to be exact.  I had around 50 shirts sold through the shirt fundraiser, but some of them came from the same person, meaning some people bought 4-7 shirts, so the number of actual people was not 50. (small in comparison to the number of people who claim Rachel changed their lives)

I wasn't worried about any of this as far as money goes because I don't have as much overhead as I do with the big event we usually do and we have money in the nonprofit bank account, so I was just figuring anything was better than nothing.  And virtual races are really successful online so I tried even sharing it on virtual runners facebook pages.

Normally, by this point I have over 100 people signed up. And last year by this point, I had 25 virtual runners registered.  But I also usually by now have $4000 in overhead.  So I know that, even with spending entirely way too much on the baby ceremony this year (which all of these people ARE signed up for by the way) I will still come out ahead.  If I get a few more of the corporate sponsorships I requested, I can make enough to run our basics throughout the year and be okay nonprofit wise.  So it's not really a matter of what I make on this.  It's not really a matter of being in trouble if I don't have the same number of people....

But did anyone stop to consider that maybe, just maybe, the race I do in August isn't about what they like?  Did anyone really think that by throwing on a t-shirt and walking a loop through Dover that you are a huge part in the race?  Because not to sound mean, but you aren't.  The race takes a full time amount of work for MONTHS leading up to it.

I've been told that my reason for doing this as a virtual event comes across as "I don't have it in me to do a race, but can't stand the thought of doing nothing."

Well SO FREAKING WHAT if that was the reason I do this?!  Because I can't stand the thought of doing nothing??  Who would fault me for that?  Only someone who is judgmental because they never put their full term child in a box in the ground.  But besides that, that's NOT why I chose to do this because quite honestly, I DON'T WANT TO.  And with the exception of being judged and abandoned by people I considered close friends, I and my family are *relieved* that I am no longer in a place in my grief where I "can't stand to do nothing" and even more relieved that I'm not putting on a big event this year because I do all the pre-race day work ALONE and it takes way too much away from my living family and a serious toll on my health.

But HOW DARE YOU talk about my efforts to do things for other people in Rachel's memory as if they are some pathetic attempt at doing something because I'm too unhealthy do 'do nothing'.  How dare you.  Just for the record, I'M STILL DOING all of the same pre-race fundraising I always do and alone, as usual! - but you aren't aware of that because you apparently think race day actually brings in any money!  Last year, it cost $5,000 to put on race day.  That day, we brought in $3,800 - do the math - Race day isn't where the fundraising comes from and it certainly isn't where profit comes from - which means it isn't where ministry comes from and MINISTRY is my mission with Rachel's life and death.  We've all gotten so used to using the words "Baby Rachel's Legacy" as an organization that we forget that Rachel was a living person who I am leaving a legacy for and if one more person throws that name around like it is a place that sells burgers, I'm going to snap.  It's my dead child's memory people.  It's not a business and when you say you won't support it, you are saying you don't support HER and me in the ministry I do for her legacy.

This year, there is nothing I want more than to do nothing.  But guess what?  I don't get that luxury as the only one who keeps this all going.  If I want to continue to do things for others, I have to do footwork and I picked a way to do it that would still bring in money, but not short my family.  And I'm not allowed that privilege without being put down?  Without my motives being considered wrong?  Or without you deciding you'd rather do something else because you like an actual event to go to?  Because you want a 'community feel" - well here is a newsflash for you - a community feel comes from PEOPLE coming together and working for the same cause.  And that is still possible with the way I've set this up if you put what you like aside and remember what Rachel's Legacy is about - which is Rachel Alice Aube - not what you prefer an event to feel like... And if you are willing to help without being seen or feeling important.

A few months before this all came up yesterday, I was told by one of my biggest race helpers that she wasn't going to be involved this year because she wanted to do something that was on HER heart for Rachel, which meant donating somewhere else in her memory.  I asked her not to do that and she told me to never contact her again and threw in there that she would NEVER donate in Rachel's memory again and never visit her grave again (huh?  yeah cause that applies here... thanks for going out of your way to be hurtful, it worked) and now has turned it into I'm not appreciative of HER attempt to do something for Rachel.  I can't freaking win.  Somehow the other person always becomes the victim.  Rachel is my dead baby.  Have we forgotten that?  Is YOUR heart more important than mine where Rachel is concerned?  YOUR desires more important than mine in her memory??  Well, silly me, I didn't realize that all of these years, these people I thought were on "Team Rachel" were only there because they were getting their needs met and now that they aren't, they are not willing to be there for me....

I have hundreds of people who have told me how much Rachel impacted them - in their own losses, in their relationship with God - in how they view their own living children.  Just for the record, that wasn't Rachel.  You have been affected by me, my honesty, my vulnerability and MY willingness to put YOU first in so many ways. And this has not been easy for me.  It has caused me even more pain and more frustration and more tears in so many ways. And the first time you prefer I do something different, you ditch me?   Shame on you.

I'm coming up on the hardest anniversary of my life.  The day I found out my baby had no head and would die, but not after feeling her kick and delivering her and leaving the hospital after giving birth without a baby because she was already at a funeral home towns away and planning a funeral while I slept with her empty blanket.  I STILL sleep with her empty blanket.  This is STILL my reality.

And the weekend of her anniversary, I will be hosting a baby ceremony that I just spent half of our proceeds so far from this virtual event on (that others are supporting so YOU can have YOUR babies remembered) - for other mom's hearts - not mine.  Not for Rachel.  For others.  And people have no problem participating in that.  I'm struggling to not be offended that I can do as much for YOUR babies as possible while you show up for MINE when you LIKE it.  Guess what?  I haven't always liked making Rachel's anniversaries about YOUR babies.  But it's always been my heart to comfort others with what I have experienced, even when you still have no idea what I have been through, but somehow think you do.  I'm so upset that I wanted to cancel the entire thing - but I went to do it and I looked at the list of names and I know and love each of the babies and you, their Mamas - and I couldn't do it - I couldn't cancel it.  I couldn't not do something for YOUR babies, even when I feel like I'm being totally used for your own needs and mine don't matter to you.  Because I care more about your heart than you apparently care about mine.  So you are right, my supposed friend, "I can't stand the thought of doing nothing".  But it has NOTHING to do with what *I* want or need, because this isn't for ME - it's for YOU.  And you'll show up for that.

I'm just completely baffled, utterly disappointed, deeply grieved and overwhelmingly disgusted at what has been revealed in this event.  But I trust that God wanted me to see it because He led me to do it this way and so now I need to figure out what - besides cry - I'm supposed to do with the information.

I know one thing, God continues to show me that my true friends list is smaller than I've been led to believe and I'm glad about that.  Because I'd rather be alone then surrounded by false friends like this.  I haven't asked anyone who is physically unable, financially unable, mentally unable to do ANYTHING they are UNABLE to do.  Lest my words be twisted yet again, I want nothing from anyone that they can't give with a cheerful heart because THEY WANT TO AND ARE ABLE.  This isn't a post for the purpose of making people who want to support me, but can't, feel guilty.  This isn't a post to convince people to register for the virtual race because at this point, I don't care about the race at all.

This is simply a post to share with the people who have walked out on me that what you have turned into something you do because YOU like to actually affects my heart and in a very real and serious way.  This isn't about you and if you've made it about you, I don't want you in Rachel's Legacy anyway because her life and death is not about YOU.  I'm horrified to watch people make any of this about them.

This is about my daughter.  Rachel Alice Aube.  So you can save your pity parties and guilt trips on me because this isn't about you and if you've made it about you, just do us both a favor and quietly disappear on me like most everyone else.  Don't do me any favors by sticking around with a foot in and a foot out so you can get more of YOUR needs met through my baby.  Just go.

One thing I'm thankful for is that Rachel has no idea about any of this.

1 comment:

  1. This is a tough one Stacy!
    In your corner today, tomorrow & always!


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Thank you! ♥ The Aubes