In truth, I was going to tell you all about some wacky-ass Passover hijinks today. Judging from my inbox, another installment of Ask a Jew was in order, because it seemed people wanted confirmation that yes, we Jews are in fact obligated to drink four (4) cups of wine during the Passover Seder, and they wanted to know the reasons why I really can't eat any bread for a week, and they needed to learn the tune to the "Frogs are Jumping Everywhere" song. I was going to talk to you about all this and more, like the best commercial ever I HAVE EVER SEEN, and the contest I have going on on my other blog (okay, I actually do have to mention that...contractual obligations...) or my brand-new, patented Kristen Stewart impression. I had some quality stuff to talk about, people.
But my heart's not in it today.
Passover and Easter are supposed to be times of renewal and hope, but this year is, pardon the pun, different from all other years. I've spent the past week alternating between crying for the losses of others, and being incredibly appreciative of what I have. When reading the beautiful, heartrending posts about sweet Maddie over the past week, I tried, I really tried, to take something from the horrible tragedy, and note how--terrible though it is--Maddie's cause galvanized our little blog world. I saw such good in so many people, joining together and rallying to the aid of a family most of us have never met.
I am by nature an optimist, for the most part, and I'm almost annoyingly cheerful most days. "Find the good" is pretty much my motto, right after "cheese is always the answer."
My heart, however, was just crushed once again when I learned that my friend Shana lost her sweet baby boy, Thalon.
Just a few short months ago, I was writing a tribute to Shana of an entirely different tone. I can't fathom how we got here, and how now, instead of discussing our mutual karaoke love or our adventures traipsing through Chicago, I'm squinting through my tears to see my keyboard. To tell you all what a good, kind mom she is, what a hilarious and devoted friend she is, and just how much my heart is hurting for her right now.
My faith--not Judaism in general, but MY faith--is not something I think I've ever discussed here, but right now, I have to tell you with utmost honesty that it's a bit shaken. This hurts too much, it hits too close to home, and above all, I can't understand how anyone in charge of this world could allow these things to happen.
Once again, I have to find the good, because it's the only way I can keep myself in check. I check Maddie's March of Dimes page daily, and smile as I see the donations climb higher. I look at Sarah, setting up a PayPal account to help Shana with Thalon's medical expenses and hospital stay. I look at Heather, Maddie's mom, in the depths of her own grief, reaching out to comfort Shana. People are good.
And so, if you feel so led, please consider helping Shana (via the PayPal link in Sarah's post) and contributing to March of Dimes in remembrance of Maddie.
More importantly, though, I would like to ask you all to do a small favor, for which I will be forever indebted to you. It's in the realm of my little "find the good" mantra: If you can, take some time today, and do one nice thing with Maddie in mind, and one nice thing with Thalon in mind. It can be anything; as simple as throwing out a discarded newspaper in the street, or something more challenging; say, holding your temper in check when someone insults you.
Why am I asking you to do this? It's just that...well, I keep thinking about these sweet little babies ascending to heaven, and how very nice it would be for them both to be escorted by a metric ton of good deeds done selflessly, and solely in their honor. Regardless of our individual beliefs, I know that we all strive to do good, and I can't think of a better reason than this.
Can you do this for them?