|The Benefit Weekend||Jun 5, ’08 6:35 PM
So, the kids and I headed up to Atlanta on Thursday night. Our flight was at 8am, so we decided to stay in a hotel overnight so we would not have to get up at O’early o’clock. It should have occurred to me that the hotel CLOSEST to the airport would NOT be the best hotel, but I digress… This night was when Stacey’s Mom called me, and the tone of that call, losing a contact inside my eye, and forgetting to take my sleep meds all combined for about 2-3 hours of sleep. I also woke up with Carsten’s foot in my ear. Good times.
The next morning we left for the airport, parked about 18 miles away and then proceeded to drag all 11 tons of luggage inside. Carsten had her own suitcase, WITH WHEELS, that she kept tipping over and dragging on the front side, then shrieking in horror when she realized what she was doing. Fantastic. We got inside, the line was INSANE, but we didn’t wait in it long because within a few mins they started yelling for peeps from our flight to move to the head of the line. But then we had to deal with getting through security, and that was JUST as much fun as the sprint from the parking lot. After security, we ran to the tram, then ran to our gate… we arrived there to an announcement calling our names, and that our flight was closing in two minutes. YIKES. By the time we sat down on the plane I was SHAKING. I was SO tired, but no time for rest because…….
Then Carsten talked for three hours straight on the airplane. FUN! Weeeeeeee! And a Spanish teacher with a THICK spanish accent sat next to us and entertained herself by teaching Carsten spanish words, so beyond just the NORMAL conversations that I have with her…. I also had to help her remember how to say Dog, and Mother and tree in Spanish. GAAAAAH!!
We got to MN, got our rental car, then followed Yoda the GPS to the hotel. We got there and we were checking in when Kristi walked in. We went up to the rooms so B and Carsten could see each other, and to eat lunch. Michelle’s flight was late, so I ended up going to the airport to sit with Michelle and wait for Potsy to land. By now I was feeling like H-E-L-L, it was late afternoon and I had been up since 5am. I don’t recommend that. We went back to the hotel, my sister picked up Cody and then we had just a few mins before leaving for the dance recital.
It was on the drive to the recital that I decided I wanted to kill Yoda dead. Yoda was my GPS voice, he lost that privilege in MN because he telling me “RIGHT YOU MUST GO!” when we were near a spot where the road would divide. But what he REALLY meant was STAY right, not GO right. Seriously Internets… he got us so turned around a few times he was frantically screaming, “RIGHT you must, RIGHT you must!!!! RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!” At least that is what it sounded like to me. Thank HEYZEUS for Michelle and her iphone! Hello Mapquest GOOOOD-BYE Yoda! hahaha. No, as soon as I got a chance I changed from Yoda to Richard the American, and then we didn’t get lost ever again!
Saturday morning we all were up early to go to the hospital. It was so good to see Stacey again, and to be able to tell her how many friends I had brought with to the hospital. But, GAH, was it was SO hard. Stac looked so weak and tired, and a lot of her spunk was gone…. you would just see occasional glimmers of spunk. It was so great to see so many people show up there on such short notice too… so thanks ladies (and Ben)! I REALLY appreciate what wonderful friends to Stacey you all are!
After the hospital visit we went back to the hotel to get my stuff together (t-shirt stuff, cameras and whatnot) and to put on our FTC shirts! Then it was off to the benefit. By the time I got there my sister Cara had already set up the t-shirt table AND had already sold a bunch of shirts. Thank you Cara!
I had to make sure I pulled out shirts for everyone that ordered one, (special thanks to Diane for helping my scatter brain get all of that straight). Before long my sisters, niece and parents arrived. It was fun to get to introduce my family to my friends. Though I think I did miss introducing some people to other people, sorry about that!
There were a lot of people there that I knew, or that knew who I was (and I was figuring out how the eff they knew me… hahaha). I tried to help Taisa (Stac’s friend) and Trish (Stac’s SIL) out as much as I could, and it just seemed like I was doing stuff non-stop the whole time. I wished I had more time to take pictures, or to sit down and chat with people.
Taisa put together a GREAT slideshow of Stacey with pictures from when she was a little girl… it included some pics of Stac’s belly when she was pregnant with Henry and also some pictures of Henry. I completely lost it when they played it. They also played our quilt movie, and I looked around when it was playing and there were people that I didn’t even know, that didn’t know any of us Internets, and THEY were crying. It was incredible touching.
There were SO many people there are certain points. We even had to move the location of our shirt selling table to make room for people to sit down to eat! I was SO overwhelmed at the amount of people that attended AND the amount of awesome stuff they had donated for the auction.
(ps. That is Stacey’s brother in the yellow shirt.)
There was a spaghetti dinner too, and it was really yummy. At least I THINK it was…. I only spent about 5 minutes eating and practically inhaled it. There was music playing, face painting, a table where kids could color and a guy doing caricature drawings. Later on Troy (Kirk’s brother) played some songs acoustically… and he was REALLY good!
The whole day ran so smoothly, you would have thought that the people organizing the benefit had done it many times before…. when in fact none of them had done it EVER. There was no lull in activity, even the kids stayed occupied for all six hours.
Besides the silent auction there was also raffle tickets you could buy to drop in buckets in front of some prizes, like a tv, a wii and a wii fit!
My friend John and his family drove an hour to come to the benefit, even though he was never friends with Stacey. Troy told me that there were lots of people that wandered in and said that they didn’t even know ANYONE there, but that they saw the flyer for the benefit and were touched by Stacey’s story and wanted to leave a donation.
(My friend John’s daughters)
I kept glancing around the room and almost breaking into tears… it was just so incredible to witness so MANY people there for Stacey. It was inspirational, touching, and so heartwarming.
Stacey’s Mom was in attendance for the first part of the benefit and then she left and went to the hospital to relieve K so he could come to the benefit. Here Is Peggy, in the black and white…. doesn’t she look SO much like Stac????
When K got to the benefit he went up in front and spoke on the microphone. He thanked everyone for coming, and talked a little about what the last few months have been like for him. It was incredibly difficult for me to maintain composure during his speech, I admire this man SO MUCH. He is the most wonderful husband, father and friend that anyone could ever hope for, and watching the way that he has taken care of Stacey these past months…. gah, it gets me 98 different kinds of emotional. His speech was wonderful, and informative and spoken from the heart.
After K got done talking Noah and Gabe decided to talk in the microphone too. This time I did lose it, when I heard Noah’s little voice saying, “Thank you everyone for coming here for my Momma!” GAAAAH! Little Gabers kept trying to be like his dad and brother, but he was a little too short to reach the microphone and you could only hear him faintly. I tried to get some pics of the boys…. but they were NON-STOP movement the entire time they were there! But here are a few of Gabers, with his face painted and feeding Katie’s wee baby.
The preliminary estimate for how much was made at the benefit is around $20,000 to $21,000 dollars! Isn’t that IMPRESSIVE?!?! Troy and Trish had HOPED that the benefit would make around $10,000 profit, so to make twice that??? I just don’t have words! Well, I have had LOTS of words about the benefit, but for the generosity of the people I call my friends AND for the people I don’t even know, all I can think to say is Thank-you.
Thank-you, thank-you, THANK! YOU!!