Saturday, August 23, 2014

If At First You Don't Succeed, Ice, Ice Again!

As usual, my crew did it differently.  :)  It was not the plan to be different, but we seem to love living in the Land of Doing It Our Way... so we did.

Take 1 is what I thought would be the entire deal.  Click below to see my FIRST Ice Bucket Challenge.


Okay.... so, you'll notice you didn't actual SEE the water hit my head.

Yeah, I know.

We did catch THIS clip at the end, though.


That, however, is CLEARLY not enough.

I mean, I could have just stepped out of the shower, changed clothes, and posed with the laughing/shocked look outside so as to make you THINK I did the challenge.  I mean, it could happen.  Right? :)

My hair is wet, though!  See?

So, my son Drake decided it was time to do HIS challenge.


He did his challenge in memory of our family friend, Joe Smith, who battled ALS so bravely in his time here on earth, and in honor of our precious friend and his beautiful bride, Martha Smith.

We love you, Ms. Martha, and will be donating to Team Gleason ( to put the freeze on ALS forever!  I've researched this group because of a friend's participation with them.  They are SERIOUS about taking ALS down (and they do not participate in embryonic stem cell research- that's a big deal for us).
If you don't have a favorite ALS group, yet, friends, take a look at what they are doing.

So, back to my alleged UNFINISHED challenge....  I'm not a quitter.

Here ya go... the final ice bucket challenge for me.


AND Drake did ONE MORE CHALLENGE, but it contains a surprise announcement in it for OCTOBER.  SO, you need to stay tuned! (How to do that?  Subscribe to this blog - look to the right and enter your email to follow.  We'll post his brother's video AND the announcement here soon!)

Okay, so our challenges are done... and we'll leave you with this.

People who have health challenges and disabilities deal with them daily.  It's not a one day focus.  It's not something that trends in their life like it does on Twitter or pops here and there as a minor inconvenience.  It's real... and it's ever-present.

So in addition to the awareness (which is like AIR for them- trust me, I know), I challenge you to lift them up in prayer.  Lift them up to the healing healing power of God Almighty and ask Him to take us toward a cure as He walks with them through ALS.

Other things to do?

Support caretakers with tangible reaching out... do the yard, bring their trash from the curb, take dinner, do the laundry... just LOVE them in ways that they can see and feel.  It matters, friends.  It really, really does.

Pick up the phone.  Call them.  Send a note of encouragement in the mail.  Just remember them.

Most of all?  Let them talk about it.  The need to be seen is very real.  It's like oxygen. Sometimes people just need to know that they are seen, remembered, and loved... that they matter beyond the scope of the disease that has overwhelmed their hearts and lives.

So, to the ALS community, we SEE you.  We love you.  We remember... today and every day.

PS.  Meet our dog Cocoa.  She's a sweet dog.  Quite the joiner.  This is the last attempt at an Ice Bucket Challenge.

And for you animal lovers out there, don't worry... I totally intervened.

Cocoa will just be writing a check. :)

WHO DO WE CHALLENGE?  We challenge the DYSLEXIA community to step out and join this fight.

Dyslexia friends?  We choose the friends and fans of Roundtable Solutions and Decoding Dyslexia Alabama.

You're up, guys and gals! , 2014 
Twitter: @ChristieAitken 
Google+: +Christie Aitken 

Monday, August 11, 2014

The People Left Behind... How Do We Love Them Best?

Robin Williams‬ passed away today.
Everyone gets really quiet someone commits suicide. It's the unspoken thing that is usually only discussed in whispered conversations... or glossed over so that we don't have to say the "s" word.
It's so hard to have the uncomfortable conversations. We want to be polite. We're even a little scared. We have absolutely NO idea what to say... but we desperately want to be there and to love the folks left behind.
I feel very uniquely fitted to speak into this conversation, though, so I'm going to. Because as someone who has seen this played out, I know it's imperative that someone speak beyond the headlines.
Pray for the folks that loved him. Sure, his fans loved him, but pray for the folks that REALLY knew him and loved him.
Those family members and close friends wish they had known the level of his despair. They wish they could have saved him from the dis-ease that robbed him of the very happiness that he gave to so many. They wish they could make today different. And in the middle of the wishes and the tears, they know that they were powerless beyond the prayers they prayed on his behalf... this battle was not theirs to fight.
They'll read the headlines. Please remember that.
They'll hear the whispers. They are mourning... not oblivious.
They know...
They know...
They know...
They need love and time to remember him fondly. They don't want to talk about "what happened." Know why? It's already done and it can't be undone.
It will be like oxygen to them to talk about the good times when depression did not rob him of his joy. They want to talk about everything that was great... and sometimes they won't want to talk at all.
Every now and then they will want to be mad... and they'll need someone who gets the "mad."
Every now and then they'll need to just cry... and they'll need someone to cry with them... or maybe NOT cry with them and just be there.
They won't know everything they need all at once, but they will immediately begin walking through the very hardest year of their lives. Everything is a first. Everything hurts.
So, while we mourn that depression ravaged another soul and took another life, remember them and send a prayer their way without staring at the "what happened."
Every family who has every walked this path mourns with them. Our families know that while the sun rises again, and eventually you discover that joy still does come in the morning, it takes a minute.
Our families know that the only salve for this kind of pain is ‪#‎Jesus‬. God be with the Williams family tonight.
I hope that everyone who loved the work of Robin Williams will find their favorite clip and post them like crazy. Joy comes in the morning, we know, and we also know that Robin Williams carried a lot of it on his journey and freely shared it with the world.
And I usually don't say, "I hope you'll share this", but just this once, I hope that you do. There are some hearts out there that need this one. , 2014 
Twitter: @ChristieAitken 
Google+: +Christie Aitken