Monday, June 1, 2015

Celebrating 10 Days that Changed the World With Love

It's June 1, and what would be Gabriel's 4th birthday is fast approaching.  This year is different than any other.  This year my life and my heart and my arms are so full that I long to share the joy I've found.  Again, I'll be doing 10 days of activities that honor my sweet Gabriel's life, and I invite you to participate in these personal and community events, to share the color that can come from gay skies, and the brightness that can come from even the darkest of times.

1.     Day 1, Wednesday June 10, 2015:  Happy 4th Birthday Gabriel!  In honor of Gabriel’s birthday, do something to spread awareness of anencephaly. Check out the website for stories about babies born with anencephaly, or look into the lives of some of the exceptional cases of anencephaly in which the children have or are currently thriving and have/did for years, such as Pierce, Vitoria de Cristo, Nicholas, Katie, Angela, or Elijah. 

2.       Day 2, Thursday June 11, 2015:  Cupcake Day!  As has become an annual tradition with friends and family, enjoy a cupcake today as we celebrate Gabriel having beaten the odds when he lived to see 24 hours on earth.

3.       Day 3, Friday June 12, 2015:  Four Year Old Fun.  In honor of what would have been Gabriel’s 4th birthday, look into donating toys or other much needed items for a local preschool or Head Start Program.

4.       Day 4, Saturday June 13, 2015:  Blazing Trails.  Over the next few days I will be selling tickets for the Bakersfield Blaze game on Saturday June 13, 2015 at 7:45 pm against Modesto.  Tickets are $8, and 50% of the sales from tickets I sell will go to Duke University Molecular Physiology Institute.  This year, the Bakersfield Blaze are an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.  My dreams of Gabriel pitching for the Mariners were halted when he was diagnosed with anencephaly, but through the continued efforts towards research, my dream that his life will change the future lives on.

5.       Day 5, Sunday June 14, 2015:  Folic Acid Foods.  We still don’t know what causes anencephaly, but we know that the surest way to reduce the risk of its occurrence is to take folic acid during the early stages of pregnancy, before most women even know they are pregnant.  While supplements are the best way to insure that we receive the recommended amount, there are a number of foods that can help give us a boost.  Today, enjoy a few of the most rich in folic acid, including dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruit, beans, peas or lentils, okra, avocado, Brussel sprouts, seeds or nuts, cauliflower, beets, corn, carrots and squash.  Take your pick!  And I guarantee, I won’t be picking beets! 

6.       Day 6, Monday June 15, 2015:  A Bag of Blessings. Join me in creating a paper bag of blessings to give to a local person in need.  It doesn’t have to be much – Maybe a tube of toothpaste, a water bottle, a granola bar, a stick of deodorant, or a pair of socks placed in a paper bag, or a few paper bags, to give to someone you might encounter who may be in need.  You can give them to your local shelter, or be prepared to hand one to that needy soul you see in the same place every day on your way to work. 

7.       Day 7 Tuesday June 16, 2015:  Sing a song.  One of my favorite memories from the 10-Day Celebration of 2013 was the group “sing-along” of “Danny’s Song on my Facebook page.  On Tuesday June 16, 2015, I’ll be posting the opening line to “Danny’s Song” once again, and I invite you to add a line and sing “along” with me. 

8.       Day 8, Wednesday June 17, 2015:  Post It.  Inspired by Cak Alvastad’s celebration for Andrew, take a Post-It note and write something inspiring, then leave that note on a mirror in a public restroom to warm a heart, or several.

9.       Day 9, Thursday June 18, 2015:  Magic Mullet Brigade Day.  Help me advertise this year’s Magic Mullet Run for Anencephaly Awareness by sharing the link to the run, taking a stack of fliers to a local business to disperse, or signing yourself up for this year’s run. 

1.   Day 10, Friday June 19, 2015:  A Boy and His Dog.  It’s no secret that I love my boy, and I love my dog.  The love I can’t share with Gabriel often gets transferred to Gideon.  On this day, do a little something special for your four-legged comrade who’s seen you through hard times. 

ANGELVERSARY!  Saturday June 20, 2015:   It’s the Feast of St. Gabriel Michael Gerard Cude.  As has become an annual custom, I will be releasing balloons in celebration of the day my sweet boy’s soul was lifted to Heaven.  Join me at University Park in East Bakersfield, or release one on your own.  After the balloon release, stick around to enjoy some park time with my little rainbow, Eden.  Timing and final location to be announced. 

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