I’m really excited about a few of the fundraisers we currently have going on. But I think I owe a little more insight on where Doug and I would like to go with Owen’s Memorial.
Recently, Doug and I spoke very briefly with a lawyer about our plans. Here’s a little sneak peek into where we’d like to take this OWENGE project! I’m really excited to finally put some of this into words 🙂
One of the main things we took comfort in through this journey was hope. Living in the 2%. Focusing on the good that came out of this rather than the terrible, horrible reality of Owen dying. We found Owen’s story constantly branching out and reaching more and more people. It started with the blog, then his story started spreading overseas. Owen donated his organs (heart, liver & kidney). His kidney went to research. It’s possible that not just one life was saved from his one organ (ok, technically he gave both of his kidneys but you know what I mean), but many lives were saved as doctors learn and continue to improve their medical transplant knowledge. We find ourselves always finding and hearing of more and more good that is connected to our Owen.
Doug and I want to keep the “good” ball rolling. So … we’d like to set up at charitable trust foundation that would support “doing good.” I know there are so many times that I want to help someone, but I just don’t have the funds to do so. Repaint a community park. Buy a car for someone who deserves another chance and needs a little help getting on their feet. Or maybe a donation to a ’cause’ in memory of someone. Whatever the act, Owen’s memorial would help with this. The hope is that people like you would share your story, what/who you’d like to help. Then you’d receive a grant from Owen’s fund to help with “angel” expenses (the cost of the service project). I fantasize about grants being given to “warriors” all over the US. Perhaps it’s self-indulgent, but it makes me smile. Makes my heart beat a happy beat. Gets me motivated to help others in spite of my own pain. I pray that Owen’s Memorial will help answer someone else’s prayer.
Owen’s story has answered so many prayers and proved to be a blessing/miracle to many. Two families rejoiced when they got the call that there was an organ for their sick child. Moms and dads are more thankful for their kids. A big sister wrote that her mom asked her to read Owen’s story when she was complaining about her baby brother. She values her little brother more today. No matter how big or how small, his story is living on. His story is doing God’s work.
I’ve been thinking of a name for this fund/organization/memorial/movement. Perhaps Owenge Warriors? I just love the word warrior. It screams dignity and honor. It tells a story of battles, blood, loss and victory. Owen fought for his life for five days. His story is a reminder of victory into everlasting life. Hope. The fund would provide the means for other warriors out there. Those who are fighting to make a difference. Fighting to be a warrior of God. A warrior of good.
We need to work out more of the details of how this would really work. We need to write a mission statement. It’s more of a general concept – our first draft if you will. I hope it does Owen proud. I hope it’s a cause you feel passionate about or feel connected to. Maybe you’ll be a OWENGE warrior someday. Or maybe you already are. Maybe Owen’s warriors are already fighting.
When I get really sad or angry I think about the good this fund has the possibility of doing. I think about the girl who has a heart. About the girl who received more time. I think of all the prayers that have been and are being said for my Owen and my other boys. I try to remember grace, forgiveness, understanding, compassion.
Everyone has a story. It’s true that I have sad chapters in my story. When I get angry, I try to remember that others might have hidden sad chapters too. How do I want my ugly chapters to be treated? With respect. Don’t undermine them, don’t focus only on them … but respect them. Learn from them. Honor your pain. Through your pain you learn the most about yourself. Hold it close to your heart, but don’t let it consume you.
I’m planting my pain and sadness and hoping a field of OWENGE warriors bloom!