Ana’s Best Day Ever
This past Sunday Ana got to experience another wish granted thanks to Maddie’s Mark and their amazing founder, Erin Musto. This local NY charity (based out of Albany) funded an entire room redo for Ana, giving her a teenage girl’s DREAM bedroom. I’ve been planning this with Erin for months. I think we started in early January and I remember feeling so completely overwhelmed because at that point we were trying to organize Ana’s skating wish, plus I didn’t know if she’d be starting chemotherapy any second.
Erin has a way of pushing forward that leaves me completely awestruck. I’m the kind of person that does best when focusing on one thing at a time. I used to think I was a multi-tasker, but I realized a few years ago that I’m horrible at multi-tasking. I’m great at doing one thing at a time, and when I try to multi-task, I get completely overwhelmed. I shut down. I turn inward and feel helpless.
I needed someone like Erin in my life to help me through that overwhelming feeling and show me that it’s okay that I can’t get everything done, especially now, when my singular focus has been on making sure Ana is okay. So she swept me up and took care of everything involved with this wish…and then some. She has a way of reaching out and pulling people in towards her – she seems to recognize, innately, that you need other people to lift you up when life gets too heavy. I can learn from this woman. Learn to ask for help more, talk to people more, try to face the fact that sometimes I’m drowning and I need a life boat. And when we get through this, I can learn how to give more, how to be there for people, how to lift someone up who is at the very, very bottom.
But I digress…
Erin connected me with all of the people that have made this wish possible including: the designer, the painter, the contractor who installed Ana’s floors and the closet installers (I’ll list them all at the end of this post). She also brought in a wonderful woman who spent the entire day disassembling and cleaning every corner of my kitchen (which it sorely needed).
My friends and family also contributed to making this the best day ever – Tania, Liz and Carly who made sure Ana’s friends were here for the unveiling, my parents, Jim’s mom, my sister-in-law and Ana’s cousins all of whom filled the house with excitement and support.
Pictures really are worth a thousand words, so I’ll stop babbling. Many thanks to Tania Barricklo for showing up with her enormous camera and capturing the day.
Thank you again to Erin and Maddie’s Mark for this extraordinary gift for Ana (and Emily). And thanks to all those who made it possible. (and special thanks to Erin’s daughter, Lucy, who very diligently helped out all day long and did not, by any means, pet the cat no matter how much she wanted to).
Jolene Kowalski (the Designer) who is also a florist (and her husband, Josh, and mother, Jo Ann, who showed up to help assemble everything).
California Closets for Ana’s closet.
Angela Weller for the pristine paint job.
Dan Snyder who installed the floors.
Michelle from Welcome Home Cleaning who gutted and cleaned my kitchen.