Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Peace Train...Crazy Train...Love Train

So we made it to November.  Oh my goodness.  There is SO much to share and talk about with CJSTUF I don't know where to begin.  I think I will just direct you to the website.  Your attention please to the following announcements:

  • First and foremost: VOTE!  Yes, Election Day was yesterday but CJSTUF has applied for a Pespi Refresh grant.  We are hoping for $50K to help us get the CJ's Meal Fairies program off and running.  We need EVERYONE's help.  Voting can happen through Facebook, the Pepsi Refresh website, or text 103934 to PEPSI (73774).  Most importantly, you need to vote EVERY DAY.  We are currently ranked 352 and we need to crack the top 10 to win.  Tell all your friends.  Links to the site are on our website
  • Did you get an email from us recently?  If not, sign up for your email newsletter here.  If you don't follow us on Facebook or Twitter, it's another great way to know about all the things we are doing.  We will try not to harass you with spammy emails but we hope this will be another way to keep everyone up to date and informed. 
  • Start your holiday shopping with our jewelry auction.  Twenty-one original pieces created by Sarah Blankenship of Crystal Paintbrush on ebay.  Just search for CJSTUF to find the pieces.  100% of the proceeds will benefit our organization and eBay credits our listing and final fees so it's a great way to support our organization.  Each piece was inspired by Charlotte and many feature pink and purple Swarovski crystal butterflies. 
  • Wanna see a DUDE run the Richmond Marathon  in a skirt?  If we raise $3000 before November 12th Roger will don the pink skirt and wear it as he runs all 26.2 miles!  The goal is $10,000 total.  We can do it!
  • Citations for CJ is coming November 20th.  This is an easy way to support our organization.  The Alpha Phi Omega chapter at Randolph Macon is building our jail and our celebrity judges are getting ready to hand out their "verdicts".  Come on out for a fun morning and donate from the comfort of your own car.  Tell your friends!
  • Finally, our Biz of the Month is our corporate sponsor, Jade Enterprises.  This family business specializes in web design, web hosting, data management, and many other business applications.  Jade Enterprises is donating 25% of all contracts signed during the month of November to CJSTUF.  If you run your own business and are looking for a great way to improve your web performance and visibility in the marketplace, please give them a call. 
Now that the business is out of the way, let's talk.  It's been a crazy year.  As we approach the end of 2010, it seems that my emotions are ramped up as well.  November 6th was the day last year when we learned that there was nothing else we could do.  That was the day that we had to accept what we had seen coming down the pike for about 5 months: the treatment was not working.  We prepared to say goodbye to our girl. I miss her so much.  I know that many of you do too.  I look at her pictures every day and I just think: DAMN.   

I don't understand why she is gone and I don't think it's fair in any way.  I am so grateful for the time I spent with her, especially the last 10 weeks of her life.  We were so blessed with the generosity of friends, family, and strangers who moved mountains to bring us amazing experiences: pro football games and field trips to the aquarium; meetings with Giant Pandas; horseback rides in our cul de sac; spa days at the salon; the most amazing Disney World vacation that a kid could ever have (slight aside: have you seen the new Disney commercials where they show the home movies of  the kids who get all excited when they hear they are going to Disney World?  It makes me cry every time.); days sitting by the ocean; days spent reading and singing; days when her firsts were often also her lasts. 

Some of you know that I took the opportunity this past weekend to go to the Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear) in Washington, DC.  It was a fun event with tons of people.  My aunt and I were squarely in the middle of the craziness and we were fortunate to fix ourselves in front of a jumbotron so while we couldn't see the stage directly, we got a great view of the event.  Great music, funny sketches, and a throng of people to watch.  If you've seen the show on TV, you know that there was a bit where Jon Stewart brought out Yusuf Islam (AKA Cat Stevens) to sing Peace Train.  Not to be outdone by "hippy music", Colbert brings out Ozzy Osbourne for a rendition of Crazy Train and a musical mashup ensues.  Finally, the compromise is to bring out the O' Jays for a unifying version of Love Train.  It was a creative skit.  It also seems like a somehow apt metaphor for my life right now. 

We feel so supported and comforted by our friends and family. That Love Train  is pushing us down the road, allowing us to give back through CJSTUF and to support others in their individual journeys.  At the same time, no matter how much love we feel, I'm still rockin' and rollin' on the Crazy Train.  Each day the stress in my life continues and every stressor is like a freight car adding to the length of the train.  It weighs down each aspect of my daily responsibilities and threatens to derail at the slightest hiccup.  Sometimes it takes three engines just to make the train run on the track.  There are times when I feel the Peace Train coming.  I have moments when I sense its presence and I hope that someday it will be the guiding force in my life.  Someday I hope to leave those freight cars at the depot or abandon them in the railyard.  Then my engine will run smoother, faster....more peacefully.  For now, the Crazy Train seems to rule the roost. 

Anyway, thanks for all the love and support.  The holiday season is going to be rough this year.  We've already acknowledged it and sometimes that's half the battle.  The more you do to support our cause, the more we are able to feel at peace with what is, in all honesty, a crappy situation for everyone involved. 



  1. Rachel,
    I love the different train analogies. I'm constantly inspired by you and Roger and your energy and enthusiasm. But it is a crappy and unfair situation. I'm here to support you, Roger, and CJSTUF! Hang in there and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

  2. Rachel and Roger,
    Re: the holidays, I suggest you avoid the crass commercialization, esp. of Christmas. It will sadden you too much.
    I am reading a book called "101 Things God Can't
    Do" by Maisie Sparks. #40 is God can't leave you comfortless: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:18


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