Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yellow Envelope Project: Noah

A minor adjustment to what is quickly becoming a favorite weekly ritual of Highlowaha. Normally our community comes together on Saturdays to participate in the Yellow Envelope Project. The project is our attempt to recognize someone whose small acts makes their community a brighter place.

Not so today.

About ten days ago, Matthew, Jack and I went to Hallmark to buy a Christmas card for Noah Biorkman, a five year old boy who I learned about through another Highlowaha reader. Stacie forwarded a link telling of Noah's battle with Stage IV neuroblastoma. His parents were asking people from around the country to mail Christmas cards to Noah early, since there was a chance he would not make it to Christmas.

We should have sent the card the day we bought it, but Richard was out of town and nights are always more hectic when he is gone. Then I got busy with family... and life... and daily posts for Highlowaha.

Then came Thanksgiving and all the preparation that goes into hosting guests. And then, yesterday. Well, yesterday I had to go Christmas shopping. Right? Because gosh, what would happen if I stopped long enough to consider, while I am out deciding between Legos and Transformers, that there was a family in Michigan clinging to every last, precious moment they were given?

Last night I finally made time for the three of us to send Noah the card we purchased. I pulled Noah's name up on the internet to confirm the mailing address.

Imagine my sadness when I read the most recent headline, "Noah Biorkman Passes Peacefully." As it turns out, Noah passed away on Monday, November 23 in his home. Our singing Christmas card still sits in the Hallmark bag - too mad at myself to do anything with it and too embarrassed to explain to the boys why we can't mail it.

Life is fleeting. I read in the initial news clipping explaining Noah was terminally ill and that cards should be sent before Christmas, in the event he didn't live past the holidays. So what was I thinking and why didn't I send the card right away?

I know why. Because I'm pompous and full of myself. It didn't occur to me that Noah would die before I decided it was time to send his card. I was so busy getting all the "important" stuff done that I let the life of this little boy disappear before my very eyes.

I'm mad and disappointed in myself.

So today. Today, in honor of Noah Biorkman, I would love it if you would send a card to someone who is long overdue for a message from you. You might even already have a stack of unused cards - purchased, but never mailed. If so, perfect. Join the club. Use one of those cards and send it to the person for whom you initially purchased it. And, if you feel like it... put it in a yellow envelope anyway or decorate it with yellow stickers. That will be our secret.

Do it today. Don't wait. Life is fleeting.

Signing off until tomorrow...


Peggy said...

Wow, Claudia, that is so gutsy of you to be honest! None of us would really know that you didn't get something done.... you seem to do so much!

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, life is so grand and amazing. Now see, for me.... greeting cards and getting the message out is a piece of cake! I think that's another reason why I love making cards so much, instant gratification and satisfaction. There is ALWAYS a reason to send a card to someone. Finding the right card is a marvelous challenge.

Claudia, your insight into this ritual and other daily life's challenges is what draws me to your writing and HLA. Despite tiny setbacks, being human, you are an amazing and talented person who gives so much. I can only imagine how many lives you have touched. So, take note people.... when all is said and done, what will your dash read? *

Don't anyone beat yourself down for what you haven't done, pull yourself up and see what the new possibilities are.... and seriously, take time to smell the roses!!! :0)

Peggy said...

Was it something I said?

Katie @ Highlowaha said...

Peggy- no, of course not!!

I know for me, at least, it's been a busy weekend of holiday shopping, traveling back to Virginia, and getting settled back into my own apartment.

I know exactly who I'm going to send my card will go out in the mail first thing in the morning.

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

You're funny, Peggy! Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Now... where is everyone?!?