Rays of summer sunshine painted happy faces all over my basement, colouring everything with a glorious brightness that swept away any thoughts of doom and gloom that lurked in the cobwebby corners of my mind.
It was on a morning such as this, a few years ago, that I came with this idea to have a backyard party.
“Ummm,” I thought. “I should have a party, a backyard summer time party.”
My mind soared with possibilities!
I would invite many people! They would, of course, all come. If they had previous engagements, they would cancel them.
It was a given. My party would be the number one summer event of the year! No one, who was anyone would want to miss it!
I, or at least my imagination, was on a roll now. Quickly, I displaced my first thought with a new one. The party that I had created in my mind all of two seconds ago would not be just any old party. It would be a party/fundraiser.
I thought of a donation jar. All funds raised would go towards multiple sclerosis. I pictured the big cookie jar I have in my kitchen; the one with strawberries painted all over it. It was usually empty anyway; why not fill it with dollars?
I was so happy on this morning when the sunlight danced about in my basement like a little golden elf come to life and, my mind, unfettered by the chains of reality, gleefully went about planning the party of the year.
I kept on planning all the way to work, which takes about 40 minutes. If it weren’t for the threat of deadlines, I would have kept right on planning, existing quite happily on my fluffy little planning cloud all day long.
I thought of the quote by Mother Theresa, which says, “do small things with great love” and I immediately felt all good and warm inside. It was like the party was not simply a tiny seed planted in my mind on a bright and sunny morning, but truly a great and wonderful reality.
When my idea, in spite all odds, actually happened, no one was more surprised than me!
Who would have thought?
Our backyard annual MS party/fundraiser has been ongoing for three years now.
It has been trial and it has been error, but mostly it has been so much fun, lending itself delightfully to the fact that one’s own backyard is a good place to be, especially when it is filled with the warmth that can only be ignited when friends and family get together.
And through all the planning and the near mishaps and the good ideas and the bad ideas, my people talked to some other people, and pretty soon, my people and those other people became ‘our people.’
We raised money for MS, but more importantly, for a brief interlude in the ever-changing landscape of summer, we did something far more important.
We visited. We laughed. We created memories.
And, even though we did raise some dollars for MS, we didn’t create awareness.
We didn’t have to!
Really, at the end of the day, it may be only one person who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis but, like a pebble thrown into a pond, everyone in that person’s life is affected.
It’s called the ripple effect.
Hosting a backyard party/MS fundraiser, in itself, tells part of the story of the ripple effect.
Who knows the rest of the story?
It has yet to be told!
Treena Mielke is the editor of The Rimbey Review and an opinion columnist for Black Press.