I sat for the first time in awhile to do homework with the kids last week. This task felt completely foreign to me. I felt like a new parent trying to figure everything out again. I felt like I followed Silly Sally to town walking backwards upside down and I was left feeling dazed and confused. I’m not sure I’m quite ready to take on all this responsibility of third grade math and second grade spelling. Isn’t the responsibility of getting my daughter through cancer enough responsibility in a day? On top of childhood cancer, I have been struggling with what to do with my boutique, Vintage Style. Even though I most of the time feel frozen, life does still continue to go on.
I have been trying to lease out my boutique space for a couple of months and I have come up with nothing. Many are interested, but no one is interested enough to take over the responsibility of paying the rent. As you may know, Vintage Style is a small boutique I was planning to open before Elizabeth was diagnosed with cancer. Actually, the grand opening was scheduled the same week. This had been a dream of mine since early on while attending design school. Last year, I found a space, signed a lease, hired marketing, crafted all the things I love and put everything into this little shop, which I called Vintage Style. I was so excited to be going back to work, doing all things that I love. Brooke and the kids were extremely excited and proud of me. I could see it in their eyes. I was being the role model to my family that I always wanted to be. A strong, powerful working Mama! So now, here I am…a much, much different woman. Different things are important now. Helping Elizabeth kick cancer in the buttcrack, that is my number one everyday most important task. No matter what happens, that will never change. But, I will say I feel a little less strong and powerful of Mama these days. If I cannot handle all of the other responsibilities with my family at home, how am I supposed to wrap my head around running a business? Thank goodness for my super duper helpful husband who picks up so much of my super duper slack these days. I struggle with the fact that he has believed in my dreams so much (more than I think I believed in them myself) and all I can deliver are tears and regret for making him believe in me so much. He works all day, sometimes in the middle of the nights, he comes home, does laundry, coaches baseball and still manages to fit in a run every now and then. Running was our thing together before all of this evil. Sunday mornings were our date”day”. We would run the bridal path, making each other laugh, racing to the finish (I did win once) and then breakfast. I ran for the first time in six months the other day (Elizabeth made me) and that too felt foreign to me. Everything about our life is different. EVERYTHING! So the bottom line is this, I’m in a lease, with a store ready to go, but my brain and heart will not let me run it the way it stands. So what do I do? Can someone please just tell me so my brain can stay on autopilot and I will just continue to walk around in this daze. I don’t enjoy being like this. I have always been so organized, so on top of tasks, so put together with life, but ever since the doctor spoke those words, “Your daughter has cancer.” I’m just a super duper Silly Sally treading in a sea of guilt no matter what I do. Cleaning the house and opening this store do not matter. My daughter surviving cancer – that is what matters. Loving each other – that is what matters. Being a kind person – that is what matters. I feel sorry for people who have different priorities that matter. I feel sorry for the mama’s that feel the need to talk about other mama’s trying to do good for their community. I have been blessed to open my eyes to what is truly important in life and live life for the things that truly matter and not feel the need to impress or keep up with anyone. I feel really lucky to not only got EBB but also to be down with EBB. BTW, if anyone ever has a connection and can get Naughty by Nature to rewrite and sing their song with EBB Lyrics, I would forever be in debt to you! With that said, this brings me to the EBB Foundation. You all know it. It’s this awesome little Foundation that has been inspired by Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair, to help bring more awareness to childhood cancer and inspire families to enjoy the simple pleasures of life together. It is the one thing that makes me feel a little stronger these days about making a real difference in the world besides raises three beautiful children that are doing the same thing.
I live and breathe everything childhood cancer these days. It is constantly on my mind. I feel like fighting childhood cancer is my purpose in life. It’s my purpose forever. It has to be. So here it goes…Do you think if I open Vintage Style with the proceeds benefiting EBB Foundation this will awaken my brain and allow my heart to fill with rainbows? Just as I am writing this, I feel a sparks fly inside of me. Brain working or not, this is the plan! Elizabeth, Kate and Bryce think the idea is so EBB! Elizabeth wants to help me run it! She would definitely add some spice to it! I’m sure she would redecorate in rainbow colors, but would compromise for her mama if I insist they were all pastels. Maybe that’s the answer, open Vintage Style as an everyday fundraiser for EBB Foundation. Proceeds of the store go towards Elizabeth’s Foundation to help create awareness for childhood cancer and raise money for research. I am thinking this could be the answer. So for now this is the plan, Imma be opening, Vintage Style, which will benefit EBB Foundation. We will open its doors starting on Tuesday, February 21th! Come By, Say Hi, and Help Kick Cancer Bye Bye!
Vintage Style Benefiting EBB Foundation
5202 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(Located on the West side of 7th Street next to Floral Keepsakes)
Hours of Operation
Monday – Saturday
Ms. Donnell will be helping me run things over there. For those of you who do not know Ms. Donnell, she came into our lives and blessed our family just days before Elizabeth was diagnosed. She has been a blessing everyday since. Ms. Donnell is a cancer survivor and has helped me deal with a lot of “humming crap” that cancer brings along with it. She helps us completely out of the kindness of her heart. She loves our family and we love her! Ms. Donnell has offered to volunteer her time at Vintage Style. That’s right, volunteering a super duper amount of time to help our family. I cannot think of a more EBB gesture! Thank you Ms. Donnell. You so GOT EBB! You fill our hearts with rainbows, daily.
So there you have it! As Elizabeth would say…”Run Mama Run” So that’s exactly what we are going to do.