I am trying to wrap my head around this post, but I am truly a huge tangle of emotions. There is no possibility that words can do these last few days justice. It was all so amazing.
Erin's friends devoted so much time to her. Jennifer Walker and her family bent over backwards to make our sale possible. Thank you, Jennifer. This was all your dream. It was incredibly inspiring to watch this huge event unfold. Dyanne, Su, and Laurie worked endlessly at the pay station and straightening the sale items. My dear friend, Bonnie, folded clothes all day long. Her husband brought us a big "Joe to Go" from Starbucks at just the right time. My own student, Dylan, and his friend, Mason, sold vintage candy and made over $90 for the fund. I cannot tell you how proud that makes me. The compassion from these two young men truly comes from their amazing families. Thank you so much!!! Wenona, Erin's childhood friend, helped all day long, staying for the extensive clean-up, even though she had to drive back to Priest River. Another student of mine, Natalie, came with her mom and sister. This family, who has never met Erin or Claire, has already sent three meals to them and came to the sale. Thank you!!! My neighbors, from my beloved Alice Avenue, brought me coffee, shopped the sale, bought raffle tickets, and warmed my heart with their caring. One of these sweet neighbors even left a small care package on my porch, reminding me to take care of me. So, so, so thoughtful and kind. My student teacher came with her daughters, bringing another coffee (thank you, Wenona was in a desperate need!) and taking advantage of some awesome deals. My work friends came to shop and support our cause. Erin's current work friends, and coworkers from long ago stopped by. My folks loaned me their truck on Friday for donation pick-up and clean-up yesterday, as well as saving my behind when I forgot to get the change for the cash boxes. Thank goodness their bank was open until 6:00 on Friday! My sweet friends, Bob and Tracy, took our kids all afternoon, made donations to the sale, and came shopping. Roz and her mom helped us get the shirt orders going. Erin, Claire, and David came to the sale, spent a long time thanking people, chatting, and even posed for a picture with our sweet Junky Munkey candy vendors. Your presence was the inspiration our tired bodies needed to keep going. I hope you were able to step back and soak in the love that radiated from our day. I wish I remembered all the vendors that were there, but sadly, my brain is too tired. Just know we so appreciate you. I am extremely thankful to the businesses and friends who sent items for the raffle and silent auction. We made quite a bit of money just by selling raffle tickets. Thank you!!! And, finally, a huge heaping of gratitude to my sweet husband. He walked in the door with a pizza just when Wenona, Jennifer, and I were needing some more fuel. He has gone above and beyond watching our boys so I could help out the Walker family with this sale. He has been my rock and I am so grateful. Love you, Jimmy!!!
As for Erin and Claire, I had the immense pleasure of showing them all the moolah from our sale. I walked in the door with a pink (of course!) bag, full of cash and checks. I handed it to Claire, told her that it was for them. She felt the rolls of quarters stretching the bottom of the bag and the bundle of bills inside, all while having no idea of the bag's contents. I wish I had a video of her face when she peeked. That look made it all worthwhile. Claire was obviously in shock by the generosity that money represented. When Erin had a chance to take a gander, she audibly gasped, and maybe even murmured an expletive or two at the size of the sale profits. Thank you to EVERYONE who made that possible. I know it wasn't easy, but we all appreciate every act of generosity, no matter the size.
As we visited, we were watching Lawrence Welk. (David had the remote!!! ha!!!) Claire joked about our huge Saturday night, watching Lawrence Welk with the folks. I wouldn't trade that for anything. David made sure I saw L.W. tap dancing in his Fred Astaire tribute show. Who has ever seen him without a baton in hand, let alone dancing??? We watched some of the Osmond family's guest performance and marveled at the huge hair on the ladies. David told Claire and Erin they should try out that style. And, true to my smart ass nature, I made sure to give him hell for telling his bald and balding gals how to do their hair. How insensitive!!! David, thank you for letting me tease you and thank you for teasing me in return. LOVE IT. We also listened to Erin share the childhood stories of how she terrorized her little brother. She has been sneaky and secretive from the very beginning. Alex, it is a wonder you are a successful, functioning adult. Sorry my friend was so rough on you!!!
As we look forward, past the sale, Roz and I would like to invite you to order a BooBees shirt to benefit Erin and Claire. Orders will be taken for both t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts. Please e-mail Roz at firstname.lastname@example.org. T-shirts are $20 and hoodies are $35. Please add $5 for orders that need shipping. Shirts come in youth sizes S-L and adult sizes S-4XL. The last day to order shirts is this Thursday, November 15th. Thanks!!!!