“The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” Charles Dubois
Cathi delivered a little boy named Christopher. He was extremely sick and lived just four days. Cathi had such a bad headache and visual problems that she was only able to see him alive for a brief moment.
Chuck and Cathi felt so alone. No one understood what they were going through. They attempted a support group, but it wasn’t specific to what they were going through. Then they learned of an existing group called Share that worked with bereaved parents.
Cathi and Chuck knew that they needed help – but they also knew that they might be able to help others. Cathi became increasingly active in the organization, becoming a peer counselor and nurse advisor for the overall organization.
In the summer of 1991, Share lost its funding and its main office, and was going to lose its president. Cathi was asked if she would be willing to accept the responsibility of running Share and guiding it through a very difficult transition.
Cathi had no idea how to do any of this. She had never run a business and had no idea how to ask people for money. She did, though, possess a drive to serve others – and a desire to assist couples who grieved for their children.
She knew that the only way to succeed was by relying upon others. She surrounded herself with volunteers who were as passionate and committed as she was. She developed a network of individuals whom she could call upon for advice, service and money. It was not an easy road. She struggled often, and she had to humble herself to ask others for assistance.
By any standard, Cathi has succeeded. Today, Share receives 400 messages a day from people either asking for additional resources or thanking them for their help. They have become a tremendous resource, not only for the people who come to SHARE conferences or support groups, but to the world via their website and newsletter.
Cathi once said to me, “When bad things happen, sometimes you don’t know what gifts are being handed to you. You can’t conceive of what good could possibly come from it. But in time, we all realize that amazing things can still come from our worst experiences. Christopher has been my greatest teacher.”
When Cathi and Chuck lost Christopher, they weren’t even sure how they could continue living with that heartache. They certainly could not fathom good coming from such tragedy. His death changed the course of their life. He gave their entire family the strength to help others. It was in enduring her own phoenix moment, in choosing to stretch herself for others, that Cathi became strong enough to soar for others, for her family, and for Christopher.
My friends, choose to use challenges from the past and adversities of today to propel you toward a beautiful future for tomorrow.
John O’Leary, Rising-Above.com