Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Donations of the Heart

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA - So the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer now has a finance wiz focused on the money stuff. Yay, Deb! She’s really cute, works hard, is incredibly smart and wears great shoes. All the important qualifications one needs for such a profession. Or so I thought, when I first met her. I learned in short order that Deb lost her mom to cancer, just like me, and that she shares my passion. We want to find a cure for this disease, and fast. For those of you that think you have to devote every waking moment to make a difference, think again. Foundations, non-profits, churches, all of us need help in ways that won’t consume all of your time or all of your dollars. Deb gives every day every time she helps us wade through the world of non-profit finance. So take a look at your work and realize that if your company does anything for a charity you are part of that generosity. Today matters; even if you don’t get to see some great miracle by the time 5 o’clock rolls around, you might have still changed a life. Ask your company who they help if you are unsure! Thank you, Deb, for doing what you do. We love you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Absorbing the Costs

WARSAW, INDIANA - There are a great many conversations in my life lately about money; some are quite disconcerting, some are mundane, some are hopeful. Terms like ‘return on investment’ and ‘cost/benefit analysis’ are being bandied about with great regularity. Now to most of you, this is probably commonplace and not even worth mentioning. But just this weekend I met a fellow cancer survivor who told me it took her close to 8 years to get to the point that she was able to go through a whole day without thinking she would die by tomorrow. That’s kind of huge; financial planning for me - someone who isn’t sure if she will live to see 43 - is kind of a joke. I haven’t even crossed that magic ‘5 year no more cancer’ magic line yet! I told my friend Elaine (we are in a financial planning class together) my fear is that I will work hard to save up and pay off all the medical bills, and then die. My husband will then marry a 24 year old and go to a spectacular tour of historic Italy on the money I saved. Her response? “What will you care, you will be dead!”. That’s why I love her so – she’s just absolutely and totally honest. Which I need sometimes. So last night after I washed off the day’s monetary disappointments, I looked through some photos that I had taken this past weekend. I found one of my sweet daughter, and it all just sank in. I try so hard to make sure that my kids see every beautiful thing – flowers, sunsets, butterflies, babies, puppies, anything that you can find that has beauty. I just want to make sure that this beautiful little girl realizes the importance of her life. That it is not measured by how much of a return you get on your investment, but how much you enjoy every.single.moment – that’s the best thing. I think my heart can probably absorb the cost for that kind of thing.