Hello Team Amy! It’s time, once again, to bring together our friends and family to honor our sweet Amy’s memory, while supporting the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We created this team 11 years ago in 2009, a few short months after we lost Amy. When that spring arrived, I was already nervous about Amy’s birthday on May 30. There are so many firsts when you lose someone you love and I knew that the first birthday would be rough. But then something happened that made me realize that the universe will right itself and take care of you when you have forgotten how to find your own way. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was sponsoring one of their Great Strides walks - in Placentia – at Tri-City Park (a few blocks from our home) where Amy had spent countless afternoons playing as a child – on May 30, Amy’s birthday. We had never walked in one of the Great Strides walks before. We had thought about it many times but illness, treatments and life itself had just kept us from ever organizing a team. Here was an opportunity to support one of the CFF’s grand fundraising efforts while we gathered Amy’s friends and family together to honor her memory while walking and being together on her birthday. We had a means to use our grief for something truly positive! When the location moved from Placentia, we moved our team to the Huntington Beach walk and that’s where we’ve been since 2011!
Ever since that first walk, we have looked forward to reuniting our team so that we might take a moment and reflect on the inspirational life that Amy lived. We have proudly worn our Team Amy t-shirts that have Amy’s rules written on the back. Those rules came from her writing that we found in one of Amy’s journals when we were planning her service. One night, not long after we had returned from my mother-in-law’s memorial service in 2007, I leaned my head into the door of her bedroom to say good-night and she held up a small journal and said, “Here it is. This is what I want so that there’s no question.” When we read her words inside that tiny journal, we heard her familiar voice in the words she had written. We heard her acceptance of her disease and her philosophy about how we should all live our lives. She wrote: “Lately I’ve been forced to think about what happens after we leave this earth because the death of my beloved grandmother has shocked us all. I just want to put it in writing, as painful as it may be, what I want for me, just so there is no question. I do not want anyone to be sad the whole time. When my friend passed away, I really liked how they made it a celebration of her life. I strive to live each day embracing life, so that’s what I want everyone to take from me. Live life how you want to and don’t be afraid to take risks. Life is not worth living, in my opinion, if you don’t take risks and merge out of your comfort zone every now and then. I try to let those close to my heart know just how much they mean to me on a regular basis. And I want everyone to smile at least once.” And with that, we had Amy’s rules. She left these important instructions for us, but they were always her personal guidelines for living that she exemplified time and time again. We wear them on our t-shirts to remind us of the lessons she taught us about living while she was still here.
Of course, this year will be different. The Great Strides walks have been cancelled due to restrictions for large gatherings. Throughout this pandemic, Amy has frequently been in my thoughts as I contemplate just how difficult it would have been to keep her safe and healthy when infections and doctors’ visits were such a regular interference in her daily life. My thoughts have also focused on the CF patients, their families, and the medical personnel who care for them, during this time of crisis. So, now more than ever, we don’t want to lose out on the opportunity to raise funds for the CFF so that research for treatments and medications can continue to be funded and, as a result, make their lives less fragile.
So, in the spirit of Team Amy, we’re going to have a virtual party on Saturday, May 30 – Amy’s birthday. We have always chosen to gather our team together in May because it’s Amy’s birthday month and as we know, she DID celebrate during much of the month of May! This zoom party will be the 12th gathering of family and friends who are part of our efforts to raise money for the CFF while we honor her sweet memory. We will start our party at 10:00 Pacific Time. We will be playing a few games and just enjoying the opportunity to all be together in this time when it is physically difficult to get us all together. If you would like to join us, please message, text, call, or e-mail me so that I can send you the link to our meeting. Of course, we are trying to raise money for the CFF. So please follow the links to our Team Amy page or my page if you would like to make a donation.
We will miss our beautiful Huntington Beach setting that is the always the perfect place to pay tribute to our dear Amy, but this gathering, 2020 style, will surely be worthy of any of our previous efforts! So put on your Team Amy shirt (if you have one) and join us for what is sure to be a fun time as we celebrate all that was good in Amy’s life, reminisce a bit about cherished memories, and help us support a cause so dear to our hearts. If you are unable to join us, we hope that you will consider making a donation to our team. Thank you so much!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, indoor events sponsored by the CF Foundation are strictly prohibited at this time. Scheduled outdoor events must adhere to strict requirements to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. Events may be subject to change at any time based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON ATTENDANCE AT OUTDOOR FOUNDATION EVENTS:
To minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection, attendees at CF Foundation events must adhere to the following requirements:
Practice physical distancing and maintain at least a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household at all times
Face masks strongly encouraged and expected to be worn in accordance with local guidelines. (Note, children under two years of age should not wear masks due to safety concerns and therefore should not attend CF Foundation events where there is risk of interacting with someone outside of their household.)
Follow basic infection, prevention and control practices by regularly washing hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand gel, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your inner elbow.
Persons with CF should consult their physician before participation in any in-person event as they may be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People with CF should maintain a safe 6-foot distance from persons outside of their household at all times.