Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Stage, A Mother and A Story & #iPPP

I've been talking a lot about motherhood and stages lately (LTYM).  Last Friday night, I went to an event to raise money for a charity close to my heart.  And at that event, my friend got on stage and blew me and everyone in the room away.

I've written about the event before (here and here), it was a benefit for the nonprofit Charlotte's Wings, an organization that donates books to hospitals and hospices in Michigan.  The event started as a pretty small fundraiser on the patio of a bar.  It has grown to be THE event of the season for a lot of folks.  The ballroom of the fanciest hotel in town fills with 600 people decked out and ready to spend major money at the silent auction.  Since I don't have major money, my role is to get the dance floor going--a job I am more than happy to take on.

I'm sure nobody bidding at the silent auction tables looked at me strangely for posing like this for Tim to take the picture of my dress. 

The day before the fancy gala, I went dress shopping and found a dress that I felt was sophisticated yet let me move on the dance floor.

There was a step and repeat, which was awesome.
There was champagne and a line for the cash bar.
There was a great band.
There were so many fancy people and pretty dresses.
There were so many items to bid on like signed jerseys, birthday parties, massages and more.

And there was a stage, and there was a mother.

This whole evening existed because of one mother who lost her little girl to a rare disease.  The mother is my friend Jo.  Her daughter was Charlotte.  After Charlotte passed away, Jo and her husband donated books in her honor to a hospital.  Jo and her friend Jen then decided to start a nonprofit and give more books to more hospitals.  They are up to over 30,000 books.

I knew the story well, I 've been friends with Jo for years.  But last Friday night when Jo got on that stage to tell the story of Charlotte and the books that brought her family comfort in the final days of Charlotte's illness, there was something different.  Jo was more emotional than I'd seen her maybe ever.  She was still this strong, composed woman but there was something different.  She seemed more vulnerable than I'd ever seen her and yet braver at the same time.  She told the crowd of 600 well-dressed party goers how she wasn't sure if her daughter heard her reading to her, but it brought comfort to a mother being able to read to her child.

Tears and a standing ovation followed.
Then it was back to partying and dancing and lining up at the cash bar.  Back to the party, back to life.  But everything felt different.  There was more purpose to the auction bidding.  There was more appreciation for life and loved ones.  There was more admiration for one mother's strength and courage and grace.

Here's a video I made that was shown at the event.

Charlotte's Wings 2014 from Jumping With My Fingers Crossed on Vimeo.

To find out more about Charlotte's Wings, click here.

This post is part of the #iPPP link up. 

Now it's your turn to link up a post for the #iPPP.
Angela Amman (my LTYM co-producer and #iPPP co-hoster and amazing, wonderful friend) and I want to see your funny, heartfelt, favorite phone photos from the week!  Your post can be about anything, as long as it contains one picture from your phone.  Link up below and don't forget to visit some of the others!



  1. I want to go to this next year. I want to help, too. xo

  2. You are so much fun! And a great friend. What a great cause, and a wonderful evening.

    1. It really us Andrea, I'm so happy to help tell their story.

  3. What a wonderful cause, truly.

    1. It really is. I just get amazed by the power of moms when we work together!!!!