Last year, when our family received an invitation to represent the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at the Barrett-Jackson Auction, I had no idea what we were in for.
I scanned the e-mail, saw something about a "car show", and immediately filed it under "Daddy's Sort of Thing" in my mind. He could take her. I mean, it was a "car show" -- you know -- like, in a parking lot of a 50's diner or something, right?
To say that I was blown away would be an understatement. Skyboxes, and celebrities...fancy cars, fast cars, and cars that made history. This was the big time, my friends. As a first-timer, I was speechless and overwhelmed by the show of support, cheering crowd, and the incredible vehicle being auctioned to help fund a cure for my daughter -- and the millions of people like her, who are living with Type 1 Diabetes. When I watched the auction video, I cried. As I sat down to pour out my heart here, I cried. I must have cried a million tears of gratitude in the first 24 hours alone.
This year, I was prepared. I knew what to expect. I was ready. I made sure to have the TV on the right station, and my laptop open to watch along with several other mothers who are raising a child with diabetes via my Facebook page. I also pulled up the Barrett-Jackson Facebook page and Twitter account. I was going to experience this year's auction *LIVE* from every possible angle, and I was determined not to cry my way through it this time.
Yet, the second I saw this year's car on my TV screen (thank you, SPEED Channel), the tears began to burn. There it was. A car that so many people had poured their heart and souls into creating. Much of it had been developed by hand, and then tested on a multitude of race courses. In fact, Carroll Shelby, himself, piloted this vehicle during its many hours of testing, and it will go down in history as being one of the most powerful vehicles ever built to date.
As soon as I saw it roll onto the auction block, I couldn't fight the tears any longer. The bidding began, and I found myself flooded with emotions -- wanting so badly to reach through the television and computer screens to hug each person offering a bid. By the time I heard THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, I was busting at the seams with gratitude, and virtually HI-FIVING all of my online friends.
The whole thing seemed to go much faster this year, and I didn't get to see my girl on TV (though it was fun to see the sign we made for her daddy being sported front and center during the auction). Even still, all I could think about was how amazing it was that she was able to experience such profound generosity while making these special memories with her father. From the dedicated FORD Special Vehicle Team who built the car, to the people who organized the stage it was being auctioned on, to you - the car's new owner - every minute of the 2012 auction means more to our family than you will ever know.
My daughter has had about 23,725 finger pokes since her diagnosis in 2005. The years have amounted to hundreds of shots, insulin pump sites, and continuous glucose monitor insertions. We must have counted a million carbs by now and faced a zillion out of range blood sugars. Knowing that, one day, she will have to take over her care to become independent is daunting.
But knowing that people like you are out there, pouring out your charitable hearts into the organizations that will impact her future reminds me that the best for her is yet to come.
One day, she will say she USED to have Type 1 Diabetes.
YOU will be a part of the reason why.
I'm not sure I can find the words to put that statement into perspective.
Thank you from the bottom of my (candy) heart.
PS -- To the 2012 Grabber Blue Boss 302 Laguna Seca Owner...this video doesn't show it, but I heard it. As the car was being pushed out of view, my heart skipped a beat when they announced that you were donating an additional $50,000 to JDRF. Suddenly, I felt as if I was in the company of an old friend, even though I was alone in my living room. The warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that your heart was there, absolutely topped off this year's experience for our family. I have thought about you and your family every day since last year's auction.
I will never forget you.