After the storm lifted the other day and the sun began to peek out from behind the clouds, I said to our warehouse manager that it was actually turning out to be a beautiful day. His response was that he believed every day that he was alive was a beautiful day and that there aren't any non-beautiful days. He's right, but why is that so hard to remember?
I'm feeling emotional today, because I have a suspicion that my five year old may have asthma. If you know anything about our company, it was founded as a means to soothe allergies and as an alternative to chemically-laden products with carcinogenic preservatives. If you've read my (diluted) story, you know that we went through difficult times when my daughter was an infant. If you know anything about allergies, you know that there is a strong correlation between allergies and asthma, so I've been holding my breath (no pun intended) for her to reach school age; the ripe age for the onset of asthma.
As I write this, I'm reluctant to share anything personal, because I want to protect the privacy of my daughters and honestly I'm a little too old to understand why people blog. However, the second I withdraw my story from the website or I close my lips in an effort to preserve my story, I receive a call or an email from a mother who is going through something similar with her child and is desperate for help. This is real life. I didn't start this business as a scheme to make money- I do it because I am on a mission to change what little I can for the future of our children. If that's only by refusing to make products that interfere with the immune systems of our children, then that is my contribution. If you want to judge me, that's ok- but I speak to the mother who is on the edge, who needs to feel that she is not alone.
I had just dropped my daughter at school and was driving along thinking about how we've had five years with little incidence of sickness or allergies. She is shockingly healthy, but now I have that oh so familiar pit of my stomach feeling of fear. Asthma. How terrifying to be a mother and let your child out of your sight knowing that she may not be able to breathe. Yes, we have serious food allergies, but asthma is an entirely unknown territory. I really hope to not have to go there.
So, I'm driving and I'm thinking about this when I get pulled over by a cop a block from my house. I'm thinking to myself that I don't even care if he gives me a ticket. So, I say nothing. My days of trying to be cute are over, I didn't try to get out of the ticket. I said nothing.
But, when he asks me why do I think it was that I was driving 46 mph in a 35, I say that I'll probably start crying if I have to talk about it. So, he says start talking and I blurt out about asthma and that I just called the doctor and I just left her at school and I was just thinking about her. My eyes were welling up with tears, but I don't think he noticed. He asks about my record and I can't even remember a ticket since I was in highschool, really. But he goes back to his car for a really long time. Such a long time, that I know I'm getting the ticket. He comes back and he asks if I want the ticket and I say no, thank you.
He takes a deep breath and he looks me in the eyes and he says I know what it feels like to be worried about your child. I have an eight year old daughter with terminal cancer. She was doing better, but now.... pause... and we see the oncologist tomorrow.
Now, I'm full-on crying and I'm so sad for this man and feeling so selfish, and my kid probably doesn't even have asthma and I can't think of the right words to say. He then tells me the name of the cancer and that it's so rare that only 700 people in the entire USA have this cancer and yet there are TWO children in his small little town that have it. These are things I can talk about. For twenty minutes we sat there on the side of the road discussing our environment and our children and how we all just try to do the best we can, but so many things are out of our control...
edit 2/21... no asthma! just asthma-esque symptoms due to a cold. and no... i didn't get the ticket! but, it's still a good story and my heart goes out to that cop and his family....