“Overwhelmed” is the word I keep typing in each and every “thank you” message I write. I've spent the last hour writing them to people that have chosen to offer their support (financially and otherwise) for this insane road trip in a crusty old car.
I'd like to state publicly and for the record, that choosing a fund raising site for this cause was not an easy task. The world is so full of injured and damaged lives. Inequity. Need. True need, that asking for help in the pursuit of my own ridiculous travel goals seemed almost insulting to those that use such fund raising websites for softening the absolute devastation that comes with life's pain and loss. I've experienced loss. I'm intimate with it. I'll leave it at that, for now.
While formulating the plan to raise funds for this epic adventure, I decided to do a quick “self Google” - just to see what kinds of things people might find, if they didn't already know about me or this weird little car I chose to save and drive. What I found was heartbreaking in the finest manner imaginable. There, six or seven links down, was a GoFundMe site started by someone I have never personally met, dedicated to raising money so that I could fix up my car. The BMW 2002 community is a tightly knit one. Given the kind of support I've witnessed, over the last few years of ownership of this particular rat, I can't say I was thoroughly surprised by such generosity. Our little group is famous for it. I guess it was just my turn to be on the receiving end. From what I could tell, the GFM site hadn't ever gone “live” and was sort of a pipedream of good karma, perpetrated by a fellow, former 2002 owner. I was floored, and forced to think about a few serious issues, regarding the frivolity of such fund raising, and what I really wanted and needed out of this road trip and why it was important. I'll get to that another time, but here's the thing I need to share with you all, and what became the weight that tipped the scales for me, when pondering the guilt of using a fund raising site for my little adventure.
The man that started the previous GFM site on my behalf, himself benefitted from such a fundraiser. Organized and perpetrated by the very same 2002 owner group that I consider family. His needs were different than mine. Very different. About 12 years ago, his wife was in an absolutely devastating automobile accident. The impact of her head and brain against the door glass of her own car, left her in a state that can only be described as “shattering”. I cannot dictate with accuracy the condition of her mental, emotional, or physical condition in the days, weeks, and months that followed her injury, but I can tell you I was given a small window, through which to see the emotional destruction, and eventual, never ending process of rebuilding, this event had on her husband and family in every aspect of their lives...minute by minute.
I am reminded almost hourly, that my problems are so very small. Let me assure you – I have them. And I am not very skilled at asking for help. This later point was made very clear to me in recent weeks.
The fact that a human being, who himself, had endured such a life eviscerating experience, and who turned to the generosity of others to help heal some of the wounds, chose MY SELFISH CAUSE to champion a few months ago by creating a GFM site dedicated to me, razed me level with the earth. He writes poems about his feelings and frustration and gratitude, that his wife is still alive. The kind of poems that made me cry openly when I read them, yesterday. If he thinks I'm worthy of this generosity, that's good enough for me.