Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Focus on the Cheerleaders - and be one, too.

This post is only sort of Girl Scout related, but more than that it's a glimpse into my soul. If you don't want a personal connection with the author of this blog, then please stop reading here. No worries. I just have to share this today.

I've been in a funk lately and I know it's because this is the first holiday season without my Dad. We set our meeting dates over the Summer and I knew I had a meeting today. I've been thinking about this meeting today for months... today is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 77. 

I miss him a lot... more than I can put into words. There have been so many times over the past 6 months that I wished I would have asked one more question or listened more and talked less or made a better effort to visit with him. But, I know he knew I loved him and I know he loved me and I know he was proud of me. I'm not sure he knew how important it is to me that he was proud of me... I remember telling my sister after he passed that I didn't know who I was supposed to be, because I've always been Daddy's Girl... 

The last couple months of his life we were looking for our new home. We found one. He saw the pictures. I remember him looking at me with tears in his eyes and saying "I'm sorry I won't be able to help you this time." and my reply of "You can just tell me what I need to do and make sure I'm doing it right." He said "No. I won't do that. I know you know what you're doing." Later, my Mom told me that he was worried about the deck on the back of the new house and wondered if my husband's grill was charcoal, because it could rust and burn through and catch the deck on fire. He just wanted me to be safe. He was also very happy to see my driveway faced the correct way for the sun to melt off the snow and it isn't a steep drive like the last house. He passed away a week before we closed on the new house.

So... here's the Girl Scout connection, if you have made it this far... 
The conversation I think of to so many times when I'm discouraged or overwhelmed with Girl Scouts (or overwhelmed) is a conversation Dad and I had in a hospital room. I tried to go see him every other day when he was there for weeks. I'm so thankful I did, too. One evening, it was just Dad and me. I was talking about Girl Scout cookies and how they were arriving and booth sales and sorting and all that... He asked how much we actually got from cookies and was it enough to really cover the expenses. I explained we had saved and worked really hard and the troop is really self-sufficient for the most part at this point. He told me he admired me for what I do with the girls. That it takes someone special to be able to help children that aren't your own. He went on to say that he was thankful I had a good job, because he was certain I put in a lot of my own money to support the activities and the organization. He knew it was a lot of work and he was sure there was also a lot of heartache that came along with it. My Dad was very insightful. He pretty much hit the nail on the head. 

I told him that I just felt I needed to help. I was so fortunate to have great parents and a stable home. Many of the young girls I have come into contact with aren't that lucky. So many things I took for granted as a girl, I now see girls longing to have... basic things... a hug from someone that cares about them... a word of encouragement... a bit of solid advice... a skill that they can take with them for a lifetime... that's why I do it... because every young girl deserves someone in their life that cares about them... I'm not saying the girls I have now don't have good families, they do... but, I have worked with some that didn't... and I help plan and promote events for a lot more that don't... it's frustrating... it's infuriating...  It is tiring... It does keep me awake at night... It does break me to tears at times... and I do get burnt out and frustrated and mad and I want to quit at times...  but, it also gives me hope for the future... it helps me stay grounded... it helps me remember to count my blessings... it makes me pray that I'm making a positive impact on their lives... 

So, today... is a Girl Scout meeting day... a special one... it's our Holiday Party and it's Court of Awards for both Cadettes and Daisies. Dad will be on my mind the entire time, I'm sure. But, I also hope he's smiling down on me and cheering me on... as he always did. I can hear him saying "You can do it. I know you can."

I will end with this... what we tend to forget while cheering on our girls to reach new heights and try new things, is that we need a cheerleader, too. We need positive feedback to keep going. We need someone to stand up and say "You Rock!"

I probably don't know you... we probably haven't met... but know that we are most likely in the same boat... what we do as Girl Scout Leaders is more than crafts, cookies, and camping... you are molding lives for the future... you are standing as a role model for many young ladies... you are putting in time, energy, and money (yes, I know you do that, too) to hopefully make the world a better place... even if it's only better for a few hours a month for a few girls... so, if no one else takes the time to say it... 

I'm proud of you. (not everyone is brave enough to do what you're doing.)
I admire you. (not just anyone would put in the time and energy that you do.)
I thank you for making a difference. (because... you are... you may have to wait to see it... but you are!)
You can do it. (didn't say it would be easy, but most things worth doing... aren't easy.)
I know you can. (and I know you will.)


1 comment :

  1. I lost my dad last year and your story is very familiar to mine. My dad was big into Boy Scouts with my brother and loved what we do and did with Girl Scouts. I just found your Blog and love it! Thank you for sharing this personal connection to scouting and the heartfelt reminder of why we do what we do.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks!!