I just read my friend, Heather's blog. She made me cry. I am still so overwhelmed at the thoughtfulness of this wonderful woman. I'm glad she was blessed for helping me. She so deserved this! I'm adding her post to my blog so I have a record of her side of the story. If you want to see her family photos, (I did not include any) please go to her blog post here.
In Heather's words:
If you just have to see the pictures then scroll down check them out and then come back and read this. I wanted to give a little background about how these photos came to be.
This summer after my friend and neighbor Allisha had her 6th baby by c-section she become very ill-like in the hospital, multiple surgery's, infection throughout her body ill. It was extremely scary to say the least. I can't imagine how her husband or children felt but I know for myself I begged Heavenly Father to not take her from her family or from all the people that loved her. She spent a long time in the hospital leaving her 5 kids at home to be watched by family and friends. I kept wanting to do something to help but so did everyone else in town. Seems like every time I had an idea of something to do for the Hughes family someone else had already thought of it. Meals were covered daily, kids were scheduled to go here and there regularly and I felt like I wasn't being of any help at all. Right from the start of the ordeal I did have a sick feeling in my stomach about the rising cost of bills as Allisha had to stay in the hospital longer and longer. I felt right from the start that as a community and as friends we ought to do something to help with the costs. Fast forward a little bit to a day when Gaylene Erwin wrote me a message on Facebook saying she had saw that I had asked John if we could plant him a garden and she wondered if she could help. I wrote back that the garden was already planted but I still wanted to do something to help. I mentioned to her an idea I had about doing a fundraiser-a community fundraiser for the family with a dinner, auctions, games etc. She said she would love to help and maybe she could even donate a photo shoot and a free picture as a prize to auction off. I told her I thought that would be an awesome idea and that I wanted to win it if she did it. And thus was born the Hughes Family Benefit idea (well sort of). So I posted on Facebook wondering if anyone else would be interested in helping put together a fundraiser and of course there were other friends who said they would be interested, so we planned a meeting. In the meantime it became so clear to me exactly what the fundraiser should be. I couldn't hardly sleep because I had ideas and visions in my mind. I felt it so strongly that it almost brought me to tears on a regular basis thinking about what we needed to do. I had heard that other friends had a few other ideas (bake sales, car washes, yard sales etc) and I knew those were good ideas but I knew without a doubt what we needed to do for Allisha's family. Before I went to the meeting I just prayed that the others would want to jump on board with this huge idea. I knew that we had to do something that provided as many people as possible with as many opportunities to donate money in one evening. We discussed and brainstormed and formulated a plan to put on a Benefit Event. The crazy thing is that all these fabulous women just kept listening to my ideas, accepting assignments and treating me as if I had a clue about what I was doing (which I had none-thank you very much). I kept thinking, "I think they think I know how to do this-I can't believe they are listening to me and trusting me with such a responsibility." And after weeks of planning, and generous donations from so many local businesses (which I was so overwhelmed by) the day came for the Hughes Family Benefit Event. Miraculously and I know very humbly, Allisha and John and kids all came to the event (though they did not seek, request or ask for any of it to be done) and let us all serve them and show our love in a variety of ways. The weather held out until the last dollar bill was counted and then it down poured. I thought it would be wonderful if we could make $500.00 for the family but we made well over that-leaving the planning committee in near tears as we packed up and went home. As part of the event we had several items that we raffled off (though raffles are not legal in Utah so we called them "donations or prize drawings"-same difference right!). One of those prizes was a photo shoot with Gaylene. I told Greg that we were buying $40.00 worth of tickets and putting them all in that bucket to win the photo shoot. I was in charge of reading off all the winners of the prizes. The photo shoot was the last one. The bucket had way more tickets than I wanted to see (only for my own selfish reasons) in it but when the ticket was given to me I was shocked to read my own name. I wanted to cry. I wanted to win so bad; I wanted the whole evening to be a success so badly; this was just the icing on the cake. Maybe it was Heavenly Father's way of saying, "thank you for listening to my voice," or maybe it was just the luck of the draw. Either way we were thrilled to have the chance to finally have professional family pictures taken.
Isn't she amazing? I am so blessed to call her my friend! :) Thank you Heather.