Sylvia is my 8 year old daughter. She's a girl on a mission 95% of the time! If she's not creating some type of artwork, she's practicing back bends and cartwheels or trying to dance like a more appropriate version of a "hoochie mama". It's hard to work your mojo when your mojo is 8 and your Mom would rather you dance like a lady. The thing about Sylvia is that she's all heart.
Everything she does is full throttle. I love that about her.
The other day, Sylvia came up to me with her ever-present pad of paper and asked me, "Mom, how do you start a fundraiser?" I have to admit I was only half listening at first. Then she said, "Mom, this is really important!" So I started really listening. "What is this fundraiser for?" I asked, and her answer caught me totally off-guard.
"I want to raise money so people don't have to have heart disease like you, Mom. I think Moms should be able to play with their kids and they shouldn't have to worry about their Moms dying. If I raise some money, they can get rid of it, right?"
She was 4 when my heart stopped. Half of her life I have lived with heart disease. I really didn't realize that she worries about me dying. That's the kind of heart Sylvia has. It's full of love for me, the other moms, and all the kids who have lost their moms to heart disease. She knows how cruel and crappy life can be when your mom's beta blockers make it hard for her to get off the couch. She's learned to accept that sometimes Mom just can't. It breaks my heart. She deserves the full Mom experience, and she's willing to do the work to make a difference.
Her timing was perfect, since the school was in the final days of their "Jump Rope for Heart" campaign. She jumps rope, people donate, and the money funds research via the American Heart Association. It's way easier than creating her "Cartwheels for Heart" fundraiser where people pledge money per cartwheel. I like her idea. We'll work on it. (She's really into cartwheels right now.)
Sylvia understands first hand what it is to live with heart disease in your family. She's jump-roping her little self silly to try to "get rid of it". It's very important to her heart that no one else lives in fear. She's blessed with a heart for others.
If you'd like to support her efforts, go to http://jumpmwa.kintera.org/sylviaswager