In my last blog, I wrote about my struggle with my nightmare of a few weeks. Including having to evacuate my house due to a combination of rats, sewage leaking under the house, the toilet leaking in the only bathroom inside, and the car accident that ultimately totaled my car. This has continued as I raced to find a replacement car in the short amount of time the insurance gave me (when I could get ahold of them), fighting with the landlord who ended up reducing my rent for the 2 weeks only to raise my rent upon lease renewal, more financial strain, and a host of other little things between. I felt like I had stepped into the boxing ring with life and after being knocked down and stumbling up to a knee, I got kicked right back down. I might be up to 2 knees at this point.
However, none of this can compare to the devastation of the kind soul who was fighting for her life in a Type 1 diabetic coma at the same time. At only 30 years old, she lost the battle on 1/6/20. I met Megan McDonald through the company we were partnered with, IDLife. I had the privilege of spending some time with her during a company event and continuing to stay connected via social media. I had the honor of officiating the wedding of her mother and stepdad. She was the type of person that could bring people together from all walks of life. She had a raw, authentic, exuberant way of living as a free spirit. I recently shared that when I was little I would put on skits and do silly things to make people laugh and so was given the nickname Sunshine. Long ago, I dreamed of being on Saturday Night Live. All of this I could see in Megan as well. I enjoy doing little kind things regularly like holding the door for people, rounding up the shopping carts that people leave in parking spots (why do they do that?), giving compliments, words of encouragement, etc. Megan took this a step further though and made it her life mission to change the world by spreading kindness. As I have found after her passing, she shared these dreams and plans with those closest to her. What I saw in my short time knowing her was just a snippet of her heart. A combination of knowing what the world would be missing with her leaving so young, the empathy of the unimaginable loss of a child, and I am sure all the other hardships I have been facing, resulted in the shedding of more tears than I have in a long time. Up until the long round trip I took to attend her funeral, it was a week-long waterworks fest. Now, the attention is focused on the positive left behind.
The Facebook group that was started to keep us all up to date and share during her time in the hospital is now being updated with happy memories, photos, and videos. Now a new public page has formed to pass her mission of kindness on to all who care to engage at youvebeenmeged.com. The idea is to pay for the coffee of a stranger (as Megan did regularly) or give a gift card. However, any act of kindness can go a long way. Even a smile and kind words have such a huge impact. I know, because when I am struggling, it doesn't take much to turn tears of sorrow into tears of joy. And it can be contagious like the butterfly effect. I feel it is also important to share as someone who has battled with depression and anxiety off and on my whole life, what an impact kindness can have. As a side note, I think it is important to talk openly about this particular mental health issue and end the stigma on it. It takes a lot of work to win this consistent battle. Being the bearer of goodness to the world helps not only the people you are reaching out to but, it does wonders for yourself in the process.
Consider joining the group to share the love and if you feel led to do so, consider contributing to the fund to help with all the medical expenses left behind as Megan did not have life insurance. The GoFundMe page is here.