I know that good leadership often means being calm and purposeful, organized and straightforward. I struggle with all that since I am very emotional, tend to be distracted by noises, 'shiny objects', and any notion that pops into my brain. I do have a clear sense of purpose however and thankfully I seem to be able to gather amazing talent around Soulumination to make it move forward. Where I am lacking it seems we are gifted with people who fill those voids. I can't thank Megan enough for her organizational skills, she truly will help Soul move forward stronger and better prepared for the scrutiny that comes when applying for grants. Diane is working to make the Artist Sale even better and I marvel at her sense of purpose and her ability to bring artists together without bruising egos. Our TIPS intern, Hannah, along with Faustine have added the youthful spirit that always refreshes.
I realized yesterday that keeping high spirits while dealing with grief is often hard for someone like myself. With each new face that is added to the Soul family my heart breaks a bit and its not easy to connect to lighter feelings. I took some time to quietly reflect on what helps me come back to center and that is often some little delight.
Wonderful things were presented to me shortly after I came to this realization. As always I need to trust that if we do the right thing then good things happen. First of all I saw an email from our contact at the new Swedish Hospital in Issaquah. This person described how beautiful and touching the photos were that had been on display. Next Megan told me that she and Hannah had delivered the photos and gifts to two families at Children's last week and that unlike the normal routine where the packages are left with the unit coordinator, they were asked to take the gifts directly to the families. They got to meet our newest teen who had been recorded by Christine and the family that Jodi had recently worked with. Megan beamed as she described the encounters and told me how touched both families were, plus it let Hannah see first hand how the work of Soul is so appreciated.
Finally this morning I awoke early and went to get this laptop that has allowed me to take Soul and my duties anywhere there is internet connection. I brought my thoughts of Soul and the laptop to bed waiting to start writing until Doug was awake and heading out to work. As I opened my email there was a letter from an RN at Children's who had been with Kevin on his recent end of life shoot. I share some of the words that truly gave me that renewed since of purpose:
"This week, I had the pleasure of working with Kevin while photographing an infant and her family in an end of life situation. I would first like to thank you and Soulumination for providing this incredible service to our little patients and their families. The memories that you have provided to this family will be cherished forever. I am in complete awe of your organization and the work you do . . . thank you to you and your volunteers for making this possible."
She goes on to write specifically about Kevin: "I would like to thank Kevin for his outstanding photography and professionalism. He was extremely flexible and came to the hospital twice at the family’s request. He was professional but also exhibited a “silent compassion” to the family during this difficult time. "
And so it goes, as I bend with the wind of all that comes before this little non-profit, sometimes I get blown into a realm of sorrow but then comes the reminder that this grief is not truly mine, but keeping the work flowing and heartfelt and touched by many caring hands is my responsibility and my honor. In love and peace, and with gratitude for the talent and generosity that have come together to make Soulumination possible, Lynette
Opening this missive with the first "angel baby", the beautiful, ever inspiring, Joey.