Something Incredible Happened to Us
This past weekend, something incredible happened to Brian and me.
It was the coolest, most-heartwarming, most surreal moment (I am still in shock!).
Let me paint the picture for you.
I went to Minnesota over the weekend to celebrate a very dear friend of mine, Shelby. Her wedding was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 devil and is rescheduled for this November. Us girls all got together over the weekend to celebrate her upcoming nuptials.
After an amazing bridal shower brunch, Shelby asked me to come out front with her because she had my birthday gift.
Now, if you know Shelby at all, you know she is one of the most generous, kind-hearted, genuine and present friends.
She sends electronic Starbucks gift cards at the most opportune times. Seriously, it's like she has a sixth sense and knows exactly when I need a little caffeine pick-me-up. When Brian and I were driving to Iowa City for infertility appointments last year, she always made sure coffee and breakfast were on her and Dan for our long, early morning trips.
Shelby understands the importance of self-care and has ensured throughout this infertility journey that I've been equipped with soothing face masks and eye patches to help with tired and puffy peepers. She even sent me a book and a face steamer that truly makes me feel like I'm at the spa!
When we get bad news (which we've had a lot of), a beautiful, bright bouquet of flowers show up at our doorstep. This colorful display adds a little sparkle to our kitchen table and a some joy to our hearts. Plus, when we look at them we think about our wonderful friends.
Oh, and the cards! Shelby has a knack for finding the most encouraging and humorous greeting cards. Not only do the cards show up when I'm least expecting it, but they always, ALWAYS make me smile. Whether it's a card with David from Schitt's Creek on the front, or a card reminding me that I am a complete badass, or even a personalized card with pictures of us, I always get excited when I see something from Shelby in the mail. Plus, she usually writes a lovely heartfelt note in the card, and I can honestly say I think I have kept every single one she's ever sent!
Shelby checks in on us regularly.
She wears orange during National Infertility Week.
She sends memories that make me reminisce about life when it wasn't so hard.
She lends an ear for venting, and never pretends to understand what we're going through.
She's one of the first calls I make after receiving hard news, and she listens and lets me cry.
She's seen the good,
the downright ugly.
If you don't have a friend like Shelby, you need to find one. Better yet, BE one.
Now that you know a little about Shelby, let's continue on.
So she brings me out to the front of the house and gives me a birthday gift. THEN, as I am getting up to go back inside, she says there's one more thing.
She pulls out an envelope from her company, opens it up and hands me a check for $2,000.
Yes! You read that right.
made out to BRIAN & ME,
The rest of the moment is kind of a blur because I am in a state of shock, but she tells me about the Pay It Forward program her company does each year and that she and her brother, Brady, put their money together and wanted to gift it to us to help with our infertility journey.
Cue the ugly crying.
(Yes, I very-much ugly cried at this moment.)
What is the Pay It Forward Program?
Shelby and her brother work for Bell Bank in Minnesota. Bell introduced an initiative in 2007 that is called Pay It Forward. I took the following content from Bell's website to make sure I paint this program in an accurate light. I have goosebumps just reading this!
Pay It Forward is a unique initiative at Bell Bank, putting dollars into the hands of our Bell team members every year so they can give where they see the most need. This tradition has empowered millions of dollars in grassroots giving and impacted tens of thousands of lives.
Every year, every full-time Bell Bank employee receives $1,000 and every part-timer $500 to give as they choose to individuals, families and organizations in need. Some team members choose to pool their funds, or team up with community members or businesses, to give an even larger gift.
For more than a decade, Bell Bank's Pay It Forward tradition has been one of our company's greatest blessings every year.
Total Pay It Forward Giving 2008-2020: $17,915,273
Ummm, can we talk about what a great company this is!? I have never in my 35 years heard of a company who approaches their giveback in this very cool, very personal way.
And to be the recipient of such a wonderful, COMBINED gift from Shelby and her brother?!
This money will buy us more vials of sperm.
It will help ease the financial burden of continuing this journey.
Most importantly, this generosity touched Brian and I both very hard right in the feel goods.
We can't stop talking about it, and I will forever remember that feeling of complete and utter shock when my best friend presented me with that check. We will put it to good use, and hopefully it will result in the baby we so long for!