How do my Red Glasses MOVE me?

Hello RGMers!! Recently, I asked you all to answer how your Red Glasses MOVE you. I think it’s only fair I answer the same question.

I recently had the opportunity to meet a new acquaintance IN PERSON to discuss RGM and related topics. My first reaction was to decline and set up the 800th zoom for the year for our meeting. Meeting virtually has slowly become my chosen mode of communication. I literally was in the process of replying to her invite with my standard, “could we set up a call instead?” and I felt a nudge. So, I let it be and decided to meet in person. A few days later, I realized this sweet soul was taking time out of her VERY busy day to squeeze me in. So, I again felt a nudge to offer that I come to her instead of her coming to me…knowing, going to her would mean I would revisit a space near the Children’s Hospital. 

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with the Children’s Hospital. I love all the memories of watching Audrey overcome obstacles: the many successful surgeries and ICU stays, the weigh in’s, the MUGA scans of her heart which were always improving as she grew and most importantly…. the people!!! Oh, I love the people that fought tirelessly to help Audrey achieve all her goals. 

But of course, I also have memories of the hard days. The days in between the successes. The days when I wondered how long we would be in that God forsaken place and of course the memories of the day we lost her and watched her go on, to be in eternal peace and celebration in heaven.

When walking into the little food court at the hospital last week for our meeting…all of these little memories came flooding back. One by one..the good, the bad, but mostly the good. 

I sat down with my soon-to-be new friend and a cup of steaming hot green tea (YUM) and shared my story, Audrey’s story and the story of RGM. And she graciously shared her story. We laughed. We surprised each other with our similarities and our differences. We dove into all the good being done in the world and all the places that could use more love and we put our heads together and came up all sorts of creative ideas. I was sad to go and said many times I wished I could stay all day and chat and learn from my new friend. I was giddy with happiness. 

As I walked back to my car…I was shaking my head. You! You, Audrey Lou! You pushed me. You pushed me to put on my Red Glasses and be bold and be loving and to pass on your story and to pass on friendship in a time where it is tricky to do. You, Audrey who never left a friend unmade. Thank you Audrey and your Red Glasses for MOVING me…one careful step a time back into humanity. Thank you for reminding this is what makes life tick along…relationships, sharing stories, and being physically present. What a gift, I didn’t even know I was missing. 

-Kelly Jandernoa

Executive Director, Red Glasses Movement