The mission of The Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation is to improve outcomes of pregnancy, childbirth, prematurity, and infancy, as well as aid in the grieving process through financial assistance, education, and advocacy
Anniversaries that trigger reflection have been happening recently. First, the three year anniversary of the foundation happened on September 7. Second, the three year anniversary of Colette’s due date was on the same date. Third, the 20-year anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 happened just last week. These types of anniversaries really have caused those where was I at memories and where am I at now.
Whether it was being a college junior woken up early by a phone call from my mom on 9/11, finally being a mom but not having a child to hold, grieving that a date we had held so close to our hearts would not be the marker for when our child came into the world, or launching a foundation into the world after years of swearing that I would never start a non-profit of my own, all of these events were formative in decisions I made and where I am today.
Regarding the foundation, as we enter our fourth year, I think back to this time in 2018 when we still had not received our first application and when I was realizing just how many challenges there were to the work we wanted to do and to the families we wanted to help. The Michelle back then could have never imagined that we would be at the point of having helped 787 families in 40 states. Michelle of 2018 was hoping to parlay her energy as a mom without a living child into something and that something became this foundation and my way to parent Colette.
But, I have to say that this organization would not have accomplished any of our successes without help from you and so many countless others. So, I take this time to thank all of you for taking your time, generosity, and support and directing it towards us. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this newsletter, check out our social media, refer patients and families to us, have us on their podcasts or allow us the platform to share our blogs, to tell a friend, to write a check or click a link to donate, to host Facebook fundraisers, and on and on.
And as a special note, I would like to say thank you to my husband, Mark, who in addition to being a wonderful partner and co-parent, was willing to embrace my slightly crazy idea of starting this and never waver in his support of our mission. He also keeps me grounded, reminds me that even though I constantly want to do more, to help more, to save more, to create more change, that I am doing a lot, who watches our son Elliott so that I can parent Colette and continue spreading her life and memory, and who always makes me laugh (and often roll my eyes at his jokes).
I would also like to thank my two kids, my inspiration for doing this work, my driving force, my world–to Colette for making such an impact in your short life, for fueling me with the idea and the drive to keep doing this work and to Elliott who seems to understand that my time is often split between the two kids and who also reminds me to relax and laugh and enjoy life. I am a blessed wife and mama.
I hope you grant yourself time to reflect on your past experiences and think about how they shaped you into the incredible person you are today. Take the time to be grateful for the hard times because they shaped you. And if you are so inclined to write something about it afterwards, I hope you consider having us feature that on our site (see I could not be all sappy).
Have a great week!