Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 15th is Infant and Child Death Awareness Day

Reminded by beautiful Kara and KotaPress, I want to share a video produced by the MISS Foundation to recognize the children who died before their time, and the countless families left to mourn in their wake. In addition, two years ago, I accepted the Hon Kachina Award just two days before Oct 15th in honor of these children and the organization that has done so much to change the way our culture mourns the death of a child because, for all eternity, they are ours- we are theirs.

I know that many of you already know about the Hon Kachina Award last night. Thank you Kylie's mom, Dana Southworth, for the nomination. It was such a wonderful surprise to be offered this award.

As I accepted this prestigious award, I held all your children in my heart, and I ached. There was not a single moment last night when I was not filled with gratitude for this beautiful organization that has helped so many. They filled a really beautiful vignette which I will share with you when I can figure out how to attach it.
Thank you all for having a heart of grace and a soul of love.
Your child lives through your service to others.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
This award belongs to all our children, the inspiration for our devotion to this cause.

I would like to share my acceptance speech.
By Joanne Cacciatore (c)
October 13, 2007
Scottsdale, Arizona
Hon Kachina acceptance speech

Everyone can be great, because anyone can live a life of service to others. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You need only a heart full of grace. You need only a soul filled with love.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Good evening and thank you. This award is only mine in trust. On July 27, 1994, I was called to serve. On this tragic day, my precious child died, and I had no choice but to answer the call to duty. During a time of inconsolable grief more than13 years ago, I made a vow that if I survived I would help others. While the cost was too high, the beauty from that pain has proven incalculable. And now, I could not begin to imagine my life without the many lessons that I’ve learned, my greatest teacher a child who lived so briefly. She taught me mindfulness and compassion, and that helping even one person can change the world; she taught me that love is stronger than Death; and most importantly, she inspired me to lead by serving.

The most noble and effectual form of leadership is exemplified in service to others—by responding to the needs of others- bridging the chasm between helplessness and hope. Leaders act as stewards in the building of communities. It is truly the greatest, most principled life you can lead- a life devoted to humanity. In service to others, you will realize far more than that which you sacrifice - you will discover the power of a purposeful life.

I hope I have inspired service as I have been inspired by others to serve, including comrades and colleagues, the most extraordinary people I have ever known. I hope that I have modeled the maxim of kindness for my children, and someday my grandchildren. I hope the legacy of my sojourn will be one in which, my name forgotten, the philosophy of this social movement will endure across generations.

I am so honored and humbled to receive the Hon Kachina in memory of all the children who died too soon, and I am incredibly grateful, especially to my five children, my source of sustenance, my four who walk – Arman, Cameron, Stevie Jo, Joshua and my one who soars, Cheyenne.

Remember: A life in service to others is the cornerstone of quintessential greatness. We can, indeed, change the world in which we live. It takes only a heart full of grace and a soul full of love. Thank you so very much.

1 comment:

Snarky Belle said...

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do on behalf of our children. Your example of selfless service is inspiring and admirable. Thank you for the love and strength you provide others.


The soul still sings in the darkness telling of the beauty she found there; and daring us not to think that because she passed through such tortures of anguish, doubt, dread, and horror, as has been said, she ran any the more danger of being lost in the night. Nay, in the darkness did she, rather, find herself.

--St. John, Dark Night of the Soul

Follow me on Facebook