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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sing for SUDC

I have been challenged in the #UseYourVoiceChallenge to #SingForSUDC. And I'm scared to death. This tells me it's probably something I should be doing. So, here we are, because as Simon Holt once wrote, "If you don't know learn how to be scared, you'll never really learn how to be brave.”

Before I get to that, though, let me tell you a little about Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC).
I had never heard of SUDC until about a year and a half ago - 81 Fridays ago, to be exact, when my friend Julie of The Progressive Parent lost her 14 month old son, Patrick, to its vile clutches. Along with many of you, I was crushed when I read the news. The Progressive Parent always felt to me like Zen Parenting's little sister. I felt protective of her, loving toward her. And she lost one of hers. As I'm sure it did with many of you, a little part of me changed forever as I felt so deeply Julie's pain, the pain of PatPat's siblings. As I write this, my heart is pounding, my limbs feel heavy, I'm reliving how it felt to imagine Julie's experience. For those who say, "I can't imagine," I call b.s. I think we can imagine and it's just too damn painful to do so. It hurts just thinking about it, so to imagine living it is unbearable for many of us. Julie doesn't have the luxury of shutting off those feelings, though, so here we are. Here we are talking about SUDC and the nearly same number of innocent children snatched from the bosoms of their parents so very long before their time as are snatched from the families who love someone with ALS. Yes, nearly the same number. And yet, the funding for SUDC research is negligible. It certainly doesn't have a high profile celebrity or 80 championing the cause. So, here we are.

HERE Julie is doing her best to raise awareness and funds for research for SUDC. Here I am doing the same while also supporting my friend and her family. It took me more than 24 hours to get this squared away, so I'm choosing to donate $25 to redeem myself. I don't think anyone will mind my tardiness now.

Now, let me tell you a bit about how this song came about for me. I know that it's a love song, but aren't too all songs mothers sing to their babes? My son, as some of you will recall, did not come to us easily. We had to struggle for him, fight for him, dang-near lose ourselves for him. We waited for a long time. We didn't think it was going to happen. He's here, though. He'll be four next month. Not once have I forgotten how truly fortunate we are to have him in our lives. Never once have I stopped being absolutely enamored with this person who I so often find beside me. He is my best teacher, friend, and love.

This song means something to me. It means something to my husband. It doesn't mean a thing to our son right now. Eh, what are you going to do, right? He's so miffed that I'm doing a song that isn't his favorite song (some Ice Age song, at the moment) that he's busy trying to sabotage my efforts. Did I mention he's turning four next month? He is nothing if not amusing.

I wanted to find the music to Bonnie Raitt's version of Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home" so that I wouldn't have to sing it a cappella. I couldn't. I searched high and low. I had friends far more brilliant than I search. Nada. Then, a generous and brilliant person stepped forward and offered up his services gratis, because the cause matters, Julie matters, Patrick matters. Color me verklempt. Not only did he do it free, he did it WELL. He played all the instruments and he played them beautifully. Oh, and he did it in no time flat. His cousin, who "introduced" us, said he was a wizard and she wasn't kidding! I am grateful and humbled. I don't think I'm speaking out of turn to say that Julie feels the same. Thank you, Stephanie and Cyntrix.

Ok, I've put it off long enough. I just have to do this. I have to sing in front of people. I have to be the center of attention. I have to be vulnerable. SCARY. Totally worth it. The scary stuff almost always is. Julie and PatPat make it worth it. So, here goes nothin':

I challenge YOU. I challenge YOU to sing for SUDC. You don't have to have Julie's voice to do this. Heck, you don't have to have Tiny Tim's voice to do this. (See my husband's challenge video below.) You just have to screw your courage to the sticking point and do it. Sing "You Are My Sunshine" or "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" or a full-blown opera number. I don't care. I just ask that you do it. Do it for Julie. Do it for Patrick. Do it for all the other Patricks out there who don't get the recognition or championing that they should. Do it so someday we won't hear any more stories about the Patricks leaving our world at such tender ages.

(My husband and his quick-vid.)

I challenge you to sing for SUDC and give $10 by clicking HERE OR don't sing and donate $100 instead. You reading this? Then yes, I'm challenging you. Don't bother looking away now. I know you saw it. Do eet! You can. If I can, you can. The Patricks of our world matter more than our fears and our discomfort. If I can, you can. You can. (Bonus: afterward, you get to make three of your friends uncomfortable by making them do the same - sweet!)

I have no doubt Patrick is somewhere listening. Do it for him.

I'd like to take a short moment to thank Monica Duran, one of my former students, for offering up her gentle and constructive criticism of my video so that I could feel as confident as possible posting it. She was also a major confidence booster when she knew that's what I needed most. Everyone should be so lucky. Thank you, sweetheart.

I am publicly challenging friends Jessica Quintanilla (see more about her and her beloved Rissa HERE), Krysten Kline, Orlando Pelagio of OP Photography, Quanta Crews, Sydney Venable, Christine Murphy, Angie Lewis, Jamie Grumet of I Am Not the Babysitter, Tracy Cassels of Evolutionary Parenting, and Jen Pritchett of Attached Parents at Work and Gentle Hearts Parenting. You have 24 hours. Ready? Set. Go!

Christine Murphy did it. So can you!

Jessica Quintanilla did it. So can you!

Hollidy Magadan did it. So can you!

Orlando Pelagio did it. So can you!

Tracy Cassels did it. So can you!
(Uh unh...you have to go to her blog post to see hers. Click HERE.)

I even got my first second generation challenger in Moon Johnson who was challenged by my husband. You can do it, too!

For those who are hesitating to complete this task, please watch:

Go see Cyntrix:
Richard Stottman aka Cyntrix
Artist, producer, and engineer
Louisville, KY.


  1. Thank you so much for these beautiful videos and for supporting SUDC-xoxo a SUDC mom

    1. I'm so sorry for your tragic loss, Lorri. We're all so happy to help in any way we can.