My heartrate spiked when I first learned of Josh's brain tumor. I'm Kristen Baumgarten's friend Kristin Baldwin. I immediately felt upset and as cliche as it is all I could think was "this isn't fair." I have to be honest I wasn't thinking about Josh(sorry Josh! I hope you understand) I was thinking about Kristen - my reliable girlfriend, my friend who experienced motherhood in much the same way as I was, my friend who could laugh with me or cry with me or grumble with me. My friend who on the outside looked perfect and always put together but was an honest vulnerable one-day-at-a-time woman just like me! Over the next week I felt helpless to help my friend - what could I possibly say or do? How could I ever act like I have any idea what she must be going through? Finally, I realized I just couldn't. My friend Sha and I were desperate to help. So what could we do?
This blog. The fundraising efforts. The calls for help. To anyone who has wondered:
Neither Josh nor Kristen asked for any of it.
In fact, I have to say I was a bit of a bully about it because I know Kristen. As sure as I know she is incredibly humble and grateful for the love and generousity shown them, I also KNOW she would never have asked for a penny from anyone. Does that mean there wasn't a need?? Absolutely not. I also KNOW that there was a genuine need for financial help. The Baumgartens are a hard-working young family. Self-sufficient is perhaps the best way to describe them. A year ago they acquired financing to buy a beautiful new home and there was a plan and a budget. They had no idea what brooded on the horizen. Who could have known the economy would affect the oil industry the way it has? Who could have known a new home could lose so much equity in a single year? Who could have known the bread winner and provider for the family has advanced brain cancer, news of which would arrive about the same time sweet baby #4 was due?
I'm a little unsure how all this will sound when you read it but I had to make sure one thing was clear: The Baumgartens have not asked for anything and like anyone it has been overwhelming and a challenge to accept the generous money and donations given. To anyone visiting this blog I thank you for your support, love, and caring towards the Baumgartens. So many friends of the family as well as perfect strangers have reached out and shared their love and support. THAT is the point. Not to put their life and trials on display. So please continue to do what you're doing and extend your love and support because I believe in Karma. At one point or another we will ALL need a helping hand. For any questions or comments or suggestions for the blog or fundraising efforts please contact me directly. 435-823-3946.