would you have a carwash to raise money to bury a loved one?

i have been noticing lately in the small Central California town that i live in, that  there are lots of carwashes going on. you know the kind that raise funds usually for a sports team or some kind of trip that the highschool band is taking. those are pretty much the norm in any city, especially here in California. but in the last year i have probably seen close to 60 carwashes that are being held to cover funeral expenses for someones loved one. i actually participated in my first carwash of this kind a few weeks ago. a girl i went to highschool with lost her child, a special needs child who was born with microcephaly a congenital  anomaly, in which the head is abnormally smaller than the body and underdevelopment of the brain occurs. "Angel" was not expected to make it to the age that she did, which was two years old. my children and i were moved to help because we were neighbors to her sister whom we had become good friends with. so we volunteered our time to help out. it was expected that "Angel" would pass, but how many of us in times like these are prepared to bury a loved one. funerals have become more expensive like everything else. how many people plan ahead or even have burial insurance? i know i don't. i have often said to my children that i prefer cremation to burial. i don't want my death to become some big financial burden on my family. if i died tomorrow someone would pay for it, either my aunt or an uncle, but if they weren't here my family would have to have a carwash.

they would put a picture on a posterboard and get volunteers to help out, and they would find a local wal-greens or some other place to get permission to use their water and parking lot. the volunteers would bring towels and soap and buckets and hoses and even drinks and snacks for this all day event. this is what was done for "Angel" and the volunteers would stand at the busiest corners and shout out CARWASH, DONATIONS, and direct people where to go. the others would wash and dry the cars. i  helped out on the second day which was a sunday. a day reserved for church and going out to breakfast and spending time with the family. i looked dead in the eye at people as i held up a sign with a picture of "Angel" on it. sadly 9 out of 10 people chose to look away and ignore me, but the 1 out of 10 that did give, always said "this is all i can give" to which i would reply "anything helps, God bless you." did it matter if it was 50 cents or five dollars. no, what mattered to me  and  i am sure Andie, "Angels" mother,was that  by  donating  they too were saying  in some way  they understood  it could be them or someone they loved. money was donated and "Angel" was given a beautiful celebration of life.

i would do it again in a heartbeat i only hope the opportunity doesn't arise too soon. my kids and i were tired and sunburned but we felt so rewarded in our hearts. death is a time when things are forgiven, and all of the day to day things that seem so taken for granted become more important. the goodbye kiss when you take your kids to school, the time at dinner when stories are shared and laughter erupts when someone says something silly, when you carry them to bed and tuck them in, and if you have teenagers when they actually show some form of affection for you it becomes all the more sweeter and treasured. so the next time you pass a carwash even if you cannot get your car washed donate that change in the consel or give up your starbucks for the day because it just might make a difference in someones world.

in memory of Angel Marie Arballo who gained her wings. born on October 29,2007, went home to be with Our Lord on April 22,2010


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