We are looking for 15,000 Angels on Facebook. We are challenging all of our Friends, Family, and complete strangers to help us find 15,000 people to Like blindmom.com on Facebook and show they would have given $1 to save Peyton Park. This Park is no ordinary Park. It started with a wish that I made for my wife Nicole. It is much easier to tell the story from the beginning. So I will fill you in on how Peyton Park came to be and how our search for 15,000 Angels began.
This is a blog post from August 31, 2011
This blog entry is a little different. Usually you get to hear from a blind mom. Tonight you will hear form a sighted father. Nicole is my better half. She is literally the center of my world. Words in the English language cannot express the love that I have for her. When you see us out in public you will always see Nicole hanging onto my arm. When i am out without her i almost feel like a fish out of water. We are as close as I feel it is possible for two people to be. I need her and depend on her for strength and support as much as she depends on me to be her eyes. Some times I jokingly tell people that I am her guide dog, but in reality she is the one who is truly leading me.
This past week has been an emotional one for both of us. It has forced us to relive some really great memories that we have shared, and It has also forced us to say goodbye to a place that is very sacred and meaningful to our family. This week we have been forced to say goodbye to Peyton Park. Peyton Park is literally a little piece of heaven on earth to me. It is a symbol that has a lot of meaning. As I tell you our story and you watch the video I think you will see the symbolism that I see in the Park and will be able to more fully understand the emotions I am wrestling with as I write.
Just over six years ago I was setting at my desk at the Iron County School District Office. I was at the time working there as a network administrator. It was a sunny Friday Morning in June and I was swamped with the task of getting all the labs in the district updated and ready for the approaching new school year. As I sat at my desk I received an email. The email was informing Cedar City residents that a new TV show on NBC had picked Cedar as a place that they wanted to have an open casting call. The casting call was to be help the following day. They were looking for stories of people who had been faced with amazing challenges. They wanted residents to come tell the story of someone they know and make a wish for them. My thoughts quickly turned to my wife. No one I know had ever faced more hardship and challenges than her.
As I sat there at my desk I started to relive the nightmare that we had faced head on together. When I think of what we have lived through it starts to seem like a Lifetime Movie Network original movie. I would never have believed it if I had not lived through every terrible moment of it. We did live through it, and we were in fact still standing. The only real casualty of our ordeal was Nicole's vision. She was now left completely in the dark. I then snapped back to reality, and went about my work day. I thought about about a wish I could make for Nicole off and on throughout the day, but concluded that I just didn't want to go tell her story and be forced to relive it all over again. I liked to keep a lot of the pain locked away in a place that I didn't want to visit.
Just before five o'clock I returned to my office after a day off running around to various schools. The earlier thoughts of sharing Nicole's story to a TV show had been replaced with plans of trying to make sure I was going to be able to get all of the new computers and lab software ready for teachers and student to return. I had determine that I would keep Nicole's story to myself. I sat down and realized I had an unbelievable amount of email in my inbox. I had had over 30 people forward the email about the casting call and pleaded with me to go and tell her story. Then our secretary started in on me and told me I was crazy not to go. I thought I would hurry and get out of the office before I was jumped by anyone else. I didn't make it to my car. The ladies in the office downstairs caught me and started in on me. It seamed that everyone that received the email thought of my wife.
Nicole and our little daughter Peyton were in Fairview staying with Nicole's mom for a few days and I was going up that night to stay in Fairview for the weekend and then bring them home. I thought about it for a few hours trying to decide what I should do. I knew that it would seem a little strange to tell Nicole that I was staying in Cedar Friday night and would not come up until later on Saturday afternoon. I decided to pray about it and see if that would help me decide if I should stay in Cedar and share Nicole's story. I felt very strongly that this was an opportunity to share with people how amazing Nicole is and how her attitude and our families faith had helped her to overcome so many obstacles. We truly had seen amazing miracles and I felt it was wrong to keep them all to ourselves.
I decided to stay in Cedar that night and go to the casting call. I arrived at the Heritage Center downtown about a half hour before the casting call was to begin. I wanted to get it over with as quick as I could so I could get out of town and go see Nicole and Peyton. I had never been away from ether of them this long before and I was really missing them badly. My bags were packed and I was planning on leaving as soon as I was through telling them about Nicole. When I arrived I was amazed to find hundreds and hundreds of people in line to get in. I literally saw the line and went back to my car and started to leave. I started to pull out of the parking lot and it was almost like a voice inside of me said, "This is your one opportunity to share your miracle with the World". I turned off the car and went to get in line.
We were all taken to a large conference room where we were asked to fill out a mountain of legal documents and to tell them about the wish we wanted to make. This was honestly the first time I had thought about a wish. I had been thinking about telling everyone about what an amazing woman my wife was but the thought of making a wish for her had not even entertained my thoughts. I started to talk to some of the people around me. Most had a very specific wish. Some were really amazing. Some were incredibly selfish. I had no wish, not one that would come to mind. I am here auditioning for a TV show called Three Wishes and I literally could not think of a wish. You know wishing for Nicole to see again is an obvious wish that we all share but I know that it would take another miracle not a TV show to grant that wish. Suddenly I was called up to go into a room and tell one of the Producers about my wish. I had all of the paperwork filled out but the question about a specific wish was blank. I am sure that day that I am the only person in the room that didn't have a wish.
I sat down and began to tell the one of the producers why I was there. I told them about how Nicole and met each other. How for me it was love at first sight. I had not been in the same room with Nicole for more than ten minuets and I knew that she was the one I would spend eternity with. I told them that nine months later we were married in the Manti Temple on September 17, 1999. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that when you are married in the Temple that it is not just until death do you part like other marriage vows. In our Temples we are Sealed together for Time and all Eternity. This belief is one of the most important doctrines of our faith. It is also one of the only things that would help to get me through the trials that would lay ahead.
I finished telling her our story with tears pouring down my cheeks. I then looked up and she was crying as well. She then told me to wait in that room for a second and that she would be back. I then told our story a second time to three other producers. We all cried together as well. One of them said, "there is only one thing left for us to do, we need to meet Nicole". Two months later the adventure that we had with Three Wishes would begin.
This is a blog post from September 2, 2011
When I was talking to the owners of Sunset Ridge they told me that it would take at least $15,000 to save the park by building a wall to keep the hill from sliding any further. I understand as a business owner this is a hard cost to swallow. I told them I would be willing to raise the money and do what ever I could do to help. It was very apperent to me that they didnt want the help and had no intent on keeping the Park on the property.
I told two different people in the organization that I knew I cold find 15,000 people that would donate at least a dollor to save the park. Both scoffed and mocked the idea. This is where all of our Facebook friends and family come in. I want you to all share this challenge with all of your friends. I want to see how long it will take for 15,000 people to care. All I ask you to do is share the blindmom.com Facebook page with everyone you know and have them hear the story and show support by liking the page. I know that there are thousands of good people that have a heart. I want to see how fast we can find them.
I put both of the posts together to make it much easier to share the story and share the challenge with your Friends. The Park is now completely gone. We were able to take out the play ground equipment on Saturday. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I never thought 6 years ago that I would see this day. I really want to show them that I could find people who care and would help to preserve the park. In fact I will find one person for every dollar they told me it was going to cost them to fix it. Then we will find a way to rebuild Peyton Park in a place where it will be cared for and preserved. Thank you so much for your help.
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