SWAGG is a free mobile app (download here) that lets you shop smarter using your mobile phone. Buy, send or swap SWAGG GIFTS and organize your old school plastic gift cards.
For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) , up to $125,000.
Clever Girls Collective and SWAGG are sending a pair of movie fans to the Sundance Film Festival! Download the SWAGG app and then visit the Ultimate SWAGG Getaway Sweepstakes site to enter to win a trip for two to the Sundance Film Festival. Entry deadline is January 3, 2011, 11:59pm, PST.
My mother, whom I always, without exception, called Mami, turned 67 just 10 days before she died in fall of 2008. For her birthday, which my three siblings and I knew, deep down in that part of our hearts we knew would soon be crushed with grief, that it was going to be her last birthday. That's not something most people can possibly (or should ever) know -- about themselves or the people they love -- but when you are in the end stages of metastatic cancer, it's not difficult to guess that if your next birthday is probably it. We knew it, and she knew it too.
The baby and I went down to Florida for her birthday, as did my older brother Louis and his family, to join Jorge, Diana and their families for the birthday celebration. My good friend Audrey silk-screened T-shirts that said "Team Abuela" for all eight grandchildren, with my eldest niece's saying 1 on the back and so on, in birth order, stopping with Baby J, who was 8.
I could say that seeing the shirts on the grandkids or simply having all four of us together one final time was the birthday gift, but we even had a physical present for her as well. We ordered a custom photo blanket made up of photos of all eight grandchildren. She was always cold, so the blanket served a double purpose of warming her body and keeping the grandbabies close to her, both physically and figuratively. It was, quite frankly, the perfect present. I'm not sure whe I'll ever give another gift with so much meaning.
As I was helping Mami back into her bedroom later that evening (she slept as many hours a day as an infant at this point), she said to me, in Spanish, "What a beautiful blanket. It's such a shame I won't get to enjoy it very long. At the time, I wasn't quite ready to hear her acceptance of her imminent death, so I just replied in my normal, rambly way about how she needed it, because she was cold, and now she could see their photos all the time, especially the five kids who didn't live in Florida (like mine).
But now that more than two years have passed, I know that our gift to her giving her a chance to realize that the four of us would be okay. We were all grown, married, parents. We were all unconditionally devoted to her and each other. She had raised us right and had experienced the joy and privilege of witnessing our weddings and births. She knew she could let go of the pain, because we would go on loving her, loving each other, loving those beautiful grandchildren she adored.
Because of my commitment to Stand Up to Cancer, I hope you'll download the app, because SWAGG has partnered with SU2C to donate $1 for every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010. Your FREE download will directly provide a $1 donation to SU2C (up to $125,000). For more about SU2C, visit http://www.standup2cancer.org/
Learn more about the coolest new app that revolutionizes the whole shopping, gifting, and gift card-organizing experience and Download the SWAGG app to your iPhone or Droid. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity.