Love is an amazing emotion. It can bring the highest highs and the lowest lows. It can be dependable and it also lets you down. It’s exciting and fun sometimes but challenging and frustrating at others. It’s a roller coaster ride of ups and downs that we pray never ends. During the month of February, many people of all ages and types are celebrating the love they have for a spouse, significant other or that new date with the potential to be that new love. It’s a time to be thankful that you have someone to spend time with, share life experiences and even disagree with once in a while. Or, if you’re in the roller coaster valley, it can be a time to purge unhealthy relationships that haven’t worked for a long time and celebrate a love of self. I believe there are a few unconditional types of love that exist for most people: God, your parents, your children (even the furry ones) and your country. So much could be said about all of these areas, but I’m focused on the deep, consuming feeling we have as parents for our children. The parent-child(ren) relationship is complex and evolving throughout our entire lives. And, as most any parent can attest, something happens inside you the moment you lay eyes on that small person who absolutely trusts that you are going to take the best care possible of him or her. You make a silent commitment to yourself to meet the needs of that child at that very moment. I’ve known Andrew Lathrop for a long time. He’s a hard worker and has big plans and dreams for his career, which I’m sure he’ll achieve someday. However, it’s been more fun watching the other dream come true. True success for him is having a beautiful family to share it all with. In this area, Andrew has won big time. He recently sent me a beautifully written letter about his wife, Alison. In this note, Andrew described his life companion as a superwoman, who takes care of everyone in the household at a hero level. Alison is so inspiring. Andrew knows it and now you do too. She spends her days caring for her family and advocating for a very ill child. She makes sure his needs are met, but more than that she has turned herself into a patient advocate that doesn’t rely on the first suggestion in his care. She has taken the time to find solutions to issues even if it meant leaving the state to do it. She’s a feisty mom whose love for all of her children and their needs is paramount. She does this at the expense of time for herself. I hope that sharing this story gives tribute and recognition to all those parents out there caring for a child with special needs. More Love For Children CAWLM has hosted an 80s Flashback Fundraiser for the last four years. I have to say it has been a labor of love. I’m a child of that decadent decade and have a soft place in my heart for the nostalgia of one of the craziest 10 years yet. You remember the hair and clothes right? Each year, we focus our energies to raise resources for a local charity. Last year, we supported the Lansing Promise, a higher education commitment to students in Lansing. This year, we’ve chosen to support the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. If you never had a Girl Scout experience, it may be hard to appreciate how much scouting can change a girl’s life. I started out as a Brownie and stayed in Girl Scouts until I was a Cadet in my early teens. The experiences I had during that time helped me gain confidence, teamwork abilities and leadership skills. In fact, one of the best experiences was helping to lead my own Brownie Troop. Today’s Girl Scouts are receiving even more leadership training than we did in the 70s and 80s. I am so proud of this organization that has paid attention to the needs of the next generation and helped provide it. Just thinking about my time in scouts makes me want to break out into a rendition of the Brownie Song that I still remember all of the words to. So the surprise this year is that we decided that we want to also give the girls an opportunity to have fun rocking out to the 80s. If you have a Girl Scout in your life and want to bring her and her friends to the party, we’re hosting the girls decked out in 80s garb Friday, May 8 at the University Club. The traditional 80s Flashback Fundraiser will be the next night Saturday, May 9. Save those dates! Celebrate love this month, Tiffany Dowling | Publisher
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.