I have some decorative magnets for my van. Started out with polka dots, which made my van look very much like a Wonder Bread van. Okay, Mom bought them for me, but we both thought it would be fun to put on the van because there are a million vans out there that look just like mine and thought it was a fun way to make it easier to know which one was mine. When I first put them on, I had a lot of people comment and ask if why I put them on (I even had someone pull along side me as I was driving and take a picture). I would sometimes tell people (jokingly) that I put them on my car in memory of my grandfather, who worked for the Wonder Bread company (this is true), even though he died a year before I was born.
My magnets have expanded and I also have a Valentine's collection of conversation hearts and shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day. When the polka dots got very worn and faded, we got some flower magnets and two smiley faces. Jimmy started to refer to the van as the "hippy car." I rarely noticed, but he would comment whenever someone would flash us the peace sign as we passed them. Eventually the smiley faces disappeared off of my car, along with a few flowers. Not sure if the kids took them off to play with them or what. Don't really care all that much, as they, too, were getting quite worn and faded. (Trust me, I am going somewhere with this and it isn't aimless rambling. It's rambling with a purpose.)
Last year, I totally forgot about my heart magnets until the day after Valentine's Day. A little late. This year, I put them on early. For more than one reason. I didn't want to forget again and the flowers, like I said, were quite worn and faded. But mostly I put them on early because of National CHD Awareness week that ended on Valentine's Day. Not that anyone really knew that's why I put them on early. But I knew, and that's fine.
Since having a child born with a congenital heart defect, I have learned some things that I didn't know before. Some of which I have learned as recently as this past week. For example, I didn't know that here in the US, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects than from all of the childhood cancers combined, but pediatric cancers get 5 times the research funding. And that less than 1% of the money raised by the American Heart Association goes toward congenital heart defect research (I read somewhere that about 1 penny for every dollar raised goes toward CHD research). Just a little food for thought there.
Even though Valentine's Day has passed, as has National CHD Awareness week, I still have those heart magnets on my van. I can't quite bring myself to take them off yet. And if someone were to ask me why I still have them on, I might say I'm just lazy and haven't gotten around to it yet. Or I might smile a little and tell them they are there as just my small way of participating in bringing awareness for CHD's. Knowing me, I will probably say both and add that it's a bit early for St. Patrick's Day magnets.
(Probably should have taken a picture of my van to add to this post. Ah, well.)