It is a day of celebration and throw-back Thursday – 3 years worth in fact. When we opened the 1st memory cafe in downtown Fort Walton Beach Florida, I never imagined this kind of outcome. I hoped for some copy-cats; people who would jump into the need and feel inspired to open one like ours. That never happened. Instead we opened another, and then another … and now we’re sort of closing one to open another. Sometimes, you need to slide back to move forward.
Three years ago in June “The Neighborhood Memory Cafe” was born out of a need – just like our powerful little book series. We didn’t think what if it fails, instead we thought what can we do to help it bloom. This place where caregivers and loved ones come to relax, be themselves and immerse in the arts, table-side has indeed bloomed. With community sponsors, energetic volunteers, and lots of encouragement, we bloomed into two local cafes plus two mobile cafes across The Emerald Coast. Every month we gather to love them through one of life’s toughest journeys and build memories in spite of forgetfulness.
Today, we need to slide back a little to move forward with a grand re-opening. The downtown cafe is staying on board to offer a “caring for the caregiver” dinner series every other month; thanks Synergy Organic Juice Bar and Cafe! And, the University of West Florida (Fort Walton Beach) is opening their arms to us, to help magnify support for families coping with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Together with The Campus Cafe and the Center for Life-Long Learning, we are moving forward to bloom yet another “Neighborhood Memory Cafe.”
When you set out to make a difference, it is not about passion versus obligation. Instead, with passion comes obligation – we each have an obligation to do something about what God has placed on our hearts. That is how the world is changed, one person, one act at a time. You see, when things don’t turn out like you thought it’s no excuse to stop. In fact, if you don’t keep going you will miss the opportunities that are ahead of you. God wastes nothing. He uses everything. I’ve seen it play out again and again, through the depths of despair and the highest of triumphs.
Blind faith isn’t really blind; it’s seeing with your heart instead of your eyes.
The world needs more bloom, more hope, it matters more than we can ever imagine. We need to be more interested in sitting with the broken than standing with the great. Thanks for the reminder, Heather Swift.
Where have you stepped out in faith? Bloom where you’re planted but please don’t stay there (I did a little writing about that too). Passion led me here to this day of grand re-openings. Where is your passion leading you?
There is often beauty in sliding back a little as we move forward.