You’ve heard it before. You’ve probably even said it before:
Money Can’t Buy Happiness.
But… but… but….
When I have money, I can buy a new wardrobe! Then I’ll be happy.
When I have money, I can go on vacation! Then I’ll be happy.
When I have money, I can quit a job I hate! Then I’ll be happy.
When I have money, I can donate to worthy causes! Then I’ll be happy.
Let me tell you about a 6-year old girl, Jennifer Lynn Kranz, affectionately known since birth as “JLK”. JLK was diagnosed in October 2013, on her 6th birthday, with an inoperable and aggressive form of cancer, DIPG. Since that day, her mother Libby has been writing a blog, raw, real, scary.
On February 12, 2014, JLK took her last breath, lovingly tucked in her mommy’s arms, her daddy, Tony, nearby: four months post-diagnosis.
When the diagnosis first became known, donations rolled in to the Kranz family. Money for time to spend together as a family. Money for an apartment for Libby and JLK to live in while they were at Stanford for medical treatments. Money for an iPad for JLK to FaceTime with her two younger brothers (her baby sister was staying with her and Mommy). Money to eat out because when you are parenting a dying child, the last thing you want to spend your time on is cooking.
Since JLK’s death, money has been donated directly to research on the tumor that took her from this world. Money has been donated to send Libby and Tony on a trip together. Money has been donated to fund Libby’s dream of Love4JLK to become a 501c3 non-profit organization (full disclosure: I’m doing the fundraising for that one).
If money could buy happiness, it would have bought a cure for DIPG. It would have shrunk JLK’s tumor. It would have made this all some horrible nightmare, from which the Kranz family could wake from at any moment. It could buy a solid night of sleep for Libby and Tony. It could buy memories that JLKs younger siblings would carry with them, but at 9-months, 2-years, and 4-years, the money that was spent on family time likely won’t be remembered by them, save for some pictures and a souvenir. It would buy the ability to shake Libby and Tony’s grief of losing their oldest daughter.
It would buy more breath for JLK.
But JLK is not coming back.
Money Can’t Buy Happiness.
Do you think, for one second that the Kranz family rolled their eyes at a $10 donation, but jumped for joy at a $100 donation? Was the $10 less appreciated than the $100 donation?
Absolutely not, because it isn’t the number after the $ that they will carry with them always: it is the sentiment, the support, the love, the generous spirit with which it was given.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can change
a person the world, if you let it.
Yes, I would love your support in helping Libby’s strong voice, and even stronger pain change the world, but that is REALLY not what this post is about. This post is about the very real fact that
Money can’t buy happiness,
but generosity and love can.
All photos taken by Zemya Photography and posted with permission from both Zemya Photography and Libby Kranz.