MSEJ November 2018 - Page 4

2018: Lessons in Loss

By: Deb Kloeppel, President and Founder

Allow me to speak from my heart with this particular year in review. This has been a difficult year. Dan and I both lost our beloved mothers; their deaths were only three months apart. We have truly learned the meaning of reflection, loss, strength,

and the kind of unconditional love that pulls you through the gut-wrenching process of moving forward—even, or perhaps especially, when you don’t want to.

So much of the process of moving forward through loss can be applied to our mission and the roles we occupy here at CASY & MSCCN. Grants we didn’t receive. Cherished team members needing another job, or having to leave to fulfill their destiny. Programs that stalled, then started, then stalled again. It’s the ebb and flow of life and business, that’s for certain.

Although I would never like to repeat 2018 again, the lessons it taught us have set CASY & MSCCN up for a full year of major growth in 2019. This is the kind of expansion we’ve been waiting for, the kind that 2018 has prepared us to manage.

I now understand why the stops and starts, the periods of waiting, and the methodical strategies we produced in 2018 were so necessary. We had to prepare this team, our

board of directors and investors, and our outreach branches for the major events and opportunities that will occur in 2019.

2019 will empower CASY & MSCCN to remain in their rightful place: powerful and impactful nonprofits that have never turned an unsavory corner in their fifteen-year history. In that time, despite changes and challenges, we’ve never incurred a single blemish financially or metrically. For that we are proud and humbled.

During this year of grieving, growth, and waiting, we’ve been able to look ahead, to see the fulfillment of our hard work in the coming year.

In reflecting on the year that was, I’ve come to believe that it was a year of growth though, at times, I might have missed the new green leaves in the underbrush. When you’re trying to make it through a difficult path, sometimes that happens. This has been a year of learning, of seeing what we need most as an organization and what can fall away. Grief has a way of bringing its own kind of clarity.