December 25, 2018
Well… um, a bit delayed in publishing these numbers (since it is already December 25th), but I captured and saved all the stats from last month on December 1st so that I would be able publish this summary as soon as I had a moment [I have been so busy this past month helping families, it’s unprecedented!].
Really, all I can say is that I was blown away in November, 2018!
There were 141,912 unique hits on this blog (Google Analytics actually says it was over 145,000), and that is not only #LeadSafeMama’s best month ever in the history of the blog (by nearly 200%), but it was also more than twice the number of views we had in November, 2017 (which was just about 70,000)! Up until last month, November 2017 was the second best month ever in the history of the blog.
On top of November 2018 being the #BestMonthEver, the blog also saw it’s best day ever on my birthday – 11/20/18 – with more than 11,000 unique views in one day [that was seriously the best birthday present ever!].
The thing I am most floored by (and proud of) is that in November, 2018 alone this blog was read by readers – mostly mothers of young children – in 121 separate countries (per Google Analytics)! One hundred and twenty one countries in a single month!
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Happy Birthday, Mom!
Today would have been my Mom’s 76th birthday [our family is Jewish — but in our house, we always had another reason to celebrate on December 25th!] Mom was a huge supporter of my work — because she saw and personally experienced how profoundly Lead had impacted the lives of her own grandsons (and my life as their mom).
However, like so many parents and grandparents of the people I help, early on my mother was very much in denial about Lead being a problem…she didn’t want me to talk about it…she didn’t want her friends or anyone in our extended family to know the boys had been Lead poisoned…she carried a level of shame that so many do — one that we later learned was a societal perspective that was carefully crafted by the Lead industry at the turn of the last century (c. 1910-1920.)
She eventually came around to understanding that Lead poisoning was real, that my kids were Lead-poisoned and that as a consequence, her daughter was a parent of children with disabilities. This is not an easy thing for a grandparent to come to terms with. It’s hard enough for the parents of children who are poisoned to get to a place of acceptance so that they can move forward, but for grandparents to come around to admitting that their grandchildren might have certain struggles – for life – is perhaps even more difficult.
Having the support of an understanding grandparent in this journey can transform the lives of Lead-poisoned children.
Once Mom came on board with understanding [that the concern for lasting damage arising from early childhood Lead exposure was both very real, well-known & understood by the scientific community, and medically diagnosable/confirmable by testing], she tried to help in every way she could.
Her acceptance of my children’s Lead-poisoning helped give her permission to do something about it. She made such a huge difference in their lives. She helped us cover the costs of educational, cultural and travel opportunities that we might otherwise never have had. She took care of the kids when she could (even though we lived in different States). She came to every birthday party she could — and helped make sure they were special. She came to take the kids trick-or-treating every Halloween until she got sick with cancer. Whenever she came to visit in Portland (or we came to visit her in Napa), she tried to give me breaks without the kids and pamper me in any way she could think of [getting our nails done, buying a bottle of wine, buying me a a new sweater, things like that!]
Once she was on board in realizing how widespread Lead-poisoning still is, she also jumped ahead and helped support my advocacy work directly.
In 2011 she joined the founding Board of my nonprofit, she donated time, money and other resources in support of the film; she donated prizes to raffles, and anything else I asked for or she thought I needed, she helped with.
Also in 2011 she was right there when I won the Healthy Child Healthy World award; she bought me heels and a dress for the event (I hadn’t owned heels in more than 10 years!), and again helped watch the kids while I went to L.A. for a few days (in May) to receive my award. She also came to New York to be with me in October later that year when the main event for that same award was happening, and she watched A.J. and took care of him during the event and while I had meetings about the film! She was truly involved.
She continued to support my advocacy by helping my husband with the kids when I had to go somewhere longer-term for filming or other speaking engagements; she attended conferences with me – including (in June of 2012) Denver at the National Healthy Homes Conference, when I was there to get my first award from HUD/EPA/CDC/USDA/USDOE [and she watched the kids, took them around Denver — and paid for our plane tickets!]
In 2013 she continued to sponsor the work on my documentary film, she hosted a preview screening of my film at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco (and invited her friends and business associates), and she helped raise money for my advocacy work through accepting contributions with her honey farm sales.
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I think, on this day that would have been her 76th birthday she would have been incredibly proud of the community that has rallied together around this important work — a community that has created such a huge impact (as evidenced by the numbers shared here), under such adversity and pressure/push-back from industry!
From the bottom of my heart — and on behalf of Mom, thank you for being here!
Happy New Year.