First Clean, Then Play
By Lynn Frankenfield, Executive Director of Cleaning For A Reason
In honor of National Cleaning For A Reason Week: April 18-24, I reached out to one of our local partners to volunteer my services to clean for a patient.
Monday morning came. I put on my Cleaning For A Reason shirt, khaki pants, and pink sneakers and was ready to clean. I was excited about being able to clean for one of our patients.
As I entered the patient’s home, I noticed the beautiful family portrait on the wall in the entranceway, the family looking happy and carefree. Then I saw the young mother of two, looking a little tired from treatments, with a knitted hat to cover her balding head, 15-month old on her hip, and her five-year old daughter nearby.
I introduced myself and explained that I was going to assist the technician with her cleaning. After picking up my work order and cleaning supplies, I proceeded to the guest bathroom. The five-year old stopped me like a police officer on a routine traffic stop. She informed me of the bathroom rules: “No throwing up in the bathroom. If you do, it can only be two times and then you must clean up after yourself.” I assured her that I was going to clean her bathroom and she could inspect my work once completed.
I then realized that this is a reality for this beautiful five-year old: mommy getting sick. Those words continued to echo in my head, “No throwing up. If you do, you must clean up after yourself.” About an hour later, I completed cleaning the bathroom and it was ready for inspection. It passed with flying colors and I was invited to stay and play! That made my day.
As I made my way back to the office, I realized how grateful I am for all of our partners that volunteer their time to make a difference—you are an inspiration and I am so grateful for your benevolence. I always knew that Cleaning For A Reason provided a valuable service, but it was at that moment when it resonated with me the impact the foundation makes on a daily basis.
I will carry this experience with me forever and will always think about the young mother, her little ones, and how a cancer diagnosis had altered the entire family’s life forever.