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So incredibly grateful

I just received an email update from Kickstarter, letting me know that Elizabeth Ramm (my grandmother), pledged $135 to our Kickstarter campaign. I did my best to restrain my emotions but broke out in tears when I saw that my grandmother pledged! I was overcome by a range of emotions that flashed through me at that moment.

Now, this post is probably a little more personal than what you normally get from me or Yellow Leaf but I felt like my experience just now was worth sharing with our great community here. You see, I think we often take for granted the wonderful family and friends we have and this moment made me realize just that!

In the midst of my crazy life, my relationship with my grandparents floundered. Birthday well-wishes were missed, work came first, errands needed to be run, the 30 minute train ride for a home cooked meal was just WAY too long (seriously, Joe? really?)...the excuses can go on and on.

Some of us don't have the best relationships with our parents, brothers, sisters, and some of us have tighter woven families than a Yellow Leaf Hammock (really, Joe? again?). But no matter where you fall, I bet there's someone in your life you had wished you kept in touch with more. Someone you care about but just have not made the effort to simply call and say hello.

My grandparents have lived an amazing life. They uprooted themselves from Russia and followed after my parents when we immigrated to the U.S. They worked extra hard to start from scratch here in the U.S., which is a remarkable accomplishment in your older years, and they fulfilled the American dream when they finally bought a house. They planted fruits and veggies, attended to the garden, and finally kicked their feet up on the front porch. But just as our countries economic troubles kicked in, they began to struggle. My grandfather sacrificed his health and picked up a second job, my grandmother postponed retirement and picked up extra hours- all to keep from losing their home. In the end, they lost their home and moved to a tiny apartment in a public housing complex. Times were tough to say the least and there was certainly no place for a hammock. In fact, I'm not even sure they had hammocks back in Soviet Russia, because when I first launched Yellow Leaf I'm not sure they understood what I was doing or what a "social enterprise" was or what a "lifestyle brand" was. I sort of fell out of touch with them as I buried myself in my "launching a company cave."

The fact that my grandmother pledged her support and got a Sitting Hammock means the world to me. She may not have a place to hang a traditional hammock, but as soon as this campaign successfully closes and we build these awesome hammock stands, I'll be sure to gift one to my wonderful, loving, and inspiring grandma! I can't wait for that moment!

Make that phone call.

Joe