We are presently living in some uncertain times with the Covid virus that is circulating around the world. A week ago I was in the grocery store and a woman had a bag of over 75 masks, she had sewn, and was giving away to anyone who didn’t have one. She offered me one and I asked her to give it to someone more vulnerable than me. She insisted I take one and so I did. She said she had been a quilter for over 40 years and now knew why God had told her to hang on to the scraps all these years. I thanked her and said what a blessing she was to others during this time.
Later that day my friend, Betty Harrison, put out a plea on Facebook asking where to find more material and supplies so she could continue making face masks. She had run out of options and prayed for God to provide, if he wanted her to continue making them. Betty had been making the masks and donating them to health care workers, family, friends and anyone needing a mask for protection…whether it was by their own health or a job. It has given her a purpose while staying home and is a joy to be helping others. I told her about my mask encounter earlier and said what a blessing both of these ladies were. Then it clicked… I wanted to be a part of Betty’s outreach of help others. So I gave her a Love, Action, Faith Scholarship. After all what she is doing was an excellant example of…showing love to others, through her making mask, because of her faith…the intent and purpose of these scholarships. Betty was thankful and said she was honored to do this in Lauren’s name.
My friend Betty Harrison. May God bless you for being His hands and feet during this time.
And in the pictures above her are her skilled hands and some of the many, colorful masks she has made for local children and adults.
There are many things I haven’t forgotten…and that rings even more true with the 7 year anniversary of Lauren’s angel date approaching on March 7th. As I have written before this time is hard for me…with our anniversary, Taylor’s birthday and Lauren’s passing so close together. But also what I haven’t forgotten is my blog. I know it has been several months since I have written anything. I have struggled with many things over the last few months…back issues for my son, anxiety and thyroid issues for myself, 6 months ago we moved and downsized again…and we hadn’t even dealt with all of our “stuff” from our first downsizing 6 years ago….all while in the midst of renovating, the “new to us” garden home, from top to bottom. I have also struggled with no desire to write. I haven’t forgotten her or you….and I do hope to get my “mojo” back soon.
I do want to tell you two things I’m going to write about very soon…two Love, Action, Faith scholarships we gave out recently. And also one story now.
On Christmas Eve I was sitting alone on the back patio, watching the sun sink in the sky and thinking about Lauren. We now live one street over and almost behind a house we built about 20 years ago. I was thinking about all of us in that home….decorating the kid’s rooms….our pets Bear and Max….the laughter and joy….Bryan building a jungle gym for the kids….Easter egg hunts…. Christmas trees and presents….lots of memories from our 7 years in that house. I’m so close to that home I can see the roof through the trees and what I wouldn’t give to go back to that time in our lives…to see, love on and hug my young children…to have Lauren back. Tears trickled down my face as the sun went down. Bryan had been gone for hours, no doubt last-minute shopping as most men do, and I felt so alone….so sad to face another Christmas without Lauren….so forgotten….so not in the mood for this holiday. When Bryan came home he had an envelope from our PO Box that we use for LAF mail. It was the first time he had checked it in several weeks. Inside the envelope was a card that read… “Just a little hello, sent with a lot of love. Forever in our hearts, love y’all, Craig & Deann”. My brother and sister-in-law had sent it a few weeks before but I got it on the day I needed it most. The note was enough, it was a band-aid on my heart…she was not forgotten….neither was I. It also had a bonus inside…a very generous donation to LAF. When I called my brother to thank him I was crying so hard I could barely talk. I know they don’t want recognition but I needed to tell the story of how deeply that touched my soul at the moment I needed it most…that’s what love will do for you. Love you guys too.
Yesterday was the 3 year anniversary of her physical death…and I chose to celebrate her life…I chose to not let the sadness of the day suck me under…to the dark waters…I chose not to spend my day mourning and crying…I do that enough already. I wanted it to be a day of smiles…laughter… and Random Acts of Kindness….aka: RAK’s…I wanted to make others smile…and laugh…so I could…and hopefully Lauren would too.
I started my day by thinking of Lauren and what she loved…what made her happy…made her smile. Lauren enjoyed older folks…she was good with them…listening to their stories…playing games with them. Some people have a gift for that…the patience…the understanding…the knowledge of when to listen and when to make them laugh. So my first RAK was to buy some single, long stem roses…I wanted to share the beauty of the roses…the beauty of my rose. I took a dozen yellow…a dozen pink and white…to a local nursing home. As I went through the front door…right there…waiting…was a little, gray-haired woman in a wheelchair. She said “Oh what beautiful roses you have”…and I said “Yes ma’am they sure are”…I pulled 1 yellow rose from the bunch and handed it to her saying…”This is for you…have a beautiful day…from Lauren”…her face lite up…she smelled it… and she thanked me profusely. That was enough for me…that face…that smile. I took the rest to the nurses station and asked them to please pass them out to anyone who needed their spirits lifted today…she said they would be happy to. I didn’t explain why…I didn’t tell…I didn’t want it to be about my sadness… my loss…but about Lauren’s smile and beauty…I also didn’t want the recipient to feel sadness for my loss…only the happiness and joy of getting a beautiful flower. I didn’t have to see the end results…of the 23 others who received a rose…it lifted my heart…made me smile…to see that one and know it was multiplied.
Lauren loved animals…and we have always had a pet…usually a dog…usually two at a time…lol. While she was at college…living on her own…she missed have a pet…someone to snuggle and play with. One house she lived in with 2 other girls…one of them had a cat. Now Lauren was allergic to cats…but she wasn’t gonna let that stop her from moving in…she said she would just keep her bedroom door shut and the cat out. Well…that didn’t last long…she couldnt take it and the cat couldn’t either…he snuck in or forced his way in…to her room and her heart. It was a kinky- haired cat that was supposed to be non-allergenic…and soon he was sleeping in her room…on her bed…on her clothes on the floor. She loved it…she had a furry pet friend again. Lauren had just moved out of that house the week before she died…she moved in with her grandparents to save some money before graduating…and Cosmo…yes, that was is name…Cosmo missed her terribly…keep looking for her…going in her room…meowing. So my second RAK was to take a huge bag of dog food and cat food to the local animal shelter.
My third RAK…I took an apple pie to the front office of the RV park we stay in while we spend our 6 months a year in Fredericksburg. They had been so kind to us…sending a beautiful plant..when they heard the news of her death…even though we had only just started staying there…and they didn’t know her. I’m sure they didn’t know what the day was…but I wanted to make them smile…with a piece of apple pie…so I left it in the break room for all to enjoy.
My last RAK is still in progress…it’s a roll of pennies. I plan to leave them in places…when I “feel the need”…maybe on the pavement…on a counter…on the floor. You see I hope it will be the “penny from Heaven” that someone needs that day…whether it ends up being the “one” they needed when checking out at the store…or the “one” that is a sign from their loved one who has gone on before them…that they are loved. I remember one day talking with my friend…who is also my nail tech and was giving me a manicure…about Lauren and her life…because she knew her too. I was telling her about the “God winks” I had been getting and told her they were kinda like “pennies from Heaven”. I can’t remember for sure if she had heard of that phrase before…but I told her the meaning behind the words. We continued to laugh…and cry… talking about Lauren…and when I left and got to my car…there were 2 pennies on the running board of my car. There was no “reason” for them to be there…and no one, who had been in hearing distance of us…had left the salon. I started crying again…and had to go back in and show Kristal what I had found…”pennies from Heaven”…one for her…one for me.
RAK’s don’t have to cost you any money….just a little time….it’s the thought of others that counts. It could be a smile for someone…a head nodded in acknowledgment…holding a door open…letting someone go ahead of you in a checkout line…a phone call to check on a friend…a handwritten thank you note to a teacher…it can only cost us just a little time…to make someone smile…laugh…or feel better. A little kindness goes a long way…it’s healing…it’s heartwarming…it’s happiness… for them…and it sure was for me…I was able to laugh…to smile…to have a happier heart.