A few years ago, I was not in a good place. It was simply the season I was walking through, though, at the time, it seemed like a harsh winter with no signs of ever stopping. During this time, one of the mothers from the high school I went to took me under her wings. There was no reason for her to do this other than the overwhelming love that flows out of her. She had three daughters at my school, but none were in my grade. So the way that she began to care for me and about me made no sense to me. Even though I didn’t understand her love, I came to depend on it. She was always there for me when I needed her, offering a listening ear and all the support I could ever need.
About a year ago, I found out that this woman, who is like a second mom to me, has Lupus. I never would have known because she is unbelievably strong and selfless even in the midst of her struggle. After I found out about her illness, she opened up to me a bit about what she was going through. She wasn’t hungry very often, she had swollen joints, she frequently got headaches that were debilitating, and her fatigue was off the charts. I felt horribly—here was this woman who had done so much for all of my friends and me—and it felt as though there was nothing I could do to help her.
She continued to persevere through every bout of illness, hosting events at her house, meeting with people for coffee, and checking in on anyone who was struggling. She loved so well despite everything going on in her life.
This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to present a HopeBox to her in person. She took the box from me gleefully and pulled each item from the box with a huge smile. I loved watching her face light up as she found treasure after treasure. As she pulled the last couple of items from the HopeBox, a few tears slipped down her checks. She thanked me profusely and gave me a huge hug.
At the end of that evening, I gave her a hug goodbye before heading out to go home. She pulled me aside for a minute to thank me again for the box and tell me what a blessing her HopeBox had been. I told her that I was just glad that I could give her a little something to lift her spirits in gratitude for all that she had done to lift my spirits.
Giving my “second mom” a HopeBox helped me to realize what a blessing it is to have someone like that in my life. I honestly can say that I would not be the person that I am today if it were not for her and my gift showed her some of my appreciation for her role in my life. I have no doubt that she will continue to bless people through her gift for hope and joy for a long time, and that countless people will be encouraged by the way she chooses to bravely face every day with love.