The Gift of Giving – The Giving Keys


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January 22, 2014

The Gift of Giving

I ordered the "Grace" key for my mom as one of her Christmas presents. Things happen for a reason, and she will not be receiving this key as I had to give it to someone else.

Two days pre-Christmas, I wasn't sure how to explain to her that I bought this amazing gift for her, but I gave it away! So I wrote her a letter, and this is what it said: 

To the second most selfless woman I know (grandma takes first place) - Momma,

One of the greatest gifts I have been received from my family is the gift of "giving."

So there I was, the morning of December 21st wrapping presents on the dining room table when I ran out of gift bags with only one present remaining. It was one of yours. I decided to put it in my purse so I wouldn't forget to bring it to Havana and figured I would find a gift bag along the way during the next few days.

That evening rolled around and I was sitting on the couch by myself, Christmas tree glowing, enjoying a cocktail, and watching the girls sleep on their bed all snuggled up together when I received a text message. It was Michael, our friend whose son had recently had a heart transplant at 13 years old. He said they were having a few drinks at the house and would love for us to come by. Normally I wouldn't have jumped at this opportunity, but it'd been a good while since we'd seen them.

We arrived at their house and Nathan (their son) was called downstairs to say hello and so that we could see him post surgery. It was pretty incredible and overwhelming to see a child who prior to this heart transplant, could hardly hold his head up at times. I went to the bathroom and had the most indescribable desire and calling to give this family the gift that was intended for you. Mom, I paid your gift forward on your behalf before you'd ever gotten the chance to see it and there wasn't one moment of regret.

I looked at this family and replayed a conversation in my head that you and I had about what your Giving Key would say. You said with no hesitation, "Mine would say, Grace".

I pulled this key out and explained the purpose of The Giving Keys and what they had to do with it once they found someone who needed the message.

Without hesitation I started to speak to Nathan and explained to him that God's Grace covered his family like a blanket and that I couldn't think of a more appropriate or deserving person at that moment for me to give this key to. Everyone cried and hugged as he followed up with a "thank you ma'am."

Dee, his mom and good friend of mine said, "I don't think we'll have this key for long and I feel bad about that, but there's a little girl, 6 months old who is fighting for her life in Joe DiMaggio hospital right now. She needs a heart transplant as she's been living on a machine that acts as a healthy heart but time is running out. This machine is only intended for short term assisting. Her family had to move on with their lives and can't afford to sit with her day in and day out. I think I will hang this key over her hospital bed."

With more tears, we agreed that it was the perfect place for this key and that she would explain to the family the requirement of paying it forward.

This key that was intended for you, has been a gift to three people in a matter of a few days. One was you and though you never saw it, the greater gift is that it has touched multiple lives on your behalf. If it weren't for you taking the time to raise me to love people who could do nothing for me in return all of this would have been for not.

I love you forever,




  • <3

    Courtney on

  • Thank you Lauren for all the love you bring to my life and to others. You gave me a “fearless” key at Christmas and I promised to pay it forward and will share my story. You are such a blessing to us all!

    Fran Brooks on

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