A couple weeks before Christmas, I had been browsing the web and somehow came across The Giving Keys website. I clicked on the the link and watched the video about your company and the TED talk that Caitlin gave. I was immediately moved by the concept of this company and very inspired. I also immediately thought of my mother who had spent her life serving others and helping the homeless at crisis centers, etc. I thought to myself, "This is the perfect Christmas Gift for mom!" She LOVES companies that do meaningful work and employ the homeless and so I chose the "Strength" Key for my mom. (I also got the courage key for myself because I am the queen at a little "to me from me" ;-) ).
I had a motive behind giving my mom the "Strength" key necklace for Christmas. I wanted to continue to encourage my mom to "Be Strong!" as it had been a very tough year for my family. My older brother had committed suicide in February 2014. My mother was a Christ-like woman who clung to her faith amidst utter tragedy.
My family gathered in Colorado for Christmas and had a few special days up in Breckenridge skiing and playing in the snow. We came back down to my Aunts and Uncles homes in Denver for Christmas eve and Christmas day. Unfortunately, the whole family and extended family came down with colds and flus. On the day after Christmas my mom's cough and flu had progressed and I pushed for her to go to the ER. They checked her out and sent her home with a diagnosis of "minor pneumonia and flu type A"...
I put her to bed that night and kissed her forehead and told her I loved her. The next morning I shot up in bed around 530 am and found my dad frantically looking for my mom's clothes to dress her to go back to the hospital. I looked over at my mom and she was gasping for air. We immediately called 911 and had her rushed to the hospital. Literally, overnight the "minor case of pneumonia" had spread to both of her lungs and the ER doctor told me "She is the sickest patient in the hospital".
At one point that day we went home and I remembered the Giving Key necklaces I had in my suitcase. We hadn't celebrated Christmas yet because everyone had been too sick so I hadn't given my mom her "Strength" key necklace yet. I grabbed my Key necklace "Courage" and threw it on and carried her necklace "Strength" in my hand. Over the next day I gripped on to the Courage and Strength keys as I prayed in the ICU waiting room. Every time I went into my mom's hospital room I put her "Strength" key necklace in her hand and told her "You gotta fight MOM! You gotta be strong!!" The infection had spread violently in her body and the staff infection that was in her lungs got into her blood which was septic.
On the afternoon of December 28th I lost my best friend. My mother was the most selfless, kind, loving, wonderful, inspiring, giving Christian woman I have ever known. I sat in the ICU in disbelief and sobbed with my family. Then I heard a quiet voice say to me, "The Giving Keys are meant to be passed on... Your mother has now passed on her "strength" key necklace to you because you are the one that now needs Strength." I saw how the "Strength" key necklace I intended to give to her is now what I need. I wear my "Strength" and "Courage" keys almost daily since mom has passed and I grip on to them around my neck as I pray that the Lord give me the strength and courage to push foward and honor my mom's life in a big way. I don't know what it is yet, but I know God is going to do something big in my life. In fact, His masterpiece has already begun. As I am able to share this Giving Key story with others, I am able to inspire others to have courage and strength in their lives and to remember that no matter WHAT happens, GOD LOVES US.
Thank you God for loving us and thank you Caitlin. I hope to meet you someday in person!
March 23, 2015