Redeeming Pain With Courage

I don't remember how I stumbled onto The Giving Keys. However, I am IN LOVE with the concept of every bit of it; from the 'hiring of homeless' to the 'share your story' and everything in between. 

I ordered my key as a Christmas gift for my cousin. It was, by far, the gift I was most anxious to give.

In 2008, not only did she suffer a miscarriage, her father committed suicide. Being close to my own father (and babies), I can't begin to imagine the pain and I hurt so badly for her during that time. She showed COURAGE as she, being the oldest sibling, held her family together- even taking in her youngest brother to raise.

I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of her. She has taken something so negative in her life and made it so positive!!! Let me tell you what this woman did (and continues to do)! She did some research and realized there was no suicide awareness in her town. So- she got hooked up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and started an Out of the Darkness Campus Walk chapter for her small Indiana community!! The walks raise money for suicide awareness programs. The first year, she rallied and raised (I hesitate to write a number because that was two years ago and my memory (would you forgive me if I said I had 3 busy little boys who suck out all my brain cells?) is foggy on the total) WELL over $10,000!!! It was amazing! So many people came to walk...most having lost a loved one as well. Because the walk was so great, she was asked to go to Washington D.C. (with AFSP) to speak to our Representative regarding suicide. Year number two for the walk was also a great success. And she's just posted the dates for year number 3. :) This coming year, she will be going to Colorado for some training with AFSP so SHE can TRAIN OTHERS to recognize and handle suicidal tendencies in people. What COURAGE to honor her father by helping others possibly prevent (through awareness) such a loss!!

She shared a story a few weeks ago about a trip to a store. After talking to her cashier for a few short minutes, she realized the cashier recently lost someone to suicide and she was able to reach out to the cashier. There are just things we can't help others with unless we've lived it. I would say losing a loved one to suicide is in that category. There is no way to be there, FULLY, for someone unless you have experienced the same thing. So--WoW-- Talk about a God moment for her to pick that line to go to that day! Even though He allows bad to happen, He can make good come out of it through people like my cousin. I love how she had COURAGE to step out and make good things happen.

I just have an overwhelming sense of love and pride in what she has accomplished.

And so, if I haven't made it obvious enough, her key says, "Courage". :)

- Heather

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