Change For The Better

2016 was a difficult year for me. In July, my 79 year old mom had a mini stroke (she's fully recovered); in November I found out that my younger brother has been addicted to opiates for the past five years, and I had to arrange a professional intervention; in December, my 85 year old dad had a stroke. My brother and I have been supporting our parents financially, but he had lost his job due to his addiction, and I became the sole supporter. Not only did I have to help them, but I also had my own bills to pay. My commute to and from work was an hour and a half each way every day, plus I was taking care of everyone else in the family. With all of the pressure, I decided that the commute was too much for me, and I needed to be closer to home. I had been keeping my boss in the loop every step of the way, and she was extremely understanding. For Christmas she gave me the BRAVE Giving Key, and I cried. I wore it almost every single day and things began to change. My brother went through medical detox and has been able to maintain his sobriety and get his job back. My dad fully recovered from his stroke and was able to leave the rehabilitation center and come home at the beginning of the year. I was able to find a job working much closer to home. Since then, a dear friend of mine has been battling bladder cancer and was told that he would have to have his bladder removed. The good news is that the doctors can build him a new one from his small intestines, so he won't have to wear a bag for the rest of his life. On Super Bowl Sunday, I told him the story of the Giving Keys. He listened intently, and at the end of my story I told him that I wanted him to have my key and I placed it around his neck. He just teared up and said he couldn't wait to be able to pay it forward. Thank you, Caitlin Crosby, for sharing your beautiful heart and giving people hope. I heart Giving Keys!