Starting last fall, for many months I kept noticing a visitor to your blog on my little feedjit tab, from Yorktown Heights, New York. One night I asked God...could you show me who this person is, who reads about my Lily all the time?
Shortly thereafter I received a sweet comment from a reader named Cathy...through a series of emails I discovered that Cathy was the mysterious visitor from Yorktown Heights.
We have since become "email pals" and Cathy holds a special place in my heart for her tender words of encouragement, constant prayers and love, and her devotion to you, dearest Lily. Cathy won one of my giveaways a few months ago...a pair of silver bird earrings. She asked me for my address to send a thank you, and a few weeks later in the mail I received...the silver earrings. Attached was a note that said she had bought herself a pair, and we have since promised each other that we will both wear our earrings when we meet in person some day.
Cathy is an amazing woman, with an equally amazing story. She and her husband have been married for 30 years, and they were high school sweethearts. They now have three sons, Kevin, Chris and Cody, all wonderful young men with hearts of gold like their mama. When Chris was born, he had a rare heart defect and had to have open heart surgery at 15 months old. When Cathy was pregnant with Cody, markers showed up for Down syndrome...Cody was born without Ds, but at age 9 he was diagnosed with leukemia 2 days before Cathy was diagnosed with breast cancer. They underwent treatment together; Cody is in recover, but Cathy relapsed and is now in lifetime treatment.
When the call went out for prayer and money for Olga, Cathy was one of the first to respond with donations and love and a shared burden. Her sons all responded with their mother's generosity... Kevin organized a dress-down day at the school where he teaches, and he raised $192. Chris took up donations at his office and collected $287, and Cody raised $287 at his college by taking up donations. Cathy told a dear friend of hers about Olga, and she gave $100. I don't think a day went by that I didn't hear from Cathy, asking me how our girls were doing, or encouraging me with her kind words.
Yesterday I received a package in the mail...I recognized Cathy's familiar flowing handwriting and smiled, as I opened the pale pink card that was enclosed- a pink ribbon stamped onto the front and the word "hope." Enclosed as well, was a beautiful necklace... a pink gem and a delicate silver heart dangling from a silver chain. On the heart is etched one word : hope.
I read through tears, the words of my dear friend from Yorktown Heights...
I saw this necklace and had to get you one (& me too)- you see, HOPE is my most favorite word. I learned through prayer and our family illnesses that it is so important to believe in it to survive. Please accept this with my love. Wish we could be there to celebrate your little "angel's" birthday.
In my prayers and heart
So tonight, sweet Lily, I am thanking God for all that He gave us, when He gave us you. Because if I never had a beautiful and perfect Lily placed in my arms, one year ago this Sunday...I would never have met my dear friend from Yorktown Heights.
** Thank you, Cathy...for my earrings, my necklace, and for your friendship.
And thank you for HOPE. It means the world to me.
Loving you as always,