Helping Families on Holly's "Sweet 16"

Today would have been Holly's Sweet 16. I think when you're a mom of a little girl you think of what this day will look like for your daughter; It's one of the milestones for a girl. You wonder the type of party you will plan, what she will look like, who she will become. Of course nobody envisions that their child will not actually make it to their 16th birthday; I was no exception. I can answer who she was, however. She remains my teacher. She was pure strength, she was full of life, full of love for others, she had an indomitable spirit that continues to guide me and help those around her.

So therefore, in honor of Holly today, I was accompanied by some of the members of the Hands For Holly Board as we spent Holly's birthday at Levine Children's Hospital meeting with social workers, distributing a check and Visa gift cards to families in need.

Sometimes people will ask how I'm doing? Most days now are okay. Days like today are a bit more challenging. Holly helps me though. There's a picture that I keep on the lock screen of my PC that I look at daily. It's a picture of Holly, certainly not a glamour shot, but it was taken a few moments after she jumped out of a plane skydiving. She had a few weeks left to live and she knew it. I can't imagine at 14 the incredible fear she had, how ill she felt, not to mention the fact that she was hurling 125 miles an hour to the ground!

The picture focuses on her face and i'm pretty sure I know what my face would have looked like, but it was the opposite of hers. Holly's face was PURE joy and peace. When I look at the picture I'm always taken aback and wonder how was that possible? It was Holly, that's how! She could rise above the circumstance and maintain her joy despite the nightmare swirling around her. It inspires me, it helps me continue on and embrace the moments, this journey, the burdens that we all face throughout this life.

I miss you Holly, I LOVE you, I will see you again. Happy Birthday.

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