On February 14, 2010, I woke up at 5:00 in the morning. Jon didn’t make it home that night because he had died in a car accident.
I was 34 and he was 38. We had a 3-year-old son and I was three months pregnant. My life took a complete turn.
I felt no one could relate to me and my situation. If I went to a widow’s support group, the women were typically in their 70s. I had a 3-year-old son and a baby to raise, and they’d all been married 40 years with grown children. I know it’s still sad, but it’s very different. I always wished there was a support group for me, but there wasn’t.
Eventually, I began meeting with four young widows at casual restaurants where we would laugh, cry, talk and vent; and say, “yeah, I know what you’re going through” and actually know.
With John dying on Valentine’s Day, I also started Gifts of Love. These are care packages given to widows and their children. The packages would include something to provide comfort or joy to let the recipients know that people loved them. I always liked helping people, and found my best healing came from helping others. Once this was started, God kept putting young widows in my path. I wouldn’t have been able to run from it if I tried!
After seeing this make a difference, I decided to create a non-profit called We Do Care, and three years ago, we held our first support group in my church. It empowers widows with coping skills, and gives them a way to just put one foot in front of the other. We meet once a month and have different social events for kids, women and the whole family. It’s amazing how it’s grown. I just love what I do. It’s definitely what God put me here to do.