Have you ever met someone who completely changed your whole point of view about things? They might not even be someone who you see all that often, but just knowing that they are out there in the world somehow inspires you to be a better person, make better choices or maybe just puts a smile on your face.
Kat (not her real name) is that person for me. I met her when LJ and her son were in the same preschool class. In a class with a lot of really active (I’m being kind here) boys, her son stood out as a sweet, sensitive soul – the kind of kid you pushed your kid to be friends with. I was thrilled to find out that they would be in the same K4 class the following year despite changing schools.
Since K4 was a half-day program, the parents would gather outside the school and chat at pick-up time. This was when I really got to know Kat (and realized why her son is such a sweetheart – the apple does not fall far from the tree). It turned out that Kat is a nurse and used to work on the transplant floor of a local hospital. As my aunt Pat is a heart transplant recipient, this warmed my heart.
I learned through mutual friends that Kat was fighting cancer. I had no idea. Kat is never one to complain and always came to school pick up with a kind word for others and a smile on her face. I was even more surprised to learn that (at that time) she was in her third round of treatment as the cancer had made a reappearance. She had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer shortly after the birth of her son (the one in LJ’s class). I have to admit – that hit home since I had a son the same age as her sweet boy. I was immediately in awe of her ability to continue to live her life with joy and faith as she faced what would bury most people in despair.
That was four years ago. Our kids are now in different schools and I don’t get to see Kat as often as I used to. She is now in her seventh round of chemotherapy and still going strong. I follow along on her journey via her Facebook posts, Caring Bridge updates, and the rare occasions when I bump into her around town. She is still as inspiring, hopeful and positive as when I first met her. Her posts are full of faith in the journey God has planned for her and thanks for the moments she shares with her family. She inspires me to stop and enjoy the time I have with my family as well. I thought of her this weekend when I skipped sitting in front of my computer working on something I “should get done” and went to the movies instead. I thought of her as I watched LJ snowboard down the town sledding hill.
I felt like I wanted to do something to give a little back. When you know someone who is fighting the kind of battle Kat is, there is a feeling that you can’t possibly do anything that really matters, but I’ve learned that any little kindness really does help. When I had the chance to work with Bigelow Tea, I thought “bingo!!” and decided to put together a basket of things that might help Kat have a little relaxing “me time”. I have been a fan of Bigelow tea for years. I love the flavor – it is always spot on! I also love how the individual bags are sealed in foil packets so they stay fresh when I toss them in my work bag or in the pantry. I especially love that Bigelow Tea is a family owned company using recipes that have been handed down through the generations!
I headed out to Walmart to gather some relaxing and healthy teas for the basket.
I loved that there are some yummy teas with added health benefits like probiotics!
I also added a robe, slippers, some bath goodies, a CD, and a mug.
I’m going to try and sneak over and leave the basket for her without getting caught – sometimes a surprise, secret gift is the best kind. (I don’t think she reads this blog, so I should be okay.) I hope it brings a smile to her face and maybe a few minutes of respite as she continues her brave battle.
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Bigelow Tea #CBias #SocialFabric #AmericasTea