Pay It Forward & Hug The Ones You Love

I am not even sure where to start with this post.  I have tried to write it 10 different ways and always end up in tears.  So, this post isn’t going to be eloqouent or perfectly written, but …

Life is precious. Life is amazing. Life is sweet. Life is short. These are all things I have learned and relearned  in this last year. I learned this again last Friday with the tragedy in CT.  This all makes my troubles seem so trivial in comparison. They pale in comparison to the loss of a love one.

Though my  family has had a trying year, with serious illness, near death situations and other loses, each one of my family members is here to see another holiday season. For this, I am incredibly thankful and praise God for this. I am reminded that having life is the  most amazing blessing we are given. 

This holiday season, I hope you can find it in your heart to pay it forward.

I want to pay it forward. Our blessings are countless, while we might not all be monetarily wealthy, we are rich with family and loved ones.  I wanted to share  my story about  Laura and perhaps give you inspiration to pay it forward this holiday season. 

I briefly mentioned Laura in my post here. Their is a local family’s story who broke my heart.  Laura and her two small children, 3 and 9 months, lost their loving husband/father Chris, after a 6 month battle with cancer. I can’t imagine starting the year with the birth of a baby and ending it with burying my husband. My heart aches for Laura and her family.

This is written by Jenny, a close friend of Laura and Chris, a few days after Chris passed away.

My dear  friend Chris  was diagnosed 6 months ago with Leukemia. He fought a long hard battle. C He leaves behind his wife Laura and two sweet children, a daughter age 2 years and Christopher  born January 2012. Chris was a wonderful, kind, compassionate, self-sacrificing, and humble human being. The world truly lost a “good guy” that  day. Chris’ legacy in this life was the love he shared with his family and friends, the profound respect and caring he gave to his fellow human beings, his faith in God and the example of how to live your life, which he set for us all. My heart broke when I heard the news that Chris had passed and now my heart breaks for those he left behind.

Chris’ illness and hospital stays have left a financial hardship for Laura. Again, I can’t imagine starting the year with the birth of a baby and the end of the year burying your husband. However, she has to go on for her babies.  In the face of this adversity, Laura’s Father also suffered a stroke.

I was very fortunate to be connected to Kohl’s pay it forward program.  Kohl’s provided a gift card for me to shop for the family.  I can’t imagine having to think about the holidays after losing your spouse. I know Laura has to keep moving forward because of her precious children, but it has to be so hard.  I was thrilled that I would (with Kohl’s help) be able to make it a little easier for her.

As I said in my previous post,  I decided to shop today on Black Friday.   Laura of course didn’t want anything for herself. Talking to Jenny, Laura mentioned that she hated making a full pot of coffee, because that was something she made for her and her husband. Laura would only drink one cup and have to throw the rest away. I can’t imagine how something so simple like making coffee can become so painful.

It warms my heart knowing that Laura’s little babies will have a warm stuffed animal and some toys this Christmas season. They won’t replace their Daddy, but they will provide a little normalcy.  I pray for Laura and her children. I pray for everyone who has lost a loved one.

I hope you will consider giving back this season. If you don’t have any extra money, consider your time, consider sending a card, making cookies.

I would love for you to share ways to give back this holiday season in the comments.

May you all be blessed this holiday season.  Hug your loved ones.  


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  • Kathy .T

    I am paying it forward by sponsoring a child for Christmas whose parents lost their job this year. It’s all about giving!!!

  • Darlene

    I paid it forward this year by helping a friends sister’s family whose husband has been out of work for a couple of years and they just don’t have much to give their 3 boys for Christmas, so I went out and got a board game for all three of them to play together and then got each of them a nice zip up workout jacket from under armour just so they would have items to open on Christmas day…..hope everyone else finds their own way to pay it forward

  • Pauline greer

    I agree you do pay it forward everyday with the help of your blog to save so many people so much, I would never know these deals with out you. Thank you so much and Merry Chrismas. I will stop and say a prayer for Laura and all those who lost loved ones this year, I don’t deserve it but am truely blessed over and over again.

  • Jen

    Shannon not only were you able to help Laura’s family, but you help many families everyday doing what you do! Thank you so much! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • julie

    Point well made Shannon but I am sure this is not the first time you have ‘paid it forward ‘ this year :) thank you for the reminder you are a wonderful person. Also side note -thank you for your incredible website!!!!! Happy hoildays!

  • Melissa

    Laura needs a Keurig!

    • For the Mommas

      We got Laura a single cup coffee maker! :)