Thursday, February 13, 2014

Abby's Angel's..........and a give away.....................


For those of you that know Pat ( Gypsy Heart & Soul ) you know that she suffered the unspeakable last year when her precious granddaughter became an angel at the age of 16.

Meet Abby - is that a beautiful face or what?


Pat's words 

Most of you are aware that my beautiful granddaughter, Abby, was fatally injured in a freak auto accident last June. I've been through a lot of challenges in my life, however, this has been the worst thus far. I sorta checked out for months and getting through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas was extremely difficult. Abby loved Christmas so much and her excitement was contagious. We did everything differently, began new traditions and, by God's grace, we made it through.  

One thing we elected to do was to perform RAOK's ~ Random Acts of Kindness ~ and encouraged others to do the same. This was a way to honor her and have some fun for a change. I had cards made with the above photo and this on the back:

The card was Christmas themed because of her love for Christmas.  We passed out the cards to friends and loved ones and a lot of people joined in. I hope we brought fun surprises and happiness to all those affected.

That is what I would like to invite you to do for this month of LoveThe month is filled with hearts, flowers, candy and acts of LOVE It doesn't cost a thing if money is a concern...you can place notes or Valentines on neighbor's doors, car windows, desks, kid's lunches, etc.  If you'd like to pay it forward you could pay for the person behind you at Starbucks or any drive through. Buy flowers at the grocery store and share...give someone their favorite magazine or book, bake cookies or a pie and give to a neighbor, take a meal to someone that is ill or just had a baby, offer to pick up meds for someone that has difficulty getting out, drop by a nursing home and greet the patients, smile at everyone, give sincere compliments...you can think of a jillion things I know.  

In doing this, you'll become one of Abby's Angels! She would be so excited. I really feel that she already knows and loves it. :)

I'd like to thank you in advance should you choose to participate. 

_________________________________________________________________

If we are to make any sense out of this life - and these heartbreaking acts that occur - 
I believe this is the way to do it - we have to constantly be paying it forward in whatever way we can - we have to keep being the GOOD in Good Morning - and Good night and Good Grief..........they can't just be words we speak in passing.....

I believe that every time we perform an act of kindness a little bit of sadness leaves our souls.

I believe that smiles are gifts - 

I believe that a giving heart is a healthy heart -

I believe that kindness - given or received - is a miraculous healer

And I believe I'd like to be one of Abby's Angels......................

When I came across this I thought it was the perfect give away for Valentine's day
and a small token of paying it forward for all the love and support I've been given through this blog - 
This giveaway is not to celebrate new followers - or any milestone I've reached 
It's simply a giveaway in a beautiful girl's honor -  



All you have to do to qualify  is to leave a comment -  but if you've been involved with a random act of kindness lately - please share - it would be so nice to read about it...................

because today's the day for Hearts after all.

I can't exactly say when I'll pick the winner - I've ordered the bracelet - hopefully it'll arrive quickly but this time I will include world wide shipping - because Angels have no borders.

Good luck everyone !!!

Much love,
Suzan








Oh I believe there are angels among us.
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours.
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give.
To guide us with the light of love.








69 comments:

  1. Oh my, Suzan, I can`t believe that this beautiful girl had to be an angel that early. I almost start crying when I read this post, life can be so tough.

    Hugs from me

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  2. Such a lovely and heartfelt post Suzan. How tragic that such a beautiful young lady was taken so soon. Just this week in my area, an 18 month old baby drowned. I have a hard time understanding such senseless tragedies but I know there is a reason. I love what Abby's family is doing to bring something beautiful out of something so tragic. My prayers are with this precious family. Thank you too for picking out a lovely gift to spread a little lo e...:)
    Blessings, Vicky

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  3. What lovely give for valentines day and a heartfelt story.

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    1. They're an amazing family, aren't they?
      Good luck !
      XXX

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  4. Oh such a moving story and what a lovely way to cope with this huge loss. I am just at a complete loss of words:( I need to use a reminder to pay it forward each and everyday and become an Abby Angel.
    Hugs

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  5. Suzan, Thank you so much for sharing Abby's story. Loss is difficult and we all grieve in our own ways and time. In 2006 I lost my first husband at the age of 44 after a 2 year valiant battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. At 42 I was widowed with 3 children. I vowed the day I received the life insurance check that I would share "Bob" with as many as I could and not let his insurance money "rule" my life. On a weekly basis on Friday (since that's the day he died) I have "paid it backwards" by paying the bill for the person behind me in my morning coffee stop at McDonald's. It's so fun to watch the persons face light up when they realize someone has paid their tab. Just that little act has made my Fridays a day of smiles instead of tears for the last nearly 8 years. Today, I am happily re-married and living in Canada (I am originally from SC). I have raised my 3 children to adulthood (29,25,21) and have adopted my husband's two younger children who have given me so much joy and life. He is a widower too. Our lives are all complete and we are thrilled that we are able to spread our love, joy and happiness to those who are unaware. The smiles are worth so much more than the money!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. I loved reading this Laurayne - thanks so much for sharing.
      and good luck
      xoxox

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  6. I have had a heavy heart lately. So many goodbyes to people so young. This is beautiful Suzan. Happy Valentines Day to you. I know how much you love hearts! <3

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  7. I remember talking with Pat when this happened. My heart still aches for her and her family. Losing a child of a child is so very, very horrible. I will NEVER understand the reason behind why this happens. I know, I know....God's will....but, still and all, a hard, bitter pill to swallow.

    You are an angel here, too, Suzan. I am blessed to have met you online. You enrich my life and make me smile and that is the best giveaway ever! Happy Valentine's Day to you, my sweet Canadian friend (in the "not what I bargained for" home! xo Diana

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  8. Life is truly a gift each moment of the day, because things can change in an instant. This is a wonderful post reminding us to be intentional with the way we live and how we treat others.
    Mary Alice

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  9. What a lovely post Suzan and a beautiful giveaway! You have the biggest heart in blogland for sure.

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  10. What an incredible tribute to Abby. Isn't it all we can hope for, that when we're gone that we're remembered in such a loving fashion? Bravo.

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  11. What a beautiful post. It is so hard to lose a child, you NEVER get over it. You are such a wonderful person and I feel so honored to have met you through blogging. You always make my day - you are blessed. Thank you.
    Mary

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  12. It's hard to type because of the tears in my eyes...I'm so sorry for you loss!!
    I started a new job where to be honest the place has bad mo-jo...I have worked there 4 days and have come home crying the last two...but today I think I will bring in some valentines candy and see if maybe I can slowly change it into the happy work place it should be!!
    Thanks for the interspersion and God Bless,
    Denise

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  13. Hi, Suzan

    These days we are so (too) busy with our own little cookie cutter lives that we only are thinking of ourselves.
    The challenge that you have put forth really struck a chord with me.
    We have a sweet little old lady who lives next door. We have been neighborly but not consistent. Now I am to the point that I feel guilty and am too embarrassed to reach out to her. How silly.
    Today my goal is to go over and say hi. To open the door once more, visiting once a week, seeing if we can help her in any way.
    Thanks for waking me up.
    I'll comment back and let you know how it goes.
    Pam

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    1. That would be the love of a 16 year old that just keeps on giving - thanks so much Pam - ( and Abby ) and good luck
      Much love,
      SUzan

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  14. Oh Suzan. This is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing this story of such heartbreaking loss and the sweetness that can come out of such loss. It is such fun to read posts about transformations, new decor ideas, cheer blogger friends on with features and accomplishments but this kind of post keeps everything in perspective. Life is the real gift.
    We should all open each day with the excitement that we have when we open that perfect that perfect birthday gift or valentine's gift. This post was truly a wonderful gift to all of us. Thank you Suzan.
    Kris xxoo

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  15. My dear, sweet, funny Suzan ~
    Thank you (so inadequate) for this beautiful post and sharing the love! You are one of the kindest people I've met via blog land and I am so grateful! I so hope that a lot of folks will join in and spread the love.

    Life is so short and we all tend to take things for granted in this busy, hectic world we live in. Just a few moments of kindness for others can make all the difference.

    Love * hugs to you,
    xoxo
    Pat

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  16. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

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  17. What a truly inspirational gift of love…you are an angel & kindness & love will come back to you tenfold. This is not a big thing, but I love doing it…when I am in the drive thru at Tim's….I ask what the car behind me ordered….and then I pay for it! I've never had it done for me…but I simply love doing it! One time, I had a gentleman follow me to the lights & wave & toot a thank you to me! Totally made my day! I also do it, if a vehicle allows me to go first to order…as a show of thanks…I pay for their coffee.
    Another time, we paid for a dental for a woman's dog…she was on a fixed income & couldn't afford to pay to have it done…so we told our veterinarian that we would pay the bill & to take care of the dog…a dear little Shih Tzu.

    Wishing you & your hubby a romantic Happy Valentine's Day….mine gave me a box of to die for cupcakes from our favourite bake shop! Now that, is true luve!!!

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    1. Loved reading your random acts of kindness - especially about paying the vets bill ( I have a little shih tzu ) what a beautiful thing Charlotte - and thanks so much for sharing
      Good luck
      xoxo

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  18. How sad and beautiful. So many tragedies, and so many people rising from the ashes. I am amazed by the strength and courage people show after these losses.

    xoxo
    -andi

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  19. What a lovely remembrance and tribute!

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  20. Suzan- you are a lovely lady with a very loving heart that shines through so many of your posts. We all need reminding sometimes to be kinder to each other, sad though that may be.Today when I go in to work, I will find a way to pay my own blessings forward and make someone smile. The loving tribute that Abbys family are giving that beautiful young lady, leaves me in no doubt....there are angels among us!

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    1. thanks so much Kim - for your sweet comment - Angels among us, indeed!
      good luck
      XOXO

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  21. It shows remarkable character when someone takes their grief and turns is to shared love. Thanks for reminding us all that we need to remember always to shine a light of kindness and sharing in this world. This is my favourite Valentine's post today!

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  22. So touching! We can all be reminded that life is a gift, not a promise.

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    1. Indeed it is - and one we all too often take for granted!
      Good luck -
      xxx

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  23. This is such a wonderful idea! I have done RAOK in the past, paying for the person behind me on a till bridge, paying for someone at the drive thru etc. It DOES may the giver feel so much better. I need to do one today as I am in a BIG FUNK today. Hope your day is terrific!

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  24. Suzan this post brought tears to my eyes, seriously. I believe in all these things we have to be kind and giving to people as often as possible. My husband and I try to do what we can especially for children. This Christmas a girl at my salon was asking for donations for kids in a poor neighborhood and we donated a bit of money. When I saw the pictures of the children's faces full of smiles and happiness it made me feel so wonderful. I never want children to be without. We are so blessed ourselves, we try and do it for others.

    Cynthia

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  25. I love each and every story I hear about Random Acts of Kindness; I think it is a wonderful way for Pat's granddaughter to be honored. I plan to go out and look for ways to participate as I go through my day. I was at McDs drive-thru the other day with my granddaughter and I over heard the car behind me order two Happy Meals. There were two adults in the car, so they were either not very hungry or they were taking meals home to "the kids". When I got to the window I paid for my order and theirs too. My granddaughter (19) just looked at me with question marks in her eyes. I told her I'd always wanted to do that. While I was waiting for my order at the next window I overheard the man try to pay for his order and he was told it was already taken care of. He said, "That's never happened to ME before". I just drove away feeling better than I had all day and my granddaughter said, "Grandma, I like that".

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    1. What a beautiful lesson for your granddaughter !!!
      Thanks so much for sharing -
      ( good luck )
      xoxo

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  26. I believe random acts of kindness are important all year long. Just a smile can make a difference in someone's life. My heart goes out to that family for their terrible loss. How wonderful how they are celebrating her life. xo Laura

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  27. Lovely tribute to Sweet Abby and a great encouragement to Pat as she continues along this journey of loss. Many will be touched by the kindness you share here :)

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  28. I like to occasionally pay a toll or a coffee at starbucks for a random person behind me. I hope they carry it on. a friend posted one day she got her starbucks paid by the person in front of her....thought it was me paying for her but, no, she was there at 9:30 and I was there at 7:15. I am believing that my act carried on all the way to her!

    I cannot imagine what the family went through or is going through. prayers for their healing.

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    1. What a nice thing to do Susan - and how nice that others are doing the same !
      Thanks so much for sharing and good luck :)
      Hugs,

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  29. This post is so sweet and kind, Suze. Knowing Pat, I know for certain that her heart was lifted today!
    We donated the money that we would have spent on a Valentine's date to a local puppy who was in need. He's going to recover after an amputation and our hearts are happy that he'll have a new and loving home. Much happier than any night out or gifts would have brought us. I'm proud to be one of Abby's Angels.
    All day long we hear of tragedy- of people who don't care when they see a wrong. It is wonderful to know that there ARE so many lovely people out in our world, too. So many! Love you both dearly, Suzan and Pat!

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  30. What a sweet and precious tribute to Abby! I have Grandchildren of all ages and can't imagine the pain of losing one of them! My heart broke when Abby was taken at such a young age and breaks now at the pain that still is sharp in their hearts! Thank you for posting this and I am praying along with ALL of you! HUGS!

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  31. suzan ok you made me cry today normally you raok me with your humor and make me laugh and forget all of my aches and pains for awhile but this was a good cry sympathy is a human emotion we should all have... i have done small raok in my life and if by any chance i win this please take it to a nursing home or such near you and give it to some other old woman instead of me just let me know how bright her eyes lit up xx

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    1. what an incredible idea - but no - it would be yours to regift if you win - you choose who it goes to - and YOU get to see the sparkle in someone's eye!
      good luck !!!
      XOXO

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  32. Suzan, I am visiting from Pat's blog. We are blogging buddies and I know how her heart still aches with the loss. this is a beautiful thing you are doing, and I do try to follow RAOK every day. God bless you, Suzan, you are an angel here on earth. xo

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  33. Oh Suzan, I am at a loss for words. Your post about such a beautiful heart made me cry! I am a grade four teacher and try to pass kindness and caring on to my students daily. Encouraging children and fostering kind and caring behavior is one way that I will honor such a sweet and wonderful young lady....Thank you for spreading the word that love carries on......

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  34. 16 my goodness I can't even imagine the family's grief but I love the RAOK what a beautiful idea to keep her memory alive.

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  35. Such a wonderful tribute. It brought tears to my eyes. Was very touching.

    Just giving a kind word or giving someone a hug sometimes can mean the world to someone.
    Collecting blankets and warm winter coats for the homeless warms your heart as well.

    Susan, enjoy your weekend
    ColleenB.
    Texas

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  36. This is such a lovely post, Suzan, and such a beautiful tribute to Pat's granddaughter. What very difficult paths some are called to walk. May they experience God's grace and comfort.

    And as for the RAOK, kindness is never wasted.

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  37. Hi Suzan!!!

    XOXOX

    That's my gift to you!!!!

    When Pat lost her beautiful granddaughter, I cried. My heart goes out to Pat and her family. To have you bring more to light how Abby's love of life was, makes us think about the kindness that we show to others.

    My husband and I sat down one day and we discussed ways that we could help those in need. We decided that giving money to the homeless wasn't a good idea, but, if we could buy them something to eat, we felt then we knew the money was going towards a good thing. Billy aka the hubby has a big heart and hates to see someone go without, when he can do something about it.

    We've been doing this since we've been married and that's going on 24 yrs this June. If we can show kindness in anyway that we can, maybe we can show these unfortunate people that someone cares!!

    Suzan, if I was picked, I would want you to send it to Pat, just to let her know that we all care and are very sorry for what happened to her beautiful Abby!!! That when she looked down and saw the heart, that she knew a piece of our heart is going out to her.

    Thank you Suzan for bring this out yesterday in your post!!!

    Have a great weekend!!!

    Pam
    xox

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  38. So sad... and tragic. It's a beautiful bracelet.

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  39. Suzan, What a touching story of Abby's love for life and heartbreaking that she was taken from her earthly family at such a young age. It seems that her family has found a way to honor this sweet one's life and pass her love along to others. I pray God's continued comfort for her family.
    Blessing, Ginger

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  40. Abby was so very beautiful and it is tragic that she died so young. I can imagine how hard all of the holidays after her death have been. After losing my husband in July, I too struggled through birthdays and Christmas and our anniversary. My sister knew Valentines Day would be hard for me, so her and my brother in law came here and spent the day. They helped me work on my new house, and helped me to get organized. They both worked very hard and when one task was done they moved onto another. Then they took me out for a nice dinner. I know they had better things to do today, and I love them so much for being here to help me. When you lose someone, the cards and the flowers are nice. But giving your time and your help means so much more. I hope Abbys family have people that give their time to help make the hard days a little easier to get through. If I won this bracelet I would give it to my sister, who has been there for me every moment since Brian passed away.
    This is a beautiful post Suzan, hugs Tobey

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  41. I remember reading about this last year. I believe you directed us over to her blog at the time. It struck me hard then and it does the same today when I read this. I think their strength is admirable and their desire for people to pay it forward or backward, whatever the case may be, in Abby's honour is certainly something that we should all consider without question. Perhaps we should be doing that on a regular basis like Laurayne does, a simple cup of coffee for the person behind you in a line-up for coffee. There is a great video that I saw on Facebook or a blog which demonstrates the idea that acts of kindness are contagious. Somebody seems someone else displaying an act of kindness and they follow suit. Rather simple really.
    I remember when I was young and we were on a road trip to Florida. We stopped for dinner at a restaurant and there was a man sitting on the side of a curb looking like he was hungry and possibly without a home. When we sat down in the restaurant my dad took the menu out to the man and asked him what he would like to eat. He came back in and ordered an extra meal for the man. I watched my dad do this, not really knowing what to think about it all. I was fairly young but it stuck in my mind as one of those I could not forget.
    Lovely post Suzan.

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  42. Such a tragic loss. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be. My heart goes out to Pat and her family. What a lovely giveaway Suzan... in honour of the lovely Abby.

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  43. This is so special. Last year I had a giveaway, and I was so excited Pat won. I had shared her story with my boys, they were so happy she won too.

    I love how it makes me feel to do RAOK and I am happy to witness how it makes my boys feel when they do it.

    Thank you for the beautiful post.
    :-)

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  44. I try to do RAOKs as often as possible, but the RAOK I'd like to share is one my husband experienced last week (these are his words as posted on his FB page):

    This evening at a local grocery store an elderly man bumped into me with his shopping cart in the candy aisle. He was apologetic and made sure he shook my hand to apologize a second time. He then volunteered to me that his wife never let him buy candy for her on Valentines Day but this year he was going to. I said, "won't she get mad at you?" He said no, he was going to put the candy at her grave.... He told me they had been married for 61 years, she did all the shopping and he was "kind of" lost doing the shopping. He pushed his cart to the drinking water and asked if I could put a case of water in his cart, of course I did. He told me he was done and wanted to "brave" the cash register. I followed him and offered to help him out to car when he was done. He thanked me and told me he would "like" the help. At the cash register he paid cash. As we were walking out he asked me to stop at the table where two girls were selling Girl Scout Cookies. What happened next was amazing. He asked the girls their ages, both are nine, he said he had great, great, greatgrand daughters about the same age. He then told their mother he wanted to buy 61 years worth of Girl Scout Cookies. The mother said that was sweet but they didn't have that much left. He said nothing, pulled out his money clip and counted out $244, gave the cash to one of the girls and took one box of Thin Mints, thanked the girls and started walking to his car. I bought 5 boxes then quickly caught up with him. I loaded the water into his trunk. When he opened his car door he told me she didn't let him buy Girl Scout Cookies either "I miss her." That's where it ended. I went to my truck and sat there for several minutes before I could drive home!

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    1. What a beautiful story - thanks SO much for sharing this Lynn - really just beautiful!
      xoxo

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  45. Such a sad story, I remember hearing about it before. And what a lovely thing for the family to do in her memory.

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  46. I have a beautiful daughter aged 17. I cannot imagine such a loss as yours. This is a lovely gesture.

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  47. I love this idea and maybe it is time for us all to wake up to the idea that rude and mean are not cool. Kindness costs nothing! Dianntha

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  48. I'd love to win that bracelet. I can't imagine losing a child, just devastating.

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  49. My heart goes out this this beautiful girl's family. I have watched my Mother lose two of her beautiful daughters and while I dealt with the grief of losing my sisters, it is even harder to watch my Mom deal with it. This is a beautiful way to honour Abby.

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  50. To all children who leave this earth too early.... to all families and loved ones who mourn..... may we truly see that each life is of value and cherish the souls of those who remain among us along with those who remain in our hearts.

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  51. We take every step with faith and the beleif that God makes no mistakes...He has a plan that every tear is for a purpose greater than we. I remember when I first read about this sweet girl and the pain this family went through my prayers are still with them....

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  52. A sad story but a beautiful way to celebrate Abby's life. Thanks for the opportunity. I will pray for her family.

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  53. You normally make me laugh out loud, today you made me have tears in my eyes. I lost a cousin to a road traffic accident that broke all of our hearts. Followed by my losing my beloved grandmother last year as well, who was my mother and best friend as well. I was always doing the shopping or the cleaning, or just sitting having a cup of tea and a chat. It's those times that I miss the most. So when I was recently in a supermarket and an elderly gentleman was queuing in front of me, I said the normal good morning and waited patiently whilst he hunted for his money to pay. The look of sheer horror on his face when he realised he had misplaced his wallet was heart breaking. So I paid the £11 for his shopping, a few items of bread, milk, tea bags and butter. He was shocked that I had done such an act of kindness and begged for my address to re pay me, oh course I declined and said it was a gift. Since then I have done the same act of kindness several times. The reason why because I can.............. because I can make a difference.
    Love Alison

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    1. First of all Alison I'm so sorry for your loss ( es ) and secondly I just loved reading your story - what a big heart you have - he must have felt you were indeed an angel!
      XOX

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  54. Abby was so beautiful and so are RAOKs. Love to pay it forward when possible. Also, have to say I'm fascinated with your reno so no bulldozer today! :)

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  55. Such a WONDERFUL thing to do!!!!

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  56. Oh bummer! Did I miss this??? Oh well. About 20 years ago I decided to strengthen my kindness muscle. It has been worth every effort.

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Due to a large amount of spam ( that I'm tired of going back to posts and deleting ) I'll be using comment moderation from now on !!!
Can I beat these spammers at their own game? Probably not - but I'm going
to try my damnedest !!!
xoxo