I remember this trip to the zoo. Eric had been diagnosed with cancer 5 months prior and the can had returned one month prior, this time in his lungs. I knew that in all likelihood this would be the last time he’d hold the hand of his daughter on her birthday.
As our wonderful hospice team had encouraged him to do, Eric made videos for our children to cherish after his death. In one of his videos to Lorelei, he recounted the experience we had during her first birthday trip to the Zoo. Laughing, he told the story of how he had never seen an animal “make a doo” at a zoo. ”How lucky we were to see not only a giraffe but an elephant do it.”
Our daughter watches this video and doesn’t understand why her dad doesn’t allow her to participate in the conversation. I explain again that he died and isn’t able to have a conversation with her. One day she’ll be grateful to be able to hear and see her dad talk to her.
On a beautiful July 8th day in Florida, our baby turned three. This is her second birthday without her dad. More birthdays without him than with him. We celebrated with presents and cake, just as if we were all together. She also received a bracelet from us. This bracelet was different than the one I’m sure Eric would have chosen. The Gift it Forward Rag bracelet he would have chosen would have been Stars & Stripes.
Eric was a person who held tightly to his integrity, honor and truth. He was the person who blanketed our family in safety.
Gift it Forward was started with Eric’s idea that we all can make a difference in how we treat people. We should all try to be a little nicer to one another. “Gift it Forward” literally is a call to action. Give a gift to someone you want to make amends with, someone you don’t know, someone you want to let know that they’re important.
As a family we’ve learned not to wait to “give”. If we wait we just might miss the opportunity to do something nice, to make things right, to move forward.
When you purchase one of our rag bracelets, you will get a bracelet as a gift from us. Please take that bracelet and give it to someone. Give it with thought and purpose. We all owe it to each other.