The story of Grace is an amazing story. Her story is filled with hope, love, faith, and courage. After battling sarcoma cancer for 9 months she stated her faith was just as strong then as it was in the beginning. That statement was made just one month before her passing on May 9, 2013. I am here to say her faith was stronger, but not only that, her smile was broader, her face shone brighter and her eyes were clearer after battling hard for nine months than when she first began her journey. In her end, she was not diminished but bursting with glory at her mortal seams. Grace was transformed during her battle into a person I am sorry I did not get the chance to spend a my lifetime with. As her body became weaker and more and more sick, her internal life force became stronger and more and more sweet.
I would be the first to say this awesome and amazing dear young woman changed my life. Living with Grace I was in the front row seat of her life and watched as her story was played out before my very eyes. We laughed together but we did not cry together. She never saw the need to cry. As far as I know, she never shed a tear for herself or questioned the reason of “Why me?” One thing she could not stand were eyes of pity. She never pitied herself and didn’t understand or receive pity from others. She was a warrior through and through. While she knew inner strength and resolve and had the patience of self restraint enduring great pain, she readily admitted she did not see what all the fuss was about when people told her they admired her faith or that she inspired them. She just lived her life the only way she knew how. But what those words of affirmation and adoration added to her is unexplainable. She knew the strength she had did not come from her but from her God and from the people rallying around her. I watched her face light up as I read cards from people of the community saying they were praying for her. The light radiating from her face was unmistakable as people told her how much she had inspired them; and I watched as she walked on a little taller and fuller after hearing the words, “You have made a difference in my life!”. It was wonderful to behold the beauty of inspiration unfolding before my heart. It was amazing to watch the cycle of people being inspired by Grace who was in turn inspired by them and the momentum went on and on.
It is for this very reason Day of Grace-“Inspirational Day” has been the burden of mine and Eric’s heart. We saw firsthand the power and value of inspiration. What we experienced as a family, we would like for everyone to have the opportunity to experience. We should not wait for tragedy to dictate the time to express our heartfelt thank you’s or I love you’s. This is a day to let that person or people know they have made a difference in our lives. It not only feels great to say thank you and be reminded of the inspiration but it also is a wonderful thing to hear thank you and be encouraged to continue on in strength.
On October 7, 2013, please send a purple rose to the one who has inspired you that they might know of the difference they have made in your life. We have learned it is the simple acts of kindness that restore our hope and give us strength to carry on. Expressed love and goodness remind us we need one another. Grace left behind a great legacy of inspiration and hope. And I am thankful for her life every day.