I was able to hold the lovely coin that Maria gave me for two months. It sat on my desk, reminding me that friendship is a gift and that I should mindful and thankful of the friends in my life. Maria is one of those friends. Although I have not known her long, she has made a profound impact on my life. Her energy, positive thinking, and wisdom are the things I value the most, and her willingness to SHOW UP in life. Given who I am, the work I do (social justice speaking and writing, and recent health needs, having someone who shows up-without question and without judgement, is so important. Maria is one of those rare people in my life.
So, to honor Maria, I passed the butterfly onto one of my oldest friends this past weekend. Mari Jon and I have known each other for over forty years. I could say a lot about what we've done in those forty years, but I'd need a ton more room. Instead, I'll say that MJ has always shown up-literally and figuratively in those four decades. We have been young together, challenged together, silly together, mothers together, and now graciously aging (somewhat on the aging) women together. At a critical point in my younger life, she helped me journey through a difficult relationship and was there the moment I said "come and get me", as I finally gathered the strength to leave. I can tell her anything and know that she will respond, if needed, out of love, caring, and grace. And, she knows when to just listen and honor my experience.
Like Maria, MJ was a very early and constant supporter when I recovered from knee replacement surgery. Maria and MJ both held my hand during PT sessions (where I cried and cried out), sat and kept me company, and brought me food and gifts that helped me recover. MJ lives about 90 minutes away. I call seeing her "therapy", because she always gives me energy, courage, and perspective needed to move forward. We laugh a lot together. We've cried, but less often. I know MJ will be there until the end, and for that I am thankful.
This past weekend I met MJ at one of our favorite coffee shops in her town. As we ordered and admired the FABULOUS cakes and baked goods in the case, I discreetly added a gift certificate to my check. MJ can now enjoy coffee and treats this summer. I look forward to having her in my life as we enter the fall of our years.
Today my coin found its way to Charmaine, a dear friend of mine. Charmaine and I originally met in spin class at our local YMCA here in Bethlehem,NY. We have known each other for only a couple years now but she has become such a good friend it seems like I’ve known her for a lifetime!
We later found out we shared the same mutual friend -Georgia. We began spending more time together getting to know one another better. The three of us would often find ourselves at our favorite local coffee shop enjoying each other’s company. Needless to say Charmaine has become a very special person in my life.
Charmaine is a woman on the go!
She lives an active lifestyle, you can find her most days at spin class or doing resistance training at the YMCA. Charmaine also enjoys long walks with her dog. Whenever I see Charmaine she is always so upbeat and positive! She most recently underwent total knee replacement surgery this past fall. Here is where it became even more apparent to me the type of person Charmaine was.
My husband and I recently moved, we closed on our new home 12/31/18. Charmaine was one of our friends who not only volunteered to help with the move(still recovering from knee surgery) but after our move she made sure to bring us some delicious home cooking as she knew we had our hands full trying to unpack our lives of 20yrs into our new home. Charmaine would often check in offering help in any way!
After being in our new home for a few months I underwent ankle surgery, it set me back a bit.
There was Charmaine again offering her help again. Within days she was at our home for a visit bringing with her delicious baked goods😀
Today as I stopped over her home to drop off the Butterfly Coin she was of course baking muffins and cakes for her family and friends.
Charmaine never stops thinking of others despite having a rigorous work and physical therapy schedule.
Charmaine has a very full and busy life yet still manages to make time to check in on her friends, meet up for a coffee or lunch and oftentimes have friends over for dinner. She is also an amazing wife and mother of two college age children which also keeps her pretty busy.
Today I decided it would be nice to surprise Charmaine with a gift card to her favorite local coffee place and some flowers to remind us spring is finally here! The Butterfly coin again has spread it kindness landing with Charmaine today, she is one amazing woman who I have the privilege of calling my friend❤️
I can’t wait to see where it flys off to next!
Thank you Holly for gifting us with your Kindness❤️
This coin was given to Maria, a friend and former neighbor, on Mother's Day to wrap up Hope Days 2019. I visited her and Alon at their new home and brought them a blueberry muffin cake to celebrate Mother's Day with their whole family in town.
They were both with me when I got the first phone call alerting me to the fact that my sister might be sick, trying to offer reassurance. And they were there at her funeral. You are such good friends!
Maria is such an amazing caregiver to her own Mother, ensuring she gets expert care! Even when Maria was undergoing her own surgery. She is so dedicated to her momma!
This coin's journey can now begin!
This coin was purchased for Hope Days 2019. Hope Days was founded on May 1, 2015 to celebrate what would be Hope Cookis-McCarthy’s last birthday. She was turning 49 and was nearing the end of a two year battle with stage IV colon cancer. Her tribe of family and friends wanted to show her she was cherished and to bolster her courage to continue the fight as long as she could. Hope’s entire life was based on kindness and empathy for people and animals, always taking care of others and adopting strays from the time she was a child. She put others above herself.
Between May 1-13, we invite you to spread kindness. This can be anything YOU are comfortable doing, for ANYONE you wish to do it for. You are invited to pay it forward and make the world a nicer place in memory of Hope.
Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HopeDays13/ or @HopeDays13
Back to top