The greatest gift to give and receive

The greatest gift

In last week’s newsletter, I talked about why I share. As you all know by now, my family and I have been going through a rough time. Without the help from my amazing community and network, I’m not sure how I would get through it. Another result of sharing is the amazing emails of encouragement and support I have gotten. They have often been the boost I often need on the hard days. They are the greatest gift I have ever received.

It is scary to share but when you do, people share back. Here are some of the stories people have shared with me. These felt like virtual hugs, trust, and encouragement.

“It’s so hard when it is your child who is struggling with illness – it is wonderful how you can reach out and get strength even as you give it to others.”

“My son went through Stage 3 Hodgkins and then rode his bike, all by himself, from Chicago to Panama. I’m not sure which journey was scarier. I can feel both your fear and powerful life force in your writing. You are a gift.”

“I commend you for reaching out to your reader community because you can learn a great deal, receive great advice while connecting. I was recently diagnosed with a small growth on my kidney. Through connecting, my husband learned of an excellent urologist who put me in contact with another physician who does robotic surgery. … Please rest assured your son is being thought of and prayed for. Living in an adult community as we do, prayer lists continuously grow.”

“Did your mom really come down with Covid-19 while on chemo? My mom got diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year – she is doing chemo but hasn’t had the vaccine yet. We just live in fear of her getting it and try to be very careful about exposure.”

You can see why receiving these had an impact. So when that I received an email from a long-time colleague and member of the connector community naming me as the ENCOURAGIZER OF THE YEAR, it meant so much to me.


The founder of the Encouragement Institute defines an Encouragizer as follows:

“An Encouragizer is someone whose words, actions, and experiences provide hope, positive energy, and inspiration to help others achieve their goals and dreams.”

She went on to personalize the message saying, “Your actions this year have made my life better and I’m sure many others. Your generosity, in the midst of all that has been 2020, is extraordinary.”

She didn’t even know what we were going through when she sent it at the end of 2020. I hope she sees this and knows how much it meant to receive it. It is a reminder to us all to let people know when they have had an impact – it is the greatest gift to give and to receive.

So, as an Encouragizer, I’d love to encourage you to share, thank, appreciate or encourage someone today and every day. It is the gift that you will both receive.

From the bottom of my heart, I truly appreciate all of your kind words and offers of help. Since so many have asked how you can support, I have a practical way to do that. For the first time, I have decided to do a walk for the cure to raise money and awareness for the Lupus Research Alliance.

For those who want to support the non-profit, you can do that HERE. I share our story and a little about Lupus and the LRA here.

No pressure or expectations and I hope no offense that I have shared this opportunity.

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