“I am totally amazed and surprised with my HOPE BOX and the vital things I needed”.

“I don’t feel brave. At all. I’ll pretend I’m brave around my 13-year-old students, around my coworkers, my children, and grandchildren, sometimes even around my husband. But do I feel brave deep inside? No. I do not.

I began to think that maybe brave isn’t something you have to be. Maybe it’s just part of who you are. An untapped strength that you don’t know is there until you have no choice but to use it. Maybe brave is saying the words “I have breast cancer” out loud. Maybe brave is scheduling the next appointment, educating your family and friends, injecting laughter into the horrible nightmare you find yourself drowning in. Maybe being brave means asking for help to pour the milk or to put on your shirt. Maybe it’s taking a nap when your eyes refuse to stay open another second but your brain shouts “Why are you tired? You haven’t done anything today!” Maybe brave is simply taking the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that until you’ve walked miles. And I never, ever looked at it like that until I read those cards.

I never expected the locket. It brought me to tears of joy. I have wanted an Origami Owl for years and years. But it was one of those things I wasn’t able to splurge on. It is so much more beautiful than I ever imagined. It’s more than beauty though. It is hope for the times I feel hopeless. It is loved for the times I feel unlovable. It is courage for the times, and there are many when I feel scared. Wonder Woman had her bracelets. I have my locket.

Thank you for sending me what I needed so desperately before I ever knew I needed it. I am not sure how you knew, how the inspiration reached you but I awed that it did.

Thank you. The terror is slightly abated. The feeling of going through it alone has lessened. Because of you”,

Survivor, Gilbert Arizona

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