I am a mother of two; my daughter, Katrina, the wife of Chad and mom to my two amazing grandchildren, Morgan and Adam, and my son, Adam. Katrina and family live 25 minutes from our home and Adam lives in Heaven. On August 4, 1997 our son, Adam, a flight instructor, was giving a lesson to a student on a beautiful sunny afternoon. They experienced engine problems while doing a “touch and go”. Adam was able to bring the plane down safely on a city street, but one wing caught a small tree on the boulevard and was torn off causing fuel to leak. The plane came to a stop in a residential yard. Adam was able to get out of the plane but there was a fiery explosion that killed Adam and Jason. From that day forward my life changed forever. In 1998 Mark and I began the journey of setting up a non-profit organization to support first year students with scholarships in the fields of aviation, music, (Adam was an incredible, gifted trumpet player) and missions work. We named it LNF which stands for Love Never Fails. It was what Adam lived and the legacy he left. It is on his headstone. After a few years of fundraising and awarding 6 scholarships we changed our focus to helping newly grieving parents. As we traveled the journey of grieving we found it to be so painfully confusing and lonely. In 2004 on April 24th, Adam’s birthday, we sent our first Love Baskets. Along with an introduction letter, we include books written by other parents that have experienced the death of a child, a Swarovski star, coffee, tea, CD’s with comforting music, chocolates and many brochures with helps, including the Compassionate Friends brochure in each basket. About a week after Adam’s death I started writing in a journal that continued the first year and then intermittently the next few years. Last year a new friend was beginning the grief journey with the death of her husband and had also experienced the death of her baby boy ten years previous. She read my journal and encouraged me to put it into book form saying that it helped her immensely with her current grief and the grief she had been carrying for Bennett for the past ten years. There have been times through the years that we have wanted to quit our basket ministry; sometimes because of low funds and sometimes because of the heavy grief that stays with me as I read the obituaries and prepare another basket to be sent out. Then we get a letter from one of the recipients saying that our basket came just at the right time to let them know that someone does understand. And so, we continue to send them out each week. I have been married to my husband, Mark, for 43+ years. I work full time at a law firm as a receptionist. I like to read, hike and watch classic movies.
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