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Friday, December 26, 2008

Giving is Awesome Portrait Winner

I know I said I'd announce a winner on Christmas eve but I was without internet for a few days and the blog I had scheduled to post didn't cooperate. So here I am, a little late, but I do have a winner. First off, I wanted to say how incredibly humbling it was to have many of you nominate special people in your lives. It's so nice to know people out there are paying attention to my little labor of love and have given me this opportunity to give something back.

Thank you to everyone who sent a submission. I had a hard time going through all the amazing stories and trying to narrow it down to one recipient. There was one story though, as soon as I read it, I instantly felt a connection. Reminded me of how strong women can be, but how easily they can lose themselves once life hits. Here is a tiny excerpt from the nomination email I received.

"April's husband, Ivan, is an Iraq war veteran. Ivan has never seen his children being born. While April was giving birth to her oldest boy, Ivan was deployed to Japan to serve for the marines. When April was having their second child, Ivan was in Iraq fighting The War on Terror. Finally when his third and last baby boy was being born, Ivan was on his way home from his second deployment in Afghanistan and missed the birth by only 8 hours. Talk about bad timing!

After serving for so long, Ivan came home to April wounded. Not the wounded that can heal with bandages and medicine, but the kind of wound that happens when you see so much death and sadness in such a short period of time. Ivan has Post Traumatic Syndrome resulting from his experiences. As a result of Ivan's sickens, April is the sole breadwinner. But she never complains.

She goes without so that her children won't want for anything. She never lets you know that she hurts, needs, or wants. She is too much of a giver to do that. She is always there to listen, lend a helping hand, and make you pancakes in the morning when your boyfriend cheats on you. But now, with 3 children under the age of 5 and a husband who constantly needs emotional and medical attention, she gets overwhelmed...
"

This story is the same as my parents story except my father was lucky to have come back from Vietnam with a newfound outlook on life and along with my Mother, was able to provide for us. I, as well as the rest of our family, realize how lucky we were to get my father back in one piece - mind and body - but we recognize some families aren't that fortunate. So April's story struck a chord. I can't wait to meet April and help her feel empowered at this point in her life. A special thanks to Marisa for nominating this very special woman. xoxo

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