One of the privileges of having a business like Annie & Isabel is that we often have the opportunity to "meet" very brave, giving, and loving women. Less than a week ago, we received an email from Emily. She wrote to us about her sixty-six year old mother, who was struggling with Alzheimers, and had recently become bed bound.
Dressing her mother in regular clothing was becoming difficult and Emily wanted her to have something stylish to wear. Fashion and style were always important to her mother and she didn't want her mother to have to sacrifice that now. Emily thought that Annie & Isabel hospital gowns would be the perfect solution, so she purchased two gowns for her mom. We sent them out the next day. We then received this sad, yet beautiful, email from Emily:
"Unfortunately mom passed away Saturday morning before she got the chance to put on her gown (she only wore the drab one from the facility for a couple of hours, though. They kept her in her usual fashionable wardrobe almost until the end). Fortunately, and most importantly, it was very peaceful and my dad and I were there to hold her hand."
|Emily is seated next to her mother|
"I was wondering if I could turn around and send the gowns back to you all so that you could donate them to 1-2 deserving women who need them now. The refund isn't important but getting them into the hands of women who need them is and I would love to help you all out with that."
What a beautiful way to honor her mother by passing on the comfort, style and dignity provided by our gowns to other deserving women.
At the same time that we were corresponding with Emily, coincidentally, we received an email from another woman, Kaitlyn, who told us about her sister, Jaime, who is dealing with a recent diagnosis of cervical cancer that has spread significantly. Jaime is going to be having surgery, radiation and possibly chemotherapy soon. Kaitlyn wrote to us saying:
"I feel ashamed asking for something from a total stranger but my sister saw your site and really wanted something comfortable and pretty to wear during her hospital duration. Would you be able to give her a gown as I can't afford one and neither can she?"
Jaime is having extensive surgery today and, thanks to the generosity and giving spirit of Emily, Jaime will be recovering in our Anita gown.
Jaime is described by her sister as one of the most selfless people she knows. She has been married for 12 years to her high school sweetheart and has two small children that are 7 and 5 years old who mean the world to her. She always thinks of others before herself and has been known to give other children Christmas presents when their parents couldn't afford them. Kaitlyn wrote, "She is a strong person and I know she will fight this."
We would love it if you would send good thoughts and prayers for Jaime that she has a successful surgery today and that she can fight and win this battle. We would also love it if you could keep Emily and her family in your thoughts as they celebrate her mother's life and deal with a huge loss in their own lives.
May we all learn from these beautiful women and their selfless acts of kindness. It only takes a small act to make a big difference in someone's life. We challenge you all to do something selfless this week and make a difference in someone's life. Good works can have a trickle down effect.