The Kofford Family relocates to Colorado after 40 years as Californians. In December of 2007, Grandma Lorraine is diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Sadly, she passed away on Dec. 26th, 2008 after a year long courageous battle. Follow our journey as we keep Lorraine's memory alive, and as we learn to appreciate that each day we are given, is a gift to be enjoyed!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robertson

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thankfulness...

How do you thank someone whose presence in your life is invaluable? How do you express in words what true gratefulness feels like? I have tried, and always fall short. My mom's dear friend Annette, is one of those people I am eternally grateful for. She cared for my mom when I could not...she did more than I can ever repay her for, and she did so without ever looking for anything in return...she stayed by my mother's side when I could not be there. She held my mom when she passed, and comforted me, when she herself was grieving. I love Annette. And no words can ever express how grateful I am to her. So, I had to show her with actions.

These special people helped me plan a surprise. They worked in the pouring rain digging trenches, hauling dirt, and working under tight time constraints. You see, Annette and her husband Fred live in California and had a trip planned to Napa Valley last week. I wanted to do something tangible to thank them for all they did for my mother this year. So, while they were away for a few days, their son Freddie and his wife Crystal graciously agreed to be my partners in crime to make this surprise of thankfulness become a reality!

So between e-mails, phone calls, and text messages, we begun, "Operation Island!"

Annette and Fred recently moved into their new home. There is a beautiful circular driveway and a big area ripe for some landscaping.

So, Freddie and I, along with a personal friend of his who happens to do landscape work in the area, came up with a master plan to surprise Annette and Fred with a living memorial island. Annette has lost both of her parents and two friends over the past few years. We wanted to create an area that was pleasing for her to look at, and could eventually grow into a quiet reflection area to remember those she has loved and lost.

Under the cover of a major rain storm, the crew hauled in dirt, boulders, plants and more while Annette and Fred were away.

The sun came out on the last day when the final touches were being added.

And when they arrived home, this lovely dry creek bed with plants and flowers to grow over the years awaited them. Thank you Annette and Fred for everything you have done for our family. No words or actions can ever repay you, but please know how grateful I am. I love you both!

14 comments:

Beth said...

Simply Beautiful!

Beth said...

Denise, that is simply amazing. The thought and caring and planning you put in to make this work is amazing. You never fail to honor the important people in your life!

Is it too late to donate to the apple foundation? I've been wanting to do this. Is the info somewhere on your blog?

Anita said...

Denise, you are so thoughtful and caring, what a beautiful gift for Annette.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denise!! Yes, it IS absolutely beautiful and I LOVE it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are sooo kind, thoughtful, and giving. What a wonderful surprise it was. It truely is a living memorial to those who have passed recently in my life. Thank you for posting it on your blog for ALL to see! I love you too!
Annette

Kim said...

Thank you for being the amazing person you are once again! Honoring others in ways that touch their lives so wonderfully. Your mom and dad would have been so happy too.

Love you lots.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Denise, this is so sweet it makes me want to cry! I know they must have been thrilled. You are amazing, lady, amazing! She sounds like she is, too!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Darlene said...

That is so BEAUTIFUL! How sweet to do that for them.♥

Sue said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful thing for you to do. You make us all proud to be your friend each and every day. Thank you Annette and Fred, and thank you Denise.

With love...

glitzen said...

Well I could not help it. I got a bit choked up at the idea of such a thoughtful gift, and the follow through you had. So many times we get an idea to do something lovely for somebody, but its hard to bring it to fruition. You ROCK, my friend. I just adore you and your kind heart.

Melissa said...

That is so sweet! Surprises are great.

Lucy Marie said...

Wow, what a sweet gift to give your dear friend. You are an amazing woman and I thank you for sharing your life with us on this blog.

Sofia Striffler said...

Hi Denise,

It looks beautiful, and I'm sure Annette just loves it. She is a very lucky lady to have you as an extended family. I love the island it looks great and very special.

Sofia

Shannon said...

That is so thoughtful and beautiful. I know they will treasure that forever.

Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me with your creativity and generosity! What a wonderful surprise. I have to agree that Annette did deserve some show of appreciation.
Well, once again you've been inspirational to me- I would love to make a little area like that in the back yard. I'll let you know if I do.
Nancy