On February 14, 2000, Valentine’s Day, I was out on a romantic dinner with my husband. On our way home we were in a car accident in downtown Orlando. Chad, my husband, had forgotten to put his seatbelt on and was thrown from the vehicle. He died 12 hours later from severe head trauma.
My seemingly perfect life came tumbling down. I was depressed, lost, scared and unsure what or where to go next. I was referred to New Hope for Kids by the minister who officiated Chad’s memorial service. I didn’t want to come to New Hope for Kids, I didn’t want to admit it was all so real and this was how my life was going to be now. So I went there for my children!!
At first I couldn’t talk out loud about what I was going through, but soon I realized I was in a room full of people who had all the same fears and confusing thoughts I did……..I felt like I belonged somewhere finally, a place where people understood what I was going through.
After about a year, I started reaching out to other families, then volunteering and am now a New Hope for Kids Board Member. I see myself as a great example of the miracles that New Hope for Kids can create for families who come there. They gave me the courage and hope that someday I would feel happy again and not feel stigmatized by society. They understood what it was like to have your whole life pulled out from under you when a loved one dies.
I see New Hope for Kids as a seed that was planted within my soul. From there I needed to nourish that seed, move forward in my life, become productive and purposeful. I thank God I found New Hope for Kids. I really can’t imagine what my life would be like now if I didn’t take the time to truly feel all the emotions that come with death. I was able to truly feel them, process them, understand them and then put them in the past.
Our future is bright and wonderful now, we love life again and I can’t do enough to say thank you to this organization.