Many will look at this photo and just see a mother and daughter. They might notice the similarities in the two or the matching shirts. They may even make note of their happy smiles.  

When I look at this photo, I see a mom and a daughter who are less than two months away from facing the most devastating situation they have ever faced. I see two people who are going to have their souls crushed. I see two people who are blissfully unaware.

Looking at this photo reminds me of just how happy we were. It reminds me just how quickly life can change. 

His death is exactly why I try to live each day with zero regrets. I work hard at making sure my family and friends always know how I feel about them. By no means am I perfect at this, but I am much more intentional now than I ever was. I spend more time doing the things I love and less time doing the things that I don’t love.  

Ladies, I bet you all have photos like this. Photos where you can physically see your happiness and blissful ignorance. I guess that is the nature of going through something tragic like the death of a loved one. 

I want to encourage you all to work hard at living your best, most purposeful life. Do more of the things that bring you joy. Do less of the things that cause you stress. Reach out to family and friends and let them know how much they matter to you. 

Our days are limited. They are literally numbered, and we never know when our last one is here. Spend your time wisely. Spend it spreading joy and happiness. 

Because while it may hurt to see this photo and know what is about to happen, at least I can say that we were happy. I can proudly say that we were loved by an awesome man. Do your family and friends a favor and live a life that allows them to do the same. 



Looking for a way you can make a difference and give back this holiday season? Embrace the spirit of giving by participating in Hope for Widows Foundation’s third annual ‘Bring Hope’ virtual program that directly assists a widow’s family who cannot provide gifts for their children or other necessities during this holiday season. Some widows who are struggling to make ends meet during this time simply do not have the luxury of purchasing gifts when their finances require them to choose between keeping the lights on and food on the table or purchasing presents. Add in the factors of solo parenting, grief, and the emotional and physical toll it takes. If you would like more details on how you can support a widow and her family, please EMAIL US directly for questions at or to sponsor, go here for details and to fill out the application:



Dawn’s life was forever altered on December 6, 2018 when she got the call that her husband, Jeffrey, had passed away at his work. She quickly learned that Jeff died from a gunshot wound, and detectives determined that it was self-inflicted. Dawn still struggles to wrap her brain around that fact. She will tell you that most days she doesn’t think about that part of it at all. Her husband is gone. The manner in which he died ultimately doesn’t matter. Gone is gone. He will forever be 46. Jeff and Dawn started out as friends in the Fall of 1997. They started to date in January of 1999. On September 3rd, 2000, in front of a beautiful lake, Jeff asked Dawn to be his wife, lover and friend forever. She excitedly accepted, and on June 30th, 2001, they became husband and wife. Together, Jeff and Dawn had 3 children...Ali, Josh & Meghan. During the majority of their 17 years of marriage, Dawn was a housewife and Jeff ran a fencing company. The kind of fencing that keeps children and animals contained. Not the kind of fencing that uses a sword. After Jeff passed, Dawn went back to school to get her special education endorsement. She is proud to be a special education teacher. In her free time, she can usually be found spending time with family and friends. Reading has been her passion since she was just a little girl, but since Jeff passed, she has found it hard to focus on reading. While that is a negative change that has happened on her journey, one positive change is that she has been writing more. Dawn tries to be very open about her journey with the hopes that it will help even just one other person better understand grief. For years, Dawn has been passionate about spreading joy to those around her. She continues to be that way, and now she is very purposeful about trying to focus on the positive things even during a horrible situation. She moves forward on this journey with her mind focused on continuing to honor Jeffrey, as well as trying to raise their three wonderful children in a way that will make him proud. Her hope is to live a life that will allow her to see Jeff in Heaven. She wants to see his smile again and feel his arms around her. Of course, that will be after she hopefully hears her Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”