Losing a loved one is never easy, but for one mom the loss has been made a little bit easier with what she calls ‘Birthday Blessings.’
The North Carolina mom, April Quick, lost her daughter Ash Quick in 2015 where she took her own life, according to WCNC.
To help commemorate Ash’s life, April gives back to the community where she lives by celebrating her daughter’s birthday in a special way.
One Ash’s birthday, Dec. 28, April goes around town and gives gifts she calls ‘Birthday Blessings.’ For April is it’s a small thing she can do to give back the community that was there for her when she lost her daughter.
All the money that April would have spent on Ash during the year is given out to random strangers to help make their day.
This act of paying it forward has helped April with the loss of her daughter and is a generous way to keep the memory of her daughter alive.
“It helps us get through,” April told WCNC. “Instead of dreading Ashlyn’s birthday coming up, we actually look forward to it. It just kind of gives a dark time a little bit more meaning.”
The gifts for random strangers are April’s way of making sure that her daughter’s life isn’t defined by her death.
“Take the negative and make it something positive and let that be her legacy, not the tragedy of what happened,” she told WCNC.
To mark the day, April and her family head out to some of Ash’s favorite hangouts, leaving money and a meaningful note for unsuspecting area residents.
Visiting Waffle House, Taco Bell, gas stations and other places that Ash frequented lets April bring a smile to those around her with a random act of kindness.
Jennifer Watson was on the receiving end of a gift from April at a local gas station.
She told WCNC: “That is what this holiday spirit is all about. Every day I make it a point to give a gift of some type, so I should not have been surprised and I’m grateful to that mother that she had that child and loves that child and continues to share that child’s life and love with people like me.”
Libby Caryl and her family also got a free meal at Waffle House from April in honor of Ash. They had no knowledge of the story behind the ‘Birthday Blessings,” but decided to pay it forward to another family on the same day.
“I didn’t realize what was behind the generosity, but it was nice, so we just did it for someone else behind us,” Caryl told WCNC. “What a nice tribute to her daughter.”
For April, seeing others inspired by her daughter is celebration enough and something her family looks forward to each year.
“It’s about even just reaching one person, so to know that we reached one person, that’s what it’s all about, hoping to make one person’s day,” she said.
This family shows that even the most difficult of memories can be redeemed to produce a smile.
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