As we roll along through life, people enter our story who change us forever.

They inspire us to love more deeply and give more fully of our talents and gifts.


My life story is filled with these kinds of people, and honestly, it would take a book to thank you all in written form.


But I’ve wanted to thank two groups of people publicly for several weeks now, because they went the extra mile for our family in ways that could have brought them financial gain if they had so desired.


First, because this has been long overdue since April, I want to thank Bow Mama.

Bow Mama is a lifelong friend of our family.

Her brother was Nick’s childhood playmate.

I’ve watched her grow from a young, sweet girl into a beautiful mom and wife.

Olivia was actually a flower girl in her wedding years ago.

One of Bow Mama’s greatest talents is making bows!

In our small town, girls of all ages wear cute, funky bows and most of the time these bows have been made by none other than

“Bow Mama.”

You can click on Brooke’s button in the right hand column to visit her Facebook page.


Well, everything Bow Mama is….I am not.

Stylish, hip, creative, and the list goes on of descriptors for this friend.

So, when Olivia was asked to the prom, I knew I would not be able to pull her outfit, flowers, etc., together without help.

This is where Bow Mama stepped in and saved the day.


Olivia’s date is a Duck Dynasty fan, and we knew he was wearing a camo tux,

so we wanted to do whatever we could to accent his style since it was his senior year and we wanted his prom to be all about him.


I found a picture or two on Pinterest and stopped by Hobby Lobby one evening on the way to a track meet.

A very talented employee helped me pull together an ensemble of flowers and things that would make a beautiful bouquet and boutonniere,

and I delivered my bag of supplies to Bow Mama.


The day of prom Olivia and her date both competed in the regional track meet.

This meant no time for hair appointments, eating out before prom, or any extra special events for the day.

Bow Mama literally waited at her house for Olivia to run home and shower and then pulled her together in less than 45 minutes.

We had just enough time to run to Olivia’s date’s house and take about 20 minutes worth of pictures before prom began at 9 p.m.

Thankfully, the high school had pushed prom back an hour because of the conflict with track or Alex and Olivia would have had to show up in their track uniforms!


Bow Mama saved the day!

And I have wanted to publicly share her talent and passion for what she does,

because she deserves some applause!

If you’re looking for a perfect bow or accessory,

consider Bow Mama! Smile

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The next thank you goes to a local business in our town.

And really the thank you goes back over our entire lifetime in Grayson.


When I left home for college, dad told me to find a gas station I loved and an auto repair shop I loved and keep going back.

He said the relationships I built in those kinds of places were powerful and helpful all through life.

I think the same thing goes when choosing a place to have your prescriptions filled.

Horton Bros. has been our pharmacy for over 20 years.

I remember calling Willie, our pharmacist, one Monday morning to confess a horrible mistake I had made all weekend long.

After putting drops in Tim’s eye for three days straight only to see it get worse and worse, I realized I had been using ear drops!!!

Willie was the first person I felt safe calling.  I knew he would calm me down and tell what I needed to do.

He laughed and highly recommended Tim go see our eye doctor that day.

I remember asking Willie if he thought our eye doctor had an “ear drop detector machine,” because there was no way I was telling Tim what I had done.

Willie laughed again and assured me that they probably did not have that kind of machine.

So later in the day when I called Tim at work and told him I had made him an appointment with our eye doctor, he thought I was such a thoughtful wife.

He didn’t realize I was terrified that he might be going blind from my error!!

I didn’t confess my mistake to Tim until many months later  on New Year’s Eve in the company of several friends.

I figured by then any ear drop residue was long gone.


Well, years passed and Nick became sick.

The prescriptions we filled through the years were endless.

Sometimes ten different medicines at a time.

Sometimes, we would learn that Willie had somehow covered the charges of our enormous bills.

One night as we returned from an emergency transfusion in Columbus, Ohio,

Nick had been prescribed a medicine to help with his nausea.

When we got home at well after 11 p.m.,

Willie was waiting in our driveway with the prescription!

And many times, Horton Bros. has helped sponsor events for Nick’s Foundation.


Well, several weeks ago, Nick should have walked across the stage at graduation and received his diploma.

We attended graduation, because we love his class so very much.

We also knew that there would be a chair in Nick’s memory.

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Tim and our minister looking at Nick’s chair before the ceremony began.

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Bow Mama’s brother and Nick’s childhood buddy, Brandon, holding the photo collage he created for Nick’s chair.

Right before graduation began, the guidance counselors came to me and told me that there would be a balloon launch at the end of the graduation ceremony in memory of Nick.

As graduation progressed, I thought about Nick’s love for the song 99 Red Balloons and the balloon launch we had at his funeral.

This is our funeral memory with that song.

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99 Red Balloons being launched at the end of Nick’s funeral

As the graduation ceremony came to an end, one of Nick’s other childhood friends, Derek, took the stage and announced the meeting place for the balloon launch and shared very sweet words about how Nick had changed his life and was with him every single day in a very special way.

As we had the closing prayer, I asked God to help me be okay if only a few seniors came outside for this moment.

I knew everyone had families attending and things to do that day.

I knew that many of the seniors didn’t know Nick as well as they could have because he has not been a part of their life for so many years.

When I walked out the back door of the school and saw this,

my heart was filled with more emotion than I can even piece together into a sentence.

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Everyone had come out back.

And they were holding 99 red balloons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hearing them scream as the balloons were released is something I’ll never forget.

The love we felt on on that day will never be forgotten.

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It wasn’t until about a week later that I learned that Horton Bros. Pharmacy had donated every single balloon!!!!

I wish I could say thank you in a more profound way.


What I’d love to ask is this,

If you live near Grayson, KY, and you need a little something in the next few months- a card, medicine, a gift for someone –

consider doing business at Horton Bros.


They blessed our community on graduation day.
Let’s bless them right back.


Today, I think the question I am asking myself is this,

What can I do to make someone else’s day a little brighter?

Thank you, Bow Mama and Horton Bros., for being bright lights in our community and in my family’s life!