The Story


April 17, 2017 the life I knew ended, and a new one began. Prior to that day, I considered myself an ordinary wife, daughter, friend, and mother of 2 - a son, Thurston, and a daughter, Kate. At 11 a.m., April 17, I was still an ordinary wife, daughter, and friend, but now a mother of only one living child. I was now beginning a life of new firsts …. our sweet Kate was a beautiful, vibrant, active 30 yr. old …. a fourth grade teacher who was loved by her students. She was also a coach and mentor to many. No parent should bury her child, and only 5 months before, my youngest brother had buried his 26 yr. old daughter whom he had lost to cancer. Two families now without …. it is not the normal sequence of life that parents outlive a child, so I found myself struggling with, “What next?” How does one begin to navigate this journey of loss and grief? I kept thinking, “What is wrong with this world?” There seemed to be such suffering and loss everywhere I turned …. I didn’t know what to do or how to move forward.
For the last 5 years I had been sending out a daily quote from a blog I had created. That day, I thought I could no longer continue sending out those quotes because so much of my focus and energy had been zapped. That night I tossed and turned and when I awoke, I realized I had to get all those emotions out …. and maybe writing was the best way. So with that, my blog took on a new flavor …. one of loss and vulnerability and hope and pain and seeking. It became a way for me to try to make sense of the senseless, and I can honestly say now, one year later, that while nothing has really made sense of all of this, I found that by being open about my loss, pain, and daily struggle, there were many others out there who understood and had even been where I was. They began opening up to me about their own life challenges, and I discovered that life is filled with all kinds of losses and that they have some similarities. We live in a broken world and much of that brokenness can’t be fixed. We each deal with “What do I do?” …. “Where do I go from here?” …. “How can I go on?” …. “Why?” …. but loss forces us to shed our masks - masks of perfection …. of I can do it …. of I am strong …. or of I am capable …. and challenges us to reach out to others in our weakness. And the amazing thing that i discovered, was that by doing just that, I was given some of the greatest gifts of my life and found some of the best new friends imaginable. Out of this horrendous pain came “relationship” and it was and is “relationship” that has been my balm.

I was later encouraged by many to put these quotes and comments in a book that could possibly help others. At first I was a bit reluctant because I surely didn’t need to make any money selling a book …. but then an idea took shape. What if I could use my pain from losing my precious daughter to help others …. either financially or thru inspiration? Thus my new nonprofit business,, was born.

This website and project have been created with such love and dedication by those who have walked closely with me this past year on this journey toward hope …. “k4k” could not have been done without them. How could I ever doubt how much kind acts, no matter how great or small, do matter and make a difference? Kate you were greatly loved, and I have been greatly blessed …. Thanks to each and everyone of you who have helped start this movement toward hope and for each of you who will help make it a success.

xoxoxo to all - eliz

p.s. While so many people have helped me, I would like to highlight the following people who have dedicated many, many hours of time and talent to this project: The website was designed by Sallie Pruitt …. the book cover by Karen Embry …. the quote spacer by Isabel Sea {notice the mirror image of K’s that form hearts and the 4 small hearts joining them - k4k} …. all the laborious editing by Jane Matthews, Wendy Schultz, Julie Boksich, and Stafford Via {finding waldo would have been easier!} …. and my blog by Hope Freebourn - but absolutely NONE of this could have been accomplished without the loving support and inspiration and patience given to me by my husband, Bill - and son, Thurston. They have been behind me every step of the way, behind the scenes, and encouraging me to go forward…. you all have been an amazing team.