Pleas like or follow my new facebook writer’s page, “Thru Hiking Thru Life and Loss” to read this entire story and other stories and videos at



With a five dollar, Little Caesars Pizza, some farm fresh eggs, and a 9-foot tree in tow we pulled out of the lot with Christmas.  The real Christmas. We pulled out with hope. Hanna’s Hope.

Run by Mary and Jeff Miller, Hannah’s Hope is an organization raising money to help less fortunate kids in honor of Hannah who died in 2012 at the age of 21 in a car accident. Hanna loved Christmas so her parents sell Christmas trees to raise money.

Last year I told Mary about our son. She stopped what she was doing, said nothing and gave me a hug. She knew. Lori couldn’t talk to her but this year she opened up more and she and Mary talked about how things like butterflies and turtles have new meaning. One day Lori saw a picture of a little turtle that said, “Expect good things today.” When she went on a walk, she almost stepped on an identical tiny slider turtle. Named, “T” he is now a member of our family and I have almost as many pictures of T than I do Belle, our dog. As Mary clutched something at the base of her neck, she told us that she keeps finding dimes in unusual places. A friend explained that they are being left for her to let her know that Hanna is still with her. If you have experienced great loss you understand. If you haven’t you can accept that you don’t have to understand everything.

Mary revealed the neckless that was around her neck. It was made from a dime. The simple circle was now convex, like a silver turtle shell. Hannah’s mom said she has worn this necklace around her neck for five years.

“I see your pain,” she said to Lori, as she took her necklace from around her neck and put it into Lori’s hand.

“No, no, I can’t it’s yours,” Lori exclaimed.

“You need it, I was meant to give it to you.”

Lori cried as Mary gave her a hug.

And as we pulled out of the lot to drive home I looked left then right. And when I did I saw Lori’s tears reflected in the light of the street lamp above as she clutched something at the base of her neck– Hope.


Visit Hannah’s Hope at




4 thoughts on “THRU HIKING THRU LIFE and LOSS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s