That Time a Stranger Made Us Dinner... and Didn’t Stop

After my daughter, Brenna’s birth, hundreds of strangers reached out to our family in some way or another. Kids selling lemonade to raise money for Brenna or collecting medical supplies for her at their birthday parties. Fundraisers at schools and golf courses and and companies and online. A necklace made with my kids’ names on it. Cards arriving day after day with words of encouragement and prayers. It was, at times, unbelievable how much love people poured into us.

And the food. Dinners for months.

One of those dinners stands out to me, though. Because one woman we’d never met before took the time, money and energy to make us dinner after Brenna was born… and has never stopped.

Kathy has cooked up a delicious meal for us once a month, without fail, for the last three years.

And as we’ve gotten to know her, she’s just the kind of person who will do that, who will dedicate herself to brightening the lives of others with her gifts.

Kathy is a beacon of light in this world, and we’re grateful to call her our friend now. (Also? My kids and husband literally celebrate when “Kathy bringing dinner” is on our menu plan. She very much puts my cooking to shame!).

I shouldn’t even call them dinners because what Kathy arrives with in hand is literally a feast. It leaves us with leftovers for lunches for days, which is another blessing in itself.

She shows up with food on the days of procedures, doctors’ appointments and just generally stressful times and makes life a little easier for us.

And if it couldn’t get any better, she remembers our birthdays. And doesn’t come empty-handed for that either. She creates beautifully delicious cakes for our birthdays to take pressure off me and to help us celebrate.

In 2013, she made this adorable doggie cake for Brenna…


And this candy cake for my son, Connor’s 5th birthday didn’t last long!


And… I’m going to sound like a game show host here… that’s not all.

When Brenna came home from the NICU, Kathy put together this absolutely stunning scrapbook filled with beautiful pictures of our family and some of Brenna’s big milestones. We had never met her at this point but started calling her Scrapbook Kathy in honor of these talents.



In her spare time, outside of her job and caring for her family (and ours!), Kathy loves to walk, and she travels around the country taking part in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure.


It really sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Scrapbooking. Walking. Cooking.

As Kathy has shown us, you don’t have to necessarily do extraordinary things to be an extraordinary person. The best way to show love is to give – to give of yourself and to use your gifts to bless others. As Mother Teresa says “do small things with great love.”

Being an extraordinary person who spreads love, like Kathy does, means sharing the best of you with those around you – even strangers.

Thank you, Kathy, for all that you do. 

(Also, she doesn’t know I’m writing this, so I would love to see her face right now.)

Follow this journey on Blessed by Brenna.

For all of February, The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment a stranger — or someone you don’t know very well — showed you or a loved one incredible love. No gesture is too small! If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

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