Jennifer Funk Fine Art

Operation Serve To Heal – THANK YOU!


Thank you for spreading the word about Operation Serve to Heal.
Thank you for joining in.
Thank you for your kind words on social media and for your love and support.

I wanted to give people the option of joining us on this day for a few reasons.

First, I wanted my little girls to see that people love and respect their daddy for his life and for his service to our country. I wanted them to see that people haven’t forgotten him… and that they haven’t forgotten them.  – That there are people from all over who stop on May 1st. They think of Brad and think of his family.  I know this. and I feel it.  and I am SO grateful for it.  {I wanted them to know it too.} I tell them. but this year they had a chance to SEE it on their own.

The girls were so little when Brad was killed. So they don’t remember the outpouring of love. We no longer live near any of our Air Force friends. With the exception of family, everyone the girls know did not get the opportunity to know their Daddy.  So my hope for this day was first and foremost – these little girls. Helping them feel loved on this worst of all days.

When we did our day of service last year I was amazed at how those small little actions completely changed the way I view this day.  I realized that I don’t need to feel like this day holds me hostage. That, no matter what happened on this day… I have a choice about how it will be from now on. I get to write the story for all the rest of my May 1st’s.    That first year of service, I learned that this day could be bearable. That we could choose to focus on the blessing that Brad’s life was instead of what we all lost that day. To be honest, we always try to focus on the blessings. but somehow adding an element of service, making it NOT about us… that was what changed it.

This year, because of all of you, we learned that not only can this day be bearable…. but it can be one of joy and gratitude.  I just want you to know that every single share and post about this day was noticed and appreciated.

The morning of May 1st I still found it a little hard to get up and face the day. I was laying in bed talking to the girls and just… revisiting in my head.  Watching the clock for the time his jet went down. the time they came and knocked on my door….telling Ty… all the heartbreaks of that day. I still don’t know how to keep those thoughts at bay…   But my phone lit up and I saw a tag on Instagram of a daring girl and her friend with their #operationservetoheal tags in hand, ready to serve.   It brought me to tears and helped me get out of bed.

That happened all day.
{the gratitude, and the tears}
Happy tears on May 1st are welcome.

My beautiful friends surprised me and cleaned and organized my kitchen {yikes! That is love!}

I got to watch my girls run happily to clean up trash in the community.  Loved ones joined in and served in honor of Brad. Others served in honor of someone they loved. Complete strangers joined in. And we were overwhelmed.

Our beautiful Hermana Funk is experiencing the joy of service every day as she serves the people of Mexico.

I can’t even put into words the gift you gave our family that day.

You helped us change the worst day of our lives into something with a sacred purpose.

We are so grateful.    {thank you again}