Lisa Keys knows what it's like to grieve. Her son William, a U.S Navy Corpsman, passed away three years ago. Struggling to accept his loss, Lisa began a blog about cooking and healing called Good Grief Cook.
"Sharing my recipes is like sharing a piece of my heart," Keys says. "It's a healing process for me and those who can relate to this kind of tragic loss."
So when Keys, a longtime friend and colleague of the Beebe family, learned of Meghan's passing, she wanted to find a way to honor her memory.
In an emotional Facebook post Sunday night, Richard Beebe, Meghan's father, thanked his community for the "outpouring of love and support" following the sad news. He also asked for a favor.
"My request at the end of this darkest day is simply this:
The next time you hug your loved ones, hug them a little more closely and think, 'This is for Meghan.' The next time you tell them that you love them, say it more tenderly and think, 'This is for Meghan.' The next time you laugh with them, laugh a little louder, and think, 'This is for Meghan.' The next time you do an act of kindness, smile to yourself and say, 'This is for Meghan.'
Inspired by Richard's request, Keys started a contest on her blog: readers could post about a good deed or kind act they did in honor of Meghan, and be entered to win a prize.
Readers quickly responded, reporting dozens of good deeds. From baking cakes to share, to buying toys and clothes for those in need, to simply deciding to listen to someone, the response was "tremendous," Keys says."Meghan's dad, Rich, made it easy when he asked that we all simply do something good in honor of Meghan," she says. "It was a no-brainer for me to go out and buy a gift and host my very first give-away that would encourage my readers to go out and do some act of kindness for Meghan."
Keys knows the prize, a Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler, while pretty awesome, isn't the primary motivation for readers' good deeds. "The truth is that I don't think anyone really cares about 'winning' the gift," she says. "They know and understand the importance of supporting Rich and showing a kindness."
An importance Keys relates to all too well.
"Like my son, Meghan was a kindhearted, beautiful and giving person who was taken too soon," Keys says. "It is our job to be more like them and to follow in their light."
This Is For Meghan.