What my wife Kim taught me about the everlasting power of a mother’s love

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Many years ago I was involved in a sensitive exfiltration operation at CIA, where our team rescued a source and his family from harm’s way.  For operational reasons, the source traveled on his own along a separate route from his wife and children.  The source had no problem with risky espionage missions but we had to rely on his wife to reassure and lead the children during a challenging one-way journey to the U.S. 

The source’s wife and children, after all, had never been involved in clandestine operations. 

I will never forget the family’s tearful reunion after they had all arrived safely in the U.S.  And how the source and his family held one other tightly in a loving embrace. 

VIRGINIA 12-YEAR-OLD IS HELPING KIDS WITH CANCER AFTER LOSING HIS OWN MOM TO THE DISEASE

We were deeply appreciative of our brave source for having risked his life on behalf of U.S. national security.  And we celebrated all that he had done for us over the years. 

But we also recognized it was thanks to the source’s wife that the complicated and strenuous exfiltration went off without a hitch because her children trusted her and loved her. It was she who led them along an uncharted and what must have appeared threatening path safely to a new home. 

A mother’s love nurtures, encourages, comforts, and inspires her children, especially during the most trying of times. 

Kim Hoffman and family

My son Nathan learned about the power of motherly love last October at the tender age of 9, when nearly 100 friends and family joined my sons and me to stuff jars full of joy for children with pediatric cancer alongside the devoted Jessie Rees Foundation team. 

DANIEL HOFFMAN: THANKFUL FOR KIM – BEFORE SHE DIED, MY WIFE LOVINGLY PREPARED ME AND OUR SONS TO CARRY ON

Before being stricken with brain cancer at age 11, Jessie Rees was a junior Olympic swimmer.  During the year she battled cancer before passing away in 2012, Jessie Rees created “Joy Jars,” which she filled with toys and gifts to brighten the days of other children in the fight for their lives against pediatric cancer.  

never ever give up joyjars drive october 2022

The Jessie Rees Foundation honors her memory by holding Mobile Joy Jar events across the country and distributing hundreds of thousands of joy jars to children all over the world. 

A mother’s love nurtures, encourages, comforts, and inspires her children, especially during the most trying of times. 

My sons and I support the Jessie Rees Foundation to honor the memory of my wife Kim, who passed away from cancer in March 2021. We will be forever deeply grateful to Jessie Rees for showing us the path to the philanthropy, which brings comfort to our hearts. 

Jessie Rees

As the sun was setting on that October day, after our family and all but one of our friends had departed, only Jessie Rees’ father Erik, and his small team of volunteers and staff remained in the Tysons One Life Fitness gym, where we had spent all day stuffing three thousand joy jars full of just what children need to keep their spirits up when every bit of support means so much. 

MY LATE WIFE KIM TAUGHT ME HOW TO HONOR OUR LOVED ONES BY FOCUSING ON SOMETHING THAT WILL OUTLAST US

Nathan, who on top of stuffing joy jars all day, had also run Coach Faith’s sweat-inducing basketball practice, carried on helping the Jessie Rees Foundation team members. 

Nathan was still so full of energy.  I asked him how it was that he found the strength to organize the boxes of Joy Jars, carry them, and put them in shipping crates.  

“Dad”, he said, “we’re stuffing Joy Jars today. Not tomorrow.  Not next week. Today.”

Some days matter more than others. 

And so it was for Nathan. When he put his head to the pillow that night he felt a measure of inner peace and satisfaction. 

And he felt his mom’s love. 

Kim Hoffman and her son

That day was about honoring Nathan’s late mother, who like Jessie Rees, left this world too early after an arduous battle with cancer.  But Kim’s spirit energized Nathan to carry on until his righteous work that day was complete.  

Weeks before she died, Kim told our sons she would be their guardian angel, watching over them.

That’s the power of everlasting motherly love. 

And that’s what my sons and I will be thinking about this Mother’s Day as we remember our Kim and how she continues to inspire us to do our best, especially on those days when it matters most. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM DANIEL HOFFMAN

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