""Even in the darkest night, the smallest star can guide us home""
—Abbie Maberry, Light Work 316, INC. CEO
In the course of our lives, I believe we will be led to decisions that will literally change the path that we are on. Moments in time that become a before and an after. Things that cause us to take the unmarked trail instead of the well traveled path. Life is funny that way. It usually shows us exactly where we need to pivot, if our hearts are open and we pay attention.
Light Work 316, Inc started because of a beautiful night I was able to organize for a little boy named Isaac Juarez. Isaac had a diagnosis of Medulloblastoma from the age of three. When we stepped into Isaac’s life he was fighting that diagnosis for the 2nd time. We were so blessed to be part of Isaac’s family for about a year when his diagnosis became terminal. During that year, we had begun also connecting with other families in our community fighting huge battles with medical diagnosis of multiple types. All major, all life altering, all too big to fight alone. I was feeling this huge push to DO something to ease the burden of these battles but I just didn’t know what or how. When Isaac’s diagnosis became terminal I was determined to give his family the ability to do exactly what the doctors had told them to- enjoy their time left together. I called local businesses, asked for tickets to local attractions, asked for our local Army recruiters to come grant 7 year old Isaac’s wish to become “a soldier”, rented an entire theater to watch Toy Story 4, and got Mirales Party Ice on board to make it snow-another dream of Isaac’s. As I asked for support to make that night happen, I watched people from all walks of life willing go all in to create magic for a little boy they’d never met. That night was perfection. Nothing I did or could have done made it so incredibly perfect- it was just God’s grace and the love of an entire town! I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what, at the time, was supposed to be a single event. When it was time to show Isaac the snow, our local PD, SWAT, and Game Wardens were waiting outside. As Isaac was walking out of the theater, the lights of the police cars were creating what looked like Christmas lights(even though it was July), Mireles had created a 20x20 field of snow- deep enough to play in and we’d gotten 400 snowballs from Bahama Bucks to really make it something amazing, Isaac was surrounded by the soldiers who had come to make his dream come true. I watched him cross the street to his field of snow with this look of absolute awe on his face. I can still picture those moments so clearly in my mind. As I watched Isaac and his family be the first ones to step on the snow, it was like time stopped and I knew that this was exactly what I was meant to do. It was a defining moment for not only a career choice but for my life.
Isaac won his battle on December 16, 2019 and almost immediately our 2nd Light Work 316, Inc. superhero Will Birdsell received the same diagnosis due to Osteosarcoma, and once again I knew something had to be done to give his family the time they needed to make as many memories as they could to last them for the time they were going to spend apart. Just like with Isaac, I was overwhelmed with the willingness of people to jump in when they were asked. I realized that most people are not only willing to help but they are searching for the opportunity. They simply need the direction. When Will won his battle on May 3, 2020, I was so honored to be allowed into his home to be part of that night. Being there changed everything I ever thought I knew about death and strengthened my faith in a way that I don’t believe anything else could have. My entire life changed again because of the gift of being there that night with Will
And his family. When Abby Owens, another one of our “original” kids won her battle, and then Sam, and then Silas, it became evident that we were not only going to be part of planning fun and exciting events or activities for our families. I was going to be part of something I never saw myself doing, planning and facilitating celebrations of life for our strongest warriors- both children and parents. After the third celebration of life I was honored to be part of, one of our Light Work 316, Inc. moms, who had also become a good friend asked me when I was going to become a counselor. Unknown to anyone at that point, I had been researching programs to become a certified grief coach. Her question was another pivotal moment in the creation of another branch of Light Work 316, Inc.- I completed my certification this year and
Point of Light Grief Coaching and Education Services was born. I’m so honored to be working in this space and I’m sure there will be many more pivotal moments in the future that continue to put me exactly where I belong.