Miranda Cole would have turned 4 years old on February 5th. The Jackson baby lived just 3 days after her mother Sara was killed in a car accident. Now her father Chad has found a way to turn tragedy into triumph one good deed at a time.
"God can use the most tragic situations of our lives to touch other people to show what true love can look like to show that there is goodness in the world to show that you know, there is hope. A lot of times what we get from our social media and our news and our magazines is that things are bad and its nice to be able to know that you can do something that makes other people see, and maybe think for just a moment, maybe its not as bad as it really seems."
For the past two years, Chad Cole has celebrated Miranda's birthday by giving cards that contain a monetary gift to babies born at Allegiance Hospital in Jackson. He says, "Ffor me, personally, it was an opportunity to take what would have been a very sad day and instead, bring a significant amount of joy to it."
Joy to a day, once very dark. The same day Cole's pregnant wife died in a car accident, their first child was born, gravely injured in her mother's womb. "I would say I'm still not over it and I think most people who have lost a child or a spouse would tell you the same thing. You never really get over it. You can move past it. You can choose a path in life that takes you other places but you'll never forget."
Cole found support and an outlet on social media. He used a blog to document his journey of love and loss. So when he decided to start "Miranda Gift," he started a Facebook page as a way to include family and friends. He not only left "Miranda Gifts" at the hospital, Cole says, "That was just one of several things I did. It was fun to go around town and hand out cards, just try to sneak them into people's shopping baskets or leave them with a clerk at a store and say give this to the next mother that walks in with kids."
The good deeds multiplied. Spreading from Jackson, across Michigan and into other states. People who received a "Miranda Gift" found the Facebook page and started posting, expressing their surprise and gratitude. People who gave "Miranda Gifts" shared their stories too. Cole says, "In the grand scheme of things it was much bigger than I had intended it to be." Hundreds of people coming together to honor a baby they didn't even know, with complete strangers. Cole says, "My greater purpose in doing it is to say this is something we should practice every day to be able to look at the people around us, see people who might be in need whether its in financial need or they just need a hug, and be able to recognize that and say you know what, I have this that I can give to you just because you're who you are."
Chad now has a new wife and a new baby boy. Sharing their gifts, to remember those they've lost.