The Gift of LOVE…it’s a one size fits all. (The ‘Beyond Breathing’ Book Give-away)

Back by popular demand…
Read below and see how YOU can receive a FREE 

signed copy of BEYOND BREATHING


The Gift of LOVE…it’s a one size fits all.

In today’s world we hear so much about the negative; the greed and contempt, the wars and fighting among one another, the struggles and hardships that tear at your heart and soul. How often do we hear of the GOOD that WE are all capable of doing? How often do we hear of what one person’s ACT OF KINDNESS can do for humanity? In my opinion, not nearly enough.

6 years ago I changed the way I do Christmas.

6 years ago I started a new tradition in our house.

6 years ago I stumbled upon the “Jena Box’

Let me explain.

Holidays are always the hardest and Christmas is the pinnacle of pain.

The joys that used to fill this house now just seem sort of vacant.

The tree is up…big deal.

It’s missing all of Eric and Jena’s handmade ornaments hanging off its fake, lighted limbs.

No Christmas dishes are out.
No Christmas cookies are baking in the oven.
No Christmas cards will be written.

No, I’m not a Ba-Humbug kind of person, I just don’t care anymore.
Jena took the magic with her.

If you listen carefully, you can hear her yelling at me right now.
“Mom, get a grip!”
“Ma, where’s the Christmas music?” 
“Madre, where’s the Santa sugar cookies?”
“MOTHER, where’s MY glittered pine cone I made in second grade?”

She’d be so angry with me for the way I’m acting. She’d also be bugging me which present was hers under the tree; holding each one up, shaking, guessing…

Yeah, here come the tears….

One morning in December of 2007 I woke up from a “Jena” dream.

In my dream, Jena was shaking a wrapped present and she said, I just know this is my favorite gift, ever!“ When I asked her what she meant, she smiled at me and told me I’d figure it out.

Then I woke up.

Great…dream riddles… at Christmas… from Jena.

Turns out, I figured it out and I wouldn’t dare let a Christmas go by without a present for my daughter…especially her favorite gift EVER.

Here it is:

What’s inside, you ask?


Jena once told me, “When you see love, you’ll see me.”

I believe her.

I know for certain that we take our hearts with us when we leave this world and that love transcends.

So, back to the ‘Jena Gift’… since that dream in 2007, my niece and nephew and I wrap an empty box, right after …Just Thursday… (The holiday formally known as Thanksgiving) and leave a slit at the top. Then between ‘Thanksgiving’ and Christmas Eve our whole family engages in as many random ACTS OF KINDNESS as possible.

Here’s the catch: they can’t tell a soul. It’s a secret!

Then we write down all our random-acts-of-kindness on an index card, we address the “gift”  to Jena, and slip each card in the wrapped Jena box.

On Christmas Eve, when we are all gathered around the Christmas tree at my in-laws, we read them out-loud TO Jena, it’s her favorite gift…EVER!

It’s the giving of yourself, it’s giving of your time, it’s giving of your love.

She is forever with us. We want her to know we still go “shopping” for her to find her that perfect Christmas gift.

jena christmas


She LOVES presents, so feel free to join us in the gift-giving!

Ok, here’s the deal, the rules, the if-you-want-to-play-along gift:

1) YOU do something nice, an act of kindness, then tell me about it by midnight on Monday, December 23, 2013.  

2) Please tell me about it either below in the comment section, or on my Beyond Breathing Facebook page , or if you rather not be public about it, you can: EMAIL ME HERE 

3) On Christmas Eve, my family will read your Jena gift with all our Jena gifts and then we will send 3 people a SIGNED COPY of ‘BEYOND BREATHING’ to and you too can *meet* Jena.

Even if you participated in the past, you are still eligible to receive a signed copy. After all, you can never do too much good in the world, now can you?

There’s so much in this world to be thankful about.

There’s so much in the world to share.
And LOVE truly is a ONE SIZE fits ALL.

Now go GIVE some LOVE !

 May God Bless you this holiday season.
(Please feel free to SHARE this blog with anyone who you think might like to participate too!)

07/25/2013 — NYC Skyline Event to benefit Cystic Fibrosis

NYC Skyline Cocktail Party at Dream Downtown Rooftop Bar to benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Margarete Cassalina, author of the memoir, Beyond Breathing , will be speaking at:  

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03/15/2012 — Guest on PBS’s Show, “One on One with Steve Adubato”

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