Olivia Jones was just 3 years old when she lost her father, which broke her mom's heart on many levels.
"One of the greatest regrets I have is that she didn’t get to use the word 'dad'," Olivia's mom, Janice, says.
All photos via Minute Maid.
Suddenly, Janice was the sole breadwinner, but she lacked the degree to land a career that would allow her to maintain the status quo at home. So, after taking time to grieve, Janice went back to school.
"I needed to have a career with a future," Janice explains.
Going back to school while continuing to work and take care of Olivia was far from easy, but Janice refused to give up.
Eventually, she managed to provide for her family the way she wanted to but at a cost. Keeping up with school and work as a single parent meant she had to sacrifice time with Olivia.
Little did she know just how much Olivia recognized and appreciated all her mom's efforts.
“She was doing it to make a better life for us, which is incredible," Olivia says.
Check out the Joneses' full story:
Olivia wanted to do something special for her mom, so she started putting together a carefully curated care package.
Her mom had been sending her care packages ever since she started college, so Olivia felt it was about time she return the favor.
She filled it with lots of fun little trinkets, cards that her mom sent during her first year at school, and family photos. She also wrote her a note thanking her for going above and beyond to give Olivia a steady life.
"Dear mom, I am so thankful to have you in my life. I can’t imagine how difficult it must’ve been while being a single mom. You played the role of both mom and dad. You were struggling to do so, but you never ever let me know or made me feel guilty. You allowed me to be a child. I don’t know who or where I would be without you. I love you, and just know that you are the best mom anyone could hope for. Love, Olivia."
If that wasn't enough to get her mom crying, Olivia's reverse care package also came with a special, unexpected surprise.
Olivia hugging her mom.
Some things don't fit in boxes.
Janice and Olivia's story reminds us that single parents are amazing, and it's important to celebrate them once in a while.
They may not always get it right, and disappointments along the way are inevitable, but parents like Janice prove they'll go the distance to keep their kids healthy, happy, and safe. In that way, they're like superheroes, and Olivia certainly sees the proverbial cape her mom wears.
Hopefully the beautiful way she showed her appreciation for her mom will inspire other kids of single parents to do the same.
"I don’t know who or where I would be without you. I love you, and just know that you are the best mom anyone could hope for."