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Minute Maid

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.

Olivia Jones.

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."

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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