“I’m not proud of my daughter.” That’s a stupid title, right? Of course I’m proud of my daughter.

It’s just that when people say, “You must be proud” (which they say quite often right now thanks to Walmart carrying her product), I feel something else.

It’s not exactly pride. It’s something deeper. I feel… gratitude.

That’s it. Not pride. Gratitude.

In each 13-year-old girl’s life there will come a time when she wonders…

Am I pretty enough?

Am I smart enough?

Am I popular enough?

Heck, I’m 42 and I catch myself wondering those things sometimes. Am I capable enough?

I am grateful, because when my daughter holds that coffee cup cozy in her hand, the cozy that she created, she has tangible evidence to prove without a shadow of a doubt that she is something more important than all of those things.

She is powerful.

She is powerful enough to create a ripple in the world that leads to waves.

I’m grateful for that. I wish we all had evidence of our power.

Maybe we do.

Maybe that evidence comes in a variety of forms that we often don’t stop and recognize. Like the smile that appears on a stranger’s face because you smiled first. Or the tear that is dried because you took the time to listen.

Yes, you are powerful too. I hope you know that.

You are the one who recognized Jordan’s power and breathed life into it.

You have said it through donations. You have said it through encouraging words. You have said it through impromptu business mentorships and advice. You have said it by using your own connections to create new pathways for my daughter.

So yes I’m proud of my daughter, but mostly I’m grateful. I’m grateful that because of cancer and a world full of people who stepped forth in kindness, my daughter was given a valuable gift: the chance to see what happens when you stop worrying about yourself and start thinking about what you might be able to do for others.