Anna Keene: Full of Grace

Anna Keene is my key business partner for custom-made bottle cap magnets. That was not my intent, but Anna envisioned herself working alongside her son, and so it is. The first time my wife and I met Anna, her life was turned completely upside down because her husband had just died.

Her husband was a stay-at -home dad who cared for her son, who carried a label of autism. Anna was a highly skilled surgical nurse who spent weeks away from home as an itinerant nurse. She was paid well enough to support her family on her salary, but after her husband died, she could no longer continue her work as a nurse. She lost her income, her work, and her man, all in one fell swoop. That was devastating enough, but now she was left mostly alone to care for her son.

She was able to get a slight break for two days a week at a Sheltered Workshop, where she knew her son would be safe. She used those two days a week to give herself some needed personal time. That changed when a community do-gooder persuaded the Workshop Board to approve raising her son from a sub-minimum to a minimum wage. Due to the increased cost, Anna could only afford to keep her son at the Sheltered Workshop only one day a week, rather than two.

Then, last year, the government decided to take away her son’s Social Security check for several months. They said he had been overpaid. Last year at Christmastime, a pipe froze in her house, which flooded while she was away for the holidays.

By that point, Anna had many more reasons than most people to be sad, but she has an incredible spirit. She possesses this incredible desire to be thankful for what she still has: her son, her friends, and her life. That attitude is what motivates me to be like her. Not a day goes by where she doesn’t say, “Thank you, Grace,” and “I love you.”

Grace, the bestowal of blessings. Anna, the light amidst the darkness. Thank you, Grace. Thank you, Anna.

Behind this good writer is a great editor; Mark Bloom. Learn more about Mark’s talents at

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Amazing/Circle 1- Appalachian Spitfire

Amazing Grace Lyrics

John Newton (1725–1807)

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
 I have already come.
 Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far…
 and Grace will lead us home.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
 That saved a wretch like me….
 I once was lost but now am found,
 Was blind, but now, I see.