Friday, November 27, 2009

Merry Christmas - It's that time again.

A very happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope it went very well for everyone.

I want to say that I hate Christmas. I mean I seriously used to. I hated the idea that when Christmas came, my kids would want something that everyone of their friends would normally expect, and I wouldn't be able to give it to them. I know that sounds so shallow, but the fact is every mother wants the best for their children. I hated disappointing them. And I couldn't stand the idea that my kids were teased about not having what other kids have. Plain and simple, kids are cruel.

Life has changed since those days. We've been involved with our Angel Group now since Becki was 4, so that makes about 15 years. Almost immediately we realized that as bad as any of us thought we had it, we were really very lucky. We figured this out by reaching out to families who had insurmountable problems, more than just 'Why can't I have this special gift for Christmas," type of problem. None of us have cancer or other illnesses, and we should be around after Christmas.

I tell the story year after year about the 8 year old who requested a blender for Christmas one year. He wanted it because his mother had throat cancer and all her food had to be pureed. Then there's the story about how the woman who escaped an abusive marriage. She called a number she found in the Penny Saver for a moving company. The people showed up, loaded all her furniture into a van and skipped town. They even took her bird. To make matters worse, her son had diabetes, and she had to take him to the hospital daily so he could get his shot. I can't remember why she couldn't give it to him, but that's the way it went. And there were a couple of years when we helped families who were about to lose members. One young man was going to be forced out into the real world prior to finishing high school because his father was about to lose his life to cancer. His mother had died the year before.

After hearing stories like that, I can't feel sorry for my children, or anyone else's because they weren't going to receive the new hot toy. Life is just too cruel at times.

I held the second 'sort' party of the year tonight. When Becki graduated last year, I was afraid I wouldn't have any help sorting canned goods. Each year I've depended on my kids' friends. As the boys graduated, their friends have gone off in other directions. I thought maybe Becki would make new friends at her new school. A lot of the kids she is meeting are from out of town, and they live on campus, which is Downtown. Getting from there to here and back again would be a problem. Anyway, I was confident that I wouldn't get much help. So I told all three, 'Make some calls. Get me some help.' So tonight, all three called friends. Louis, who is always there for me, came again, as did Mikey, Ed D., Stephen, Mel, Chris, Matt, Matt, Yellow, Gloria, her friend Vickie, and Leon all showed up. We had so many people, we blew through three pallets of food in no time.

Just as I think my days are numbered or my resources have dried up, someone steps in to help. Each year five local schools have completed drives for me. This year I lost three because the principals have changed. As I'm wondering how I'm going to make up for them, three cemeteries, an office and a township office have stepped in to take their places. One more time, I am overwhelmed. And thankful.

Merry Christmas. It's really not a bad time of the year.


Melissa said...

I so needed to read this exact entry today. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Thank you for the post and thank you for the selfless work that you do. God bless you.

Jimmy's Journal said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm consoled quite often when I remember "I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet."

Things could be worse.

Merry Christmas

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