Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Okay... I am ashamed to say that I typed that thank you note. Dear God..look at all the typos! I never proofed it but just tore it out of the electronic typewriter (remember those?), placed it in a thank you card and left for work. Obviously the whiteout tape wasn't working. I wanted to get it done... but should not have rushed! *sigh* Suffice it to know that I was not a typist. I would n-e-v-e-r give that to anyone now. YIKES! I do type much better... but thank God for word... because seriously.. I am not a typist.
While going through old papers...I came across this copy of a thank you letter I had inserted in a card for the respiratory staff at the hospital I worked in. For years ...each hospital department would choose a needy family...usually a patient's family to adopt for Christmas.
Each family would get a large turkey, food to fill up their cabinets and Christmas presents.
One morning I was awakened by a phone call from an ER nurse who informed me that we were the family being adopted by the respiratory department for Christmas.
I confess that I immediately felt embarrassed, while simultaneously recognizing their kindness.
Still..it was a hard pill to swallow. It's way better to give... or be given something just because, than when you are in a needy position. The latter is humiliating. And perhaps more so for me... because it reminded me of the years that my mother and I were really poor when I was a young teenager... and I had worked hard to try to forget all that.
That being said...it was also heartwarming.
I asked her why us?
She said "Because you and your family are going through a difficult time now. You never complain and you have a positive attitude with everyone."
I thanked her.
They kept all the "Adopt A family food and gifts" in the administration building. I was so surprised to see how much was sitting in piles on the floor for us, including the big turkey. My coworkers were very generous as evidenced by the entire room being filled up with these amazingly abundant Christmas donations for all the adopted families... piles of food and presents everywhere. :)
They gave us so much, that I had to have help carrying it out to my car. When I got home... Jonathan was amazed at how much food and how many wrapped presents kept coming out of the trunk and the inside of the car for us to bring into our house.
And just before Christmas...one of my co-workers came over to visit... with even more Christmas presents! They gave us all presents and lots of toys for the boys... as well as clothing and some other things. They filled our cabinets with food ... and the turkey was huge.
Like most people...I have had to overcome some difficult challenges in my life...and I am grateful that I always have...things have always had a way of working out for the better. It's true...if it doesn't kill you...it does make you stronger... and wiser. Also...hope is greatly wrapped up in the essence of who I am. My faith in God and his faithfulness in my life have been the rock that has steadied me. I am going through the most difficult time in my life now... more than I say in this blog. You know those times in life where you feel like you are being assaulted on all fronts? The medical records DEBACLE is the proverbial last straw... but I will rally through that too and hopefully...the staff WILL find my records.
I am definitely in a personally challenging season in my life... with my mother seemingly deteriorating before my eyes and dealing with the emotions of all that...exacerbated by my regrets for the past...even though.. I know... I do know...it was not an easy situation. And then there are some other significant issues/concerns I have. And I do pray they will find my records or if they aren't going to be found...that at least... my personal information will not be compromised in anyway..thus causing additional harm to me or my family.
This is a nice Christmas story...but I am putting it up now because it is reminding me of the blessings, the good things that can and do happen during tough times.
Despite some of the challenges... I know I have many blessings to be grateful for..and I am. Also...there has been some good that has come out of the difficult situations. I know these are times for learning and emotional growth, i.e., character building.
And I am very grateful to God for his unconditional love... that despite my often being the prodigal daughter... going off on her own ... he still helps things to work out for good in the end...and for my family, friends and all the special people who have been there for me in different ways.
When I came across that old thank you note... the memory of their kindness warmed my heart all over again. And in remembering their generosity and how it gave us a better Christmas... it also reminded me.. how difficult that time was. There was a legal case going on... and it was a WRONGFUL one that was costing our family dearly... for twenty l-o-n-g months. And so many people in our personal lives rallied around us with letters, financial gifts and encouragement.
With each kind gesture... I would tell my husband... "Look... this is God working through this person, these people ..saying "Hold on, I'm working on this" and I think everything will be alright." And he did win... and the victory was oh so sweet! :)
But we had days, weeks, months where we did have our challenges... but we rose up and moved forward. I think it is good for me to remember this. It ALL worked out... and better than we had thought. And remembering how we got through that difficult time when most people thought it was hopeless and knowing how well things turned out in the end with all the blessings in life that have followed since that time... it gives me hope...with some joyful anticipation for the good things ahead.
I would say that going through this sad journey with my mother... while it has taken it's toll on me..perhaps because I have let it... has also been an opportunity for healing of emotional hurts between us. As sad as it is for me to see her this way... it was inevitable that she would come to this stage in her life. I am just glad we still have time together...without all the things that got in the way before. It was complicated.
So ...reading that Thank You note... reminded me to look at these things from another perspective and to know...that things do have a way of working out... even better than if the challenges never came in the first place.
It's interesting how reflecting on your past can give you a better perspective on the present and hope for the future and new beginnings.
* Perhaps in these difficult economic times we all may encounter someone in need and have the opportunity to help them in some way. Then hopefully..they will do the same for others when they remember how they were helped and are in a position to help someone else ...keeping the ripple of good going forward.