TODAY’S FORECAST: Indebted
Last evening I texted my friend, Jen, to tell her I was thinking of her and to see if we could coordinate to get together after the holiday. Her immediate reaction was, “What can I do for you? Do you have any Christmas errands that I can run for you since you’re not feeling well?” It reminded me of Christmas two years ago when she didn’t have to ask the question, she already knew I’d need the help. I was in pretty bad shape. My Cystic Fibrosis had really reared its ugly head and I was in a cycle of declining health that we weren’t sure was going to stop. I had been in and out of the hospital for many months; in fact, I was in just a few days before Christmas at the time. I was panicked not only about how I would get all my shopping done, but also how we would pay for Christmas when we had just discovered our fraudulent home builder had taken our deposit for our house and ran with it. Medical bills were pouring in, I was no longer working and was waiting for Social Security disability to be approved. It was a bleak time.
Friends and family immediately gathered together to make sure Bob and I had a “normal” Christmas with our kids that year. The elementary school saved boxes and boxes of non-perishable goods so Bob would have something other than fast food to cook when I came home. People brought meals day after day. My good friends Jen and Raellen were in charge, buying my list of Christmas presents for Bob, coordinating a meals website and anything else that needed done. My friend, Deb, and her mom got together and made beautiful gifts not only for our kids (monogrammed towels and pillowcases), but also beautifully crocheted, personalized pieces with “Wuersig” and “Armstrong” written on them as gifts for our family as well. Deb even made Christmas ornaments for our tree. Jen brought tons of games and Christmas gifts for the kids and other friends brought toys and gifts for all of us. In fact, we had so many toys that Christmas, that we held a few back for the kids’ birthdays the following June and July and then donated some ourselves to a family in need. Our church was helping to pay my prescriptions for a couple months. Neighbors circled around us with food and good cheer, it became magical.
I came home from the hospital on the 22nd and sat under the tree that day waiting for the kids to come home. I will never forget that moment that they came in the back door, saw me, tackled me and screamed, “Mommy’s home for Christmas!” Everything was done, except the wrapping. My friend Jen had even arranged for a hairstylist to come to my house to cut my hair for me. Bob and I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and wrapped Christmas presents together one evening. Christmas Eve, we rejoiced as I got dressed up with the family and attended service at church. As sick as I was, our family had never been so spirit-touched.
So last night, when Jen said before anything else, “What can I help you with?” it brought this all flooding back. The continued generosity of our friends and family, the strength that I continue to draw from these people every day, it’s all indescribable. The new people who have come into our lives after our move who just give and give as well, we have been so blessed. Of course I have all of you too, my readers who I look forward to connecting with every day! 🙂
Today, I’m having a “stone” day. A fellow CFer and friend, Bob, told me there’s a John Denver song that says, “Some days are diamonds, some are stone.” I don’t know the song, but the saying stuck. Once again we’re here at Christmas and I’m facing some health challenges. While not near as severe as in years past, we’ve been having more “stone” days than “diamond” ones as of late. I am so thankful for everyone who continues to rally around us everyday with their love and spirit. Wishing you lots of Christmas spirit and love.