Long, long ago, when I was a kid, my family went through a period of time when we didn’t have much. Although my parents were pretty good about keeping that sort of thing away from us kids, I was old enough to know that Dad being sick and not having a job while Mom was in school was not a good thing.
One evening, just before the holidays, some strangers came to our house. They brought turkey, food and little gifts for us. I knew what this meant. Overwhelmed with a variety of emotions, I tried my best not to cry.
Fast forward a couple of decades. A friend of mine (“T”) and her kids were recovering from a horrific situation (so bad that it deserves a blog post of its own). Although they had a roof over their heads, they didn’t have much else. Another friend of mine, DH and I pooled our money and got a few things for them: gift cards for a gas station, a clothing store and a grocery store, plus bags of gift-wrapped goodies for the kids. We had so much fun shopping for the goodies! There were lots of little things: kid scissors, crayons, glue, sparkly pencils, glitter, little cars and dolls, you name it. It took me hours to wrap them all separately, but I was smiling the entire time.
When I met up with T and gave her everything, I told her, “When I was a kid, someone helped us. Now, it’s our turn to help you.” Overwhelmed with a variety of emotions, we tried our best not to cry. It didn’t work too well.