I sit tonight realizing just how fortunate I really am. I may not be where I would like to be in life and may not have everything I want but I do have a wonderful family, a house I call home and I know I have enough to take care of my own.It is always this time of year I sit and ponder about those who are less fortunate then I am, who are not with their loved ones for one reason or another, our military members so very far away in a land that can only be described foreign. I also carry burden of guilt that I have a lot under the tree even though I give a lot during this time of year as well.
There are people this very moment that society has given up on or pushed away because they are different – many simply needing proper medications and someone overseeing that they take it. These same people would be productive members of society with a steady dosage of this or that. But they line our streets, ally’s and craw spaces under bridges and underpasses. I often see them and wonder what their story is, do they have no family and how does a person become what society deems a nuisance? Could it happen to me? I have been known to buy five dollar gift cars and McDonald’s and will keep them in the car and give them to people of the streets as a symbolic message to say somehow that I am sorry society does not care. I do not know if this really helps but it helps me.
Our military stuck in a land nothing like that of their own with the burden of trying to safe in a war that seems unwinable. Many not even having proper beds and certainly not mama’s home cooked meals that always make holidays that much more special. I think of them eating their meals out of bags and the cookies and small trinkets of gifts that their families and concerned people send to them with greeting cards with messages of thanks. Why are humans always finding the need to conquer and dominate because we are always right? Why do we step on another countries soil and play dictator? I know it was mainly a response to 9-11 but it soon became almost a humanitarian mission – to save countries that have gone awry – at least in our eyes.
I also think of the hard working families with children that struggle daily with expenses that we all must have burden of. Some families have more than one parent working full time to stay afloat and they still have so little to offer their children this time of year. Some depending on churches or agencies to provide a little more for their children then they can themselves. How sad that hard workers must face the embarrassment of having to ask for help. It is different for people who have chosen the path of living on government assistance and handouts when they can readily work but choose not to.
I have known people receiving disability with shoulder injuries claiming they can’t work. I also make the situation uneasy when I ask them why they could not use their good arm to answer phones somewhere but always get no answer. The hard workers incomes barely provide for their families and many are just beyond the income and resource guidelines that welfare and similar agencies have in their guidelines. How about we help those who help themselves or those who really can not help themselves. People who are having problems finding jobs really should have to work for their money from these programs that are just giving handouts. I notice many streets that need cleaning – parks that need cleaned and their buildings repainted – how about qualified individuals who can’t find jobs who receive handouts give their craft to those who are working hard like plumbing, drywall, daycare etc.
Another portion of society that I have become blatantly aware of is senior citizens. You know the ones that society and families have passed on only to give them to agencies and greedy corporations to make money on – err – I mean to care for. I ask myself questions about them similar to those who are on the streets. What your story? How did you get here? Where is your family? Some families of course are simply no longer alive because children die before parents, parents never have children and do not have siblings etc. That is sad but understandable. BUT what about those who have families and how they just release what should be a beautiful opportunity to give back to parents who gave them their all. I am not talking about those medically in need of course, but about those who may have mobility problems or long term illnesses that are not terminal. Why do families not care?
I care. I adopt two or three individuals that are in their later years with no family and deserve respect and the right to also enjoy a nice Christmas. I buy everyone of their items on their wishlist and so much more. A box filled with goodies and special treats and little extras for them to share with those around them. I had the opportunity to adopt an older lady and was allowed to deliver my gifts personally. She cried on my shoulder for several minutes and told me I was a gift from God and praise Jesus. I told her I was none of that – just simply someone who wanted to make a beautiful YOUNG woman have a wonderful Christmas. Before I left she hugged me again and she told me she would never be able to say thank you enough. I kept in contact with her for a couple months and then our communication stopped. I wondered why one day not long after our last conversation and stopped by her residence. A moving truck was in the drive and I was told a company had been hired by the ladies son to liquidate her assets. That sweet young lady who blessed me with the opportunity to give her happiness in such a small way was gone. She didn’t deserve to have all of her keepsakes and memorabilia just gone the way of a estate sale.
I decided to attend her estate sale and I bought the simple wooden clock that once had her tears drop on it as she opened it in front of me at Christmas. I also bought a small ballerina music box that she said her parents had given her on her sixteenth birthday. I wish I had had enough to buy more but money speaks louder than emotions and I spent what I had. I wished the people buying her things knew what a special woman she was and how she valued everything in her home. But they didn’t of course and these mementos and keepsake would never be anything more than that special buy they made or a thing they posses or plan to make more money on on eBay and the like. Her life and memories are somehow carried in my soul and i think about her often over the years as I look at that simple wooden clock and ballerina that twirls in the delight of sounds from the music ox beneath her has rung out for decades.
Take a moment and look for something to do for someone other than yourself – its simple – and any money you put out will be given back in a quantity that is priceless to your soul.