I want to tell you a story. Grab some coffee and sit back.
After Clint was laid off back in May of 2002, things got tight financially. Really tight. By the time December rolled around, we had very little money and more debt than we knew what to do with. We risked losing our house. At Christmastime. So, not only were we looking at that, we saw a bleak future for our kids’ at Christmas and a sad birthday for our son, Zarek. I knew I needed to ask for help. I also knew that I would rather eat glass shards and walk on burning coals than do that. Had it been for me alone, I would’ve just let them take the house and I would be done with it. But I had my kids to think about.
One afternoon in early December there was a knock on my door. A woman that I knew more as an aquaintance than a friend was standing there. We knew each other from the playgroup that our daughters were a part of. She knew about our joblessness. She probably didn’t know how serious it was, but she knew we were struggling. She told me that she and her husband had decided that instead of buying each other gifts at Christmas, they would rather give the money to us.
I was shocked. Dumbfounded is the best way to describe it. I stammered through a thank you and gave her a hug as she handed me an envelope. I had no idea what the protocol for something like this was. Do I open it then? Do I wait? She smiled and said she would talk to me soon then she left.
I told Clint what had happened when I walked back into our family room. He was as surprised as I was. I opened the envelope and cash dropped out of it. 5 $100 bills. I dropped to the floor and began to weep. I had no idea how to accept such a generous gift. I was speechless. All I could do was sit on the floor and weep. Never in my life had I been shown such generosity by someone I hardly knew.
Until the next week. When my best friend in town and her husband received a check from their #### company for a claim they had a while back and she in turn handed that check over to us. Again, I had no idea how to deal with the generosity of my friends. I cried and thanked them and tried to express what it meant, but I am sure I never could do it justice.
Those are only two stories of the kindness people showed to us over the two years. We’ve had people bring us groceries, pay our utility bills, bring stuff for the kids, give us gift cards so we can go out and many, many other things.
You see, sometimes good people fall on hard times. It is not their fault. And no matter how much they wish they didn’t need it, sometimes they need help. Asking is hard. Unless you have been there, you have no idea how hard. But trust me. It is hell on earth.
Why am I telling you this? Because Ro of twelveone.org is one of those good people who happens to need help. She is in crisis and has no idea where to turn. So she turned to those of us who read her blog. And I am turning to those of you who read mine. If you have any extra at all to be able to help her out, please do so. If not, please at least go show her some love. You have no idea how much it will mean to her. Unless you’ve walked in those shoes, it is hard to undstand how just a few simple words of kindness can make a difference.