Today’s topic: Gratitude.
Last fall, Mrs. TKD and I sponsored a family for Thanksgiving and Christmas through a local organization, Severna Park Assistance Network. We bought food for both meals for a family of four and at Christmas we bought gifts for two children, one boy and one girl. The boy was 5 and needed boots and tops and liked matchbox cars. The girl was 12 and needed sneakers and jeans and liked to write poetry and draw. We knew their first names only. I was drawn to both of them without even knowing them. I still wonder if the girl is using her pencil set, drawing paper, and kneading eraser I got at the art store for her. I hope she is, and I hope she’s still writing poetry.
Last fall, I had strange senses of pain and guilt mixed with happiness when I was out shopping for this familie’s food and gifts. I felt like somehow I was making a difference. At the same time I felt guilty for the good life I have and also somehow pained to know that there are folks nearby who need help.
Mrs. TKD has been working on a charity fundraiser for the local mom’s club. She has been hitting the streets looking for money from businesses in the local area. It’s been a rough row to hoe, with the current economy. But they are raising some money. The fundraiser is to benefit two local families with kids with cancer.
One of the children has leukemia and one has bone cancer. Mrs. TKD is making dinner for the family with the daughter who has bone cancer tonight. She will deliver it to a dad tomorrow. I know nothing about the family other than these facts:
- They have five kids including the daughter with bone cancer.
- The dad works shift work.
- The dinner Mrs. TKD is making will feed the dad and four of the five kids.
I was sent out to pick up some additional supplies for the meal tonight (a foil pan, some salad in a bag, and cupcakes). As I walked around the store (in my cast) I felt the same senses of pain, guilt, and anguish for this family that I felt for the families in the fall. Once again these negative emotions were wrapped up in a feeling of happiness that we could do something (albeit something small) that would help.
I spent a lot of time wondering if the dad has a good support network. I hope he does. I’m glad we can give back to our community.
I am so thankful for my friends and family and the fact that (currently) we all have the good fortune of good health.
I was originally going to find desert that was just the righ size for 4 kids and an adult, but then when I picked up the cupcakes, well —
I opted for the 12 pack.