Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas angels

My mother lives down the street from us in a retirement community. She is young and the exception in a building of predominantly women in their eighties. Dylan loves visiting Grandma's house because he is welcomed and spoiled by a dozen elderly ladies. Rose gives him a cookie each time he visits, Roseanne gives him Elmo juice boxes, Seal lets him play fetch with her tiny dog Peanut, Jane makes sure he gets pizza if they have a party. These ladies give him apples, Legos, books, crayons, chocolate, trucks... They leave presents for him at my mother's apartment and she is instructed to bring him over to visit them all whenever she babysits. He is the mayor of that elderly village.

When these surrogate grandmas found out that I had thyroid cancer, they treated me as if I was their daughter. I received fruit baskets and get well cards, they prayed for me at church and sat me down to talk about how I was doing if they bumped into me in the community room. One woman, the matriarch of the building, sent us an entire meal for Thanksgiving. She called me a few days ago and advised that I should expect a Christmas dinner to be dropped off at our house as well.

This woman is so genuine and so caring that there is no way I could've turned down her generosity. And then two gentlemen in a pickup truck from our local Lions Club dropped off this GIANT care package this morning:


Not pictured is a pumpkin pie, a gallon of milk, and a bunch more cans of gravy, vegetables, cranberry sauce.

Oh. And they also gave us Christmas presents for Dylan:


Now, this is a wonderful thought and very sweet but Sean and I immediately felt a giant pit in our stomachs. This food should have gone to families in need. I have a very treatable form of cancer and although we have had lots of extra medical bills we are far from being a needy family. Dylan is getting more toys for Christmas than will fit in his playroom, we spoiled him rotten, and these gifts we received today should've gone to a child who may not be getting presents at all this year.

So Sean and I decided that we would pay it forward, as they say, and donate meals to our local food banks and toys to needy children.

We decided to let Dylan open the presents because this is what that sweet elderly woman wanted for him, and he carried this backhoe around all day. It is currently sleeping next to his favorite garbage truck in bed with him.


Although he seemed just as happy to play with this box:


I will say this. Although we did not need this care package and are actually feeling guilty that it was given to us, I am feeling truly blessed for everyday angels. How lucky we are to have a dozen extra grandmothers looking out for our family, and after such a sorrowful week of mourning for our state how lucky we are to have such a beautiful little family.

Loved. Thankful. Blessed.