Being as severally broken as I am ( was informed that if I had turned just a slight bit more, I would have lost my leg) I have plenty of time to sit and make Christmas presents. It gives me time to reflect. Life in the boonies can be fast pace and hectic. Slow living happens when you die.
I have tons to be thankful for. Yet times make it hard to see it. Besides the uncomfortableness that comes with being broken, and the twisted and sadistic things that physical therapist make you do, husband is seemingly in constant pain, we are poor, struggling, two years of severe drought (we need 7" of rain to get to normal) oh and the list can go on. Yet I have more positive in my life.
Watching Sandy on tv had me grateful for tornadoes. We may not get the length of warning, but the damage is far less. I have heard from just about everyone I know there, and they have all suffered damage. Of course I will do what I can to help.
However it got me thinking about those that will not get help, that suffer and struggle without a natural disaster. The American People and charity organizations will be busy this season. Technically my family qualifies for seasonal help, yet I have plenty and will share. And with all these bloggers that hold handmade holiday exchanges every year, I got an idea.
Peggy over on Hidden Haven Homestead (unable to link right now) was talking to me about a woman named Becky.
"I know a 34 year old mother of three that is struggling. She doesn't have Internet, or cable or other luxury items like that either. Her kids are 15, 14, and 6 months."
"She is a neighbor of my daughter in Franklin, NC and she would absolutely love homemade gifts. We (daughters and I) try to help her each Christmas but its not alot but do what we can. She is always so very grateful and appreciative. This lady pinches pennies tighter than anyone I know. She gets all their clothes at thrift stores and though she hates anyone to know she will go dumpster diving behind the grocery stores to get undamaged packages of food they toss out because of expiration dates. She has a 1995 car that my son in law does what he can to keep it running for her. She works 2 jobs ( one as CNA at a hospital and other doing billing for a doctor from her home). She does get foodstamps but not much and her rent is 540 of which hud pays 300) She hates asking for help and My daughter says she never complains about anything. She always looks at her cup as half full. She did get back with her husband for about a month until he took every penny from her checking account and left. She got pregnant but never even gave a thought to abortion. She had her baby a week before My daughter and when she had hers this sweet lady brought Her home baked bread, a pie, and hamburger casserole when she came home from the hospital. I made her Christmas ornaments last year and also crochet dish clothes. You would have thought she got a diamond. She loved them. We usually go over the day before Christmas Eve and give her the gifts and foods we gathered so she can hide them until Christmas for the kids. I won't be going up this Christmas but will mail whatever I get together my daughter can take it."
I, Phelan here, will be making extra gifts for Becky and her children, Austin (15), Sarah (14), and Dustin (6 months).
I was hoping that as you sign up for a bloggers gift exchange, that no matter what it is, dish towels, ornaments, or cookies, that you would make an extra one for this family. If you wish to send it to me, I will ship all the presents to Peggy who will get it to this woman and her children.
She may not have suffered from a major disaster, but she is me. She is one of the hard working poor that gets glanced over. I have been there, luckily before children. No, not true. i have been there with my boys, and many wonderful blogging friends have helped me. And the smallest form of loving expression, even in a hot pad, meant more to me than anything I had ever experienced, except for my family.
If you wish to participate in this gift exchange with a conscience, email me from my profile. (If having a problem with that email, leave me a message in comments)
Thank you for thinking on it.
(Postcards for the kids would be a thrill)