This year has been one of the most stressful years. Ever. I know I said that on the last post, but, it's true. James hurt his back in January and hasn't been to work since then. His treatments and recovery have been hard on him, and hard on us all. We all believed that something would work and we would all go back to our pre-injury lives, but, he is still in a lot of pain and no surgery or rehabilitation worked for him.
Pain and suffering is one thing, but being broke with pain and suffering is quite another. I am not going into the details, but, it has been hard.
Christmas came and we didn't have the money to cover the utilities, let alone Christmas for the kids. All I want to say is thank you to all the Santas out there - my parents, James' Dad and our ward family at church - Thank you for bringing Christmas to our kids. Thank you for the gifts left at our door, the sweet treats and the gift cards slipped into our Christmas cards. Thank you all.
Another Christmas surprise came from a friend of Rachel's. We will call her M. M is a team leader at her company; she has nine people on her team. At a meeting, she emphasized that Christmas was a time of giving and that the Christmas bonuses from their company this year were generous. She told her team that they should use it for their families and their communities. Then she told a story about her daughter's friend, Rachel, although M didn't use her name. M said this family was busy - five kids - all sporty, all active and always on the go. This family was a good friend to her daughter, who spent plenty of time there and was friends with all the kids. She said the Dad had surgery and that times were hard. M admonished her team to think of families they knew, and make it a great Christmas.
M came to me about three days before Christmas, and said she had something for me. She said she wanted to come over. I said Sure, we'll be home. M pulled into our driveway and it took three people two trips each to bring in all the gifts she brought us. It was overwhelming. Each of the kids had three or four little gifts - crayons, socks, new toothbrushes, hair pretties,books and little toys. There was even a remote control car for James and dishes and silverware for me.
M told me that her team got together are decided that the family in her story should have a great Christmas. They donated gifts, or gave cash for gift cards, which M shopped for and wrapped for under our tree. The kindness of strangers! Thank you.
Merry Christmas, and God Bless us, every one!