Advertisement

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

a box full of belief ~

I believe in Santa. He laughs — he’s jolly and dresses in red and he brings presents and candy and joy. He brings presents to the deserving. Often, even when there seems no way for presents to arrive, Santa still comes through. Story after story in American lore tells of the deserving, for whom Santa found a way to give them their heart’s desire.

My nephew’s heart’s desire is Christmas for his three young children: his two-year-old son, and his four-year-old and six-year-old daughters. He has custody of them now — a long sad Oklahoma story. And the four of them live w/ his mother, my sister.

Advertisement

My nephew is a veteran, who at times made some not-so-great choices. But for the past many months, he’s been working hard to put his life — and the lives of three wonderful, smart, amazing children — back together. All of us in the extended family are trying to help, but the hard work falls mainly on him, and then my sister.

He’s gone back to school, enrolled in parenting classes, and is in counseling for his PTSD. Someone at either the parenting classes or his counseling at the VA suggested he sign up for Christmas assistance, since he’s using his VA benefits to finance a very meagre income. My nephew demurred, saying that his family was helping, and the 3 kids would have a decent Christmas.

Advertisement

The people at the centre said something we should all remember: it isn’t always about us. :) Sometimes, it’s about helping people see that what they do — the sacrifices he’s making, the hard work he’s putting in to his new life — is appreciated. And that others want  to help affirm that hard work.

Last night, as I pulled up to my sister’s brightly lit apartment (she does Christmas in a BIG way!), she asked me to come in. She wanted to show me their presents. Puzzled, I agreed.

Inside the small apartment living room were 70 (count them: 70) presents. A chest-high pile for daughter #1. A chest-high pile for daughter #2. A chest-high pile for my grand-nephew. And clothes for my nephew, as well as ‘house presents': pots & pans, cleaning utensils for the place he’s trying to move into.

Advertisement

“Oh honey! This makes me tear up!” I said with a choke.

“I’m not ashamed,” he said — “I flat cried, myself.”

A company took my nephew and his three children to sponsor. And they bought gift after gift for him, his new household, the kids. Each one beautifully hand-wrapped, complete w/ bows and tags — left blank, so his children would not need to know he didn’t buy these himself. He could say Santa brought them, and the kids wouldn’t know.

But I know. And his mother knows. And he knows. And the people who bought a single-parent family with three small children SEVENTY GIFTS — each carefully wrapped and ribboned and tagged — know. And all of us are the better for that knowledge.

Merry Christmas.

Previous Posts

reward, benefits, and roses
This is what I'm focusing on right now. NOT my aching back (from weeding all yesterday morning.) NOT the front beds, still to be done. NOT the sad meeting ...

posted 4:34:22pm May. 05, 2015 | read full post »

talking, listening, and pretending to engage
Yesterday I spent far more time than I'm comfortable confessing on the FB wall of a colleague (& friend). It was a discussion (as many are these days) ...

posted 5:05:32pm May. 04, 2015 | read full post »

planting my own Farmer's Market
Like I do most Saturdays, I spent the early morning hours yesterday at the Farmer's Market. The gay profusion in my driver's seat is two bouquets (one ...

posted 12:26:51pm May. 03, 2015 | read full post »

bees, and the persistence of hope
The bee house is up! As a beekeep wannabe from waaaay back (decades -- really), I can't begin to say how happy I am. My beloved bought me a native bee ...

posted 6:19:43pm Apr. 30, 2015 | read full post »

passion vs anger, and poetry to bank the wrong fires
While I'm passionate about many things (politics, tea, food, books, poetry...), I usually only get really angry about a few things. The main one is mean ...

posted 9:18:10pm Apr. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.