My Leap List

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Life Lessons on a Random Tuesday

     Today was one of those days that hit you with so many life lessons you feel like you are in a dream, especially when there aren't any feathers.
     My story starts with a boy I met ten weeks ago.  He is only nine.  He is small and scrawny.  He is in foster care.  His parents are both addicted to everything they can find.  He has been abused in every way adults can imagine by every person who should have loved him.  He has been passed from person to person in an endless line.  It's a wonder he is still alive after what he has been through.  He has scars and demons that are hard to push away.
     I fell in love with him the moment I saw him.  He smiled at me and told me he loved Spiderman and proudly pointed to his shirt of superheroes.  Days passed and all of us fell even more in love with him.  You couldn't be around him without smiling and being happy.  He always had a smile on his face and a happy wave.  His foster family decided he can't stay with them and with his past, no one else wants him.  Today they took him to a place that houses kids that no one will take home.  I didn't know today was the day until he came to say goodbye.  I managed not to cry, but just barely.  It was the most hopeless feeling wanting to take him home and knowing there was nothing I could do.
     You all know I love the broken ones and he is one of the most broken I know, but he taught me so much.  Life dealt him a crappy hand and he still smiles and loves life.  He still hugs people and tells them he loves them even though no one has ever given him love.  He has taught me how I want to be in the world.  I want to love with all my heart no matter how many times it has been broken.  I want to laugh and smile and find joy in every day because it is a new day.  I want to be able to forgive the people who have hurt me.  I want to trust.  I want to be such an amazing spirit, people will feel joy just being around me.
     This was a big lesson, but not the only one today.  The day started with snow falling from a bright blue sky as the sun rose.  I drove the long way to work so I could see the caribou locking horns and play fighting in the new snow.  The sunrise sent long streams of light through the clouds.  When I was little and the clouds and sun met up like that, I was convinced God and the angels were spreading love and joy down on me.
     I meet with the 5th and 6th graders every Tuesday for the leadership team.  Today was their first day of new jobs, so I was telling them what they would get to do while they worked on my committee.  A cute girl told me, "I am so glad I am on your committee because talking in front of people really scares me, and I want to practice getting over my fear."  I am still trying to get over my own fears and I am long past eleven years old.  Imagine if we had all started practicing getting over our fears when we were barely into the double digits and before the fears solidified in our minds.  
     It was Boss' Day last week when we were out of school, so today the people at lunch threw me a surprise party.  The secretaries pooled all of their own money and bought me a $25 gift card to a restaurant, a balloon, mints, pens, and pencils.  They cooked potatoes and had a pot luck lunch.  These women have only known me for a few months, but they have accepted me and shown me love since my first day.  They make a lot less money than I do and I know how hard it is to donate so much money for me.  It humbled my spirit.  I don't like to get gifts from people or let them do nice things for me.  I don't even like to admit I am sick.  But they were so happy to give to me and show me love that I humbled myself and accepted their offerings with gratitude.  I love doing nice things for others because it makes me happy to see them happy.  I am learning to let others have that same joy.
     I was also humbled by the generous offer from a local hospital.  They gave me $1,000 to spend on anything that helps the kids be healthy.  They asked me to give them the names of eight or nine kids who need a Christmas so they can take care of them.  They volunteered to help with vision screening and hearing screening, get the kids glasses or dental care, and come and help teach the kids lessons on all kinds of healthy things - sleep, stress, exercise, etc.  They offered to bring food in backpacks for kids who might not have food on the weekends.  All they asked from me is to write a thank you card to the people who will donate so much to my kids.  They also asked if they donated all the supplies if the kids would make holiday cards for the people staying in the hospital during the holidays.  I couldn't believe how much love and generosity was offered to my kids.  It humbled me again and made me grateful for all the things I have in my life and all the people who help me give so much to my kids who need so much.
     I am so grateful for the lessons that you all teach me every day.  In a world of so much negativity, it's easy to think we are all in it for ourselves.  Then I look around and see all the amazing things you do for each other, and for me, every day, and my faith in humanity is restored.  Thank you, my friends.

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