Monday, December 20, 2010

Hope For The Holidays

Sometimes things just fall  into place as if putting together a puzzle. Since before my partner and I started living together we have talked about things that we wanted to do together. Helping the less fortunate was one of the things we talked about but just never found our "people". As I often do with things that are meant to be I didn't worry about it because I knew when the time was right it would all just happen. My entire life has been that way..why would it change now?

A few weeks ago Vic's very good friend Sue was facing another huge battle with cancer and admitted to the hospital back in Sacramento.  For the past year we knew that the time would come when Vic would need to go back but tried to keep the positive thoughts flowing and not think too much about it. Saturday morning as I was reading new status updates on facebook I saw where Sues daughter, Krista, had written that she felt so f'ing helpless. I shared that with Vic and within a few minutes a text message came across telling Vic to come to California. By that evening Vic was back in California sitting by Sues side in the hospital.

For the following week Vic stayed near Sue's side and would call me at night with the updates from the day. Some good days, some bad but mostly just sad. The conversation that made me cry the most was a story Vic told me. Krista had gone to pick up some mashed potatoes and gravy at KFC for Sue and she saw a homeless man sitting on the curb. She picked him up a sandwich and gave it to him before she left. She was nervous but felt a strong pull to help this man out.  When she came back to the hospital and told her mom about what had happened  Sue said that her wish for the holidays was she wanted to get sleeping bags and take them around to the homeless people that they see around where they live, not drop them off at a shelter but actually go out on the streets and find the people that they would be helping. Sue's excitement about this spilled over and she shared her wishes with the nurses and friends that would come by the room to visit with her.

Later the  next  evening the sisters (it was a catholic hospital) brought up five sleeping bags that someone had left at the front desk for Sue and her children to deliver over the holidays. There was not a dry eye in the room.

The kids made a flyer and created emails telling what their plans were and asking other people to do the same thing in Sues name this Christmas. Vic and I even posted our plans to do the same thing back here in Florida.

On a side note, while Vic was in California there was a fire in the woods not to far from where we live. It was a pretty big fire and I was stuck in traffic because of it. It would become more important later. A sign if you may.

Since Vic came home Sue also got out of the hospital and is starting a new medical trial this next week. We have not talked much because Vic has been under the weather and with the time difference we don't always know when she is sleeping but from the looks of her facebook status she had a great day at church yesterday!

This weekend in our local paper they did a two part series on the homeless people here in Venice! The story was about a "camp" if you will, of homeless people that live in the woods that were on fire while Vic was in California! As if two days of this story wasnt a big enough lightbulb moment today a man came into our office taking donations for the local homeless. We are still not sure if it was a scam or not but we donated a few bucks and just tucked it away as a nudge.  On our drive home we talked about all the signs. We have talked about doing something for the homeless for a while but didn't really know where the homeless in Venice lived or stayed and now we find out they are so close to our house. We stopped by the woods where the fire was and Vic got out and walked a ways into the woods to see if she could see the tents or anything. She did. We found our people!  We came on home and made a plan to go back out and shop tonight but not to stop by the camp at night because they are probably already scared of having to move because of the article , we would put together bins of goodies and bring them by during the day when we could meet them.

We stocked up at the dollar store and then at walmart with sleeping bags, lanterns,canned goods, socks, toothpaste, razors, soap, etc...It was hard not to go too far over our budget!  I hope that this touches you as much as it did us and this Christmas you will find a way to add some hope for the holidays!

Merry Christmas!!


Mary Ann said...

Holly, what a great name for this season, sure no one has ever told you that. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I read your post and it touched my heart. What a great thought. I'm sure sleeping bags would be item for the homeless here in OKC. Have a blessed season.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. You have managed to capture the true spirit of Christmas.

Blessings to you!

Nicole said...

What a great story - thanks for sharing.

Kimber said...

We are His hands, and His heart, and you both are angels on earth, who have listened to that little inner voice, and responded with love.

Blessings to you, and all those who you have made life a little better for. I am thinking mostly, you helped them feel like a cared for human being again, not forgotten, and that might be the most priceless gift of all. <3 to you both.. Kimber

Pennie said...

What a loving thing to do for the homeless...keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

This made me real teary; this is beautiful!!


Closer to Lucy said...

A great share..thanks

Doing a bit of hopping …..Hope you’ll come by Lucy’s when you get a chance.