Serene posted today about gratitude, specifically about people who have done seemingly small things that turned out to be huge, and invited people to link up, sharing their experiences. I have so many, even in the past few weeks and months.
A few months ago, a friend called me out of the blue and asked if I had plans for the weekend. We rarely have exciting weekend plans, and when I told her so, she said, "Good. Then we're taking your kids Friday night and Saturday morning so you and your husband can go overnight."
I wasn't sure I had heard her right. So I asked her,
"I know what it's like to not have family around to do things, and to want to get out. You guys deserve to have a weekend away before your baby comes."
"Umm..." I sputtered, "I don't even know what to say."
She laughed. "Say thank you. And have fun."
And we did. While this angel woman came and slept at my house, (including soothing my toddler who woke up at an ungodly hour!) we went overnight to a fancy-schmancy hotel (that was free thanks to some perks from my husband's work,) saw a movie, got massages, and came home relaxed and happy. Not even my parents have taken all three kids overnight before. I still shake my head in amazement at her kindness and sheer courage.
A few weeks ago, I got pneumonia. Now that's bad enough, but when you're pregnant, it's extra bad. So of course, I whined about it on my blog. A few hours later, I got a comment from a sweet blogger friend that she was bringing me dinner.
And bring me dinner she did. Homemade chicken noodle soup, and freshly baked, warm bread. Can I just say that bread was a little piece of heaven? My husband and I devoured it on the spot before my children even knew it was missing.
There is something so incredibly nurturing about someone making a meal for you- it's like giving someone a tangilble evidence of their love and concern. Such a blessing to sit down to a hot meal that I didn't have to prepare.
This year, for the first time, I've started teaching students before school at some obscene hour that no one should ever be awake for. Despite my chronic inablity to be a morning person, everything has worked out well so far. That is, until two weeks ago when I decided I hadn't had enough excitement and spent the batter part of the night in the hospital with preterm labor.
I had a lesson the next morning, and since I didn't leave for the hospital until 10:30 at night, I sent a text telling the mom I wasn't teaching in the morning and begging to reschedule. I knew she was an iPhone addict like me, and thought that would be the safest way to get a message to her.
I arrived home at 3:30 that Tuesday morning, and crashed into bed. We all rushed around in a panic the next morning trying to get out the door, and it wasn't until my kids were gone that I thought to check to make sure the mom had gotten my text message.
Which means this poor mom had gotten herself and her daughter out of bed and hauled across town at 6:15 am, just to find my house dark and no one answering the door.
I apologized, embarassed. She brushed it off, laughing, asked me how I was doing, then informed me she was coming to get Max in a few minutes so that I could sleep that morning.
I thought about protesting, but I was too tired and too drugged.
She came and got him, played with him all morning, took him out to lunch, then brought him back to me right before naptime. Max had so much fun that he ran after her crying when she left.
She had every right to be mad at me. I would have been pretty irritated to get up that early to arrive at a dark house with no one responding. Instead, she came and took my toddler all morning so I could crash.
People are amazing. I have been blessed by so many who have taken the time to love and serve my family. Just thinking about this has made me resolve to do better to watch out for others.
Like Serene said, the words "Thank You" seem pretty small and insignificant for things that impacted me so much. But I can't say enough about how these womens' efforts to reach out and help me, despite the inconvenience, has impacted me.