One of my coworkers has made it her mission to cheer me up. She has went over and beyond to do so. My heart is really touched by her generosity and selflessness. Here are a few things she has done; although I am probably forgetting something because she has done SO much!
- She was my Secret Santa for a week (I did not even sign up)
- She made me lunch and dinner several weeks in a row
- She organized a group of coworkers to buy my lunch for a week straight
- When I was sleep starved and not feeling well for two days she allowed me to bring all of my classes to the media center
- For Christmas she gave me movie theatre and restaurant gift certificates
- She invited us to her sister’s for Christmas dinner
- She bought me a fancy journal and pen because she knows that I like to write
- She attended the wake
- For my birthday she bought cupcakes for all 135 of my students! She also gave me a gift certificate to an upscale restaurant
- She has volunteered her babysitting services
- Just today she presented me with an autographed copy of one of my favorite books!
How do you thank a person like this? I wanted to do something from the heart; so I made her one of my special framed acrostic poems and presented it to her. She loved it!
A small token of my appreciation
“…You will surely wear yourself out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” Exodus 18:18
The unpleasant part of snow is the act of shoveling it. And with the twelve inches we received, there was a lot to clear. I didn’t realize just how much until I was knee deep in it with my lone shovel. My neighbors on both sides were out working as well. One even had a snow plow but only cleared his driveway and the space in front of their house.
Looking at the couples working together made me so blue that I started crying. It was another reminder for me that my husband was dead. I turned up my Ipod and my resolve and tried to focus on finishing the daunting task of clearing our lengthy driveway. My back and legs were starting to ache from heaving the heavy snow.
I had a ways to go when my neighbor from across the cul de sac came over, shovel in hand, and starting helping. Much of the time we worked alongside one another in silence as day turned to dusk. He encouraged me to go on in, but I couldn’t leave him to do my job alone. He had already worked a full day, shoveled his own drive, and then came to help with ours–three times the size of his. I felt:
- Gratitude for his kindness
- Sadness that my husband couldn’t shovel with me
- Blessed that God put it on his heart to do so
- Embarrassment for being a damsel in distress
I also wondered how I could pay him back? I hate the feeling of “owing” someone. Thank you just seems so…well, not enough. But then I thought about a few of the neighborly exchanges we’ve had over the years. During the fall we would always send one of the boys over to help him in the yard. I had also given his toddlers sons a barely used expensive train table. And when his teenage son often lost his key, we always welcomed him to sit at our house until someone came home.
So maybe he was just paying it forward.
I know I need to learn how to accept help and be okay with it. Could this be why God keeps putting me in predicaments where I need assistance from others in order for me to get over myself?
Still, I think I’ll make cookies for him and his family to show my appreciation…