Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Best Gift I've Ever Received

You know that scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" when all of George's family and friends gather around helping him out of all the trouble he's in? It always makes me cry. That goodness in people... It's so heart-warming and moving. George realizes what a very rich man he is because of all the people who love him.

That's what I've felt like every day since I've gotten laid off. As I've stressed about the lack of income, I've never felt so rich in the love and support that I've gotten from my friends and family.

I don't think a day has gone by when I haven't been given something. I've had friends take me to lunch -- some of them multiple times! Just last night, a good friend treated me to a play we've wanted to see for months, "Girls Only!" This friend has suffered through breast cancer (an ordeal that can't even compare to a layoff) yet she always remains upbeat and giving. Other friends -- and even strangers -- have sent job leads or emails of encouragement. Even my ex-husband has been extremely generous in his support. I don't normally give him credit. Hearing others' stories of bitter ex-spouses, makes me realize how lucky I am.

The biggest gift was when my neighbors gave me 50,000 frequent flyer miles so that Scotty, my 15-year-old son, and I could get to Sacramento over Thanksgiving week. My father was in the hospital, undergoing life-threatening emergency surgery. Being able to see him and my mother was truly priceless. The amazing thing is, three other people offered me frequent flyer miles, too! (I imposed on my neighbors since I was the closest to them...) That kind of generosity... It's just mind-boggling to me!

Scotty has been a trooper, as usual, too. He's had to give up privacy when we rented out a room. He's asked for less. He helps more. He even offered to run around to trick-or-treat before everyone else so we could give away all the candy he didn't want to the trick-or-treaters that came to our house! (He assured me he was just kidding, though.)

As I accept gift after gift, my heart fills with gratitude. I know I will get a job soon. I so want to reciprocate and I've been waiting to get that job... To have some income so that I could shower my friends with lunches and gifts and invitations to celebrate. I want to show all these generous people that what they are doing matters. That it's filling me up, more than they can know.

I know no one is waiting for me to reciprocate, and, honestly, I don't think I ever could. There is no reciprocal gift. The gift they have given me is in my heart and will be with me forever. The gift of love and support is absolutely the best gift I've ever received. I feel extremely blessed. I'm a very rich woman, indeed.

PS for Friends and Family: This was a long way of telling you that you're not getting much more than love and support for Christmas from me this year, but it's worth a LOT! I'm still trying to figure out how to wrap it up... Hope I didn't spoil the surprise.

Thank You and Love to you all this Christmas...

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