Remember Allie from www.watergatesummer.blogspot.com
who befriended the family newly arrived from Iraq? We heard her story, and the family's,
during the Blogblast for Peace event. Allie writes that she has helped the family navigate through the intricacies of accessing services. She accompanied the children to their first pediatric exams and their first dental appointments, scary for the little ones. But they were brave and got through it. She made sure the heat got fixed in their apartment. And Allie reports that through her blogging, gifts from NINE states in the US continue to arrive for the family: blankets, coats, clothing, baby gear, art supplies.
She reports the children seem much happier and are more relaxed, there is a lot more giggling. They do a lot of coloring, and every time Allie arrives with the latest donations (which she packages in big bright green gift bags to make it more festive) they get very excited to see what has arrived.
This one woman, quietly seeing a need and stepping up to the plate, has made this family feel welcomed in their new home.
I post stories and poems about some of the sad things that I come across. But I enjoy it so much more when I come across a story like this. Nothing big or heroic, just a woman who thought perhaps that family needed some help, and friendship, and went over to offer it. Lovely. I so love big-hearted people! Read more about this family, and about Allie at Watergate Summer (link above). You'll be impressed. She shows how much one person CAN do to make a difference.
Yesterday my sister and I made a quick trip to Nanaimo, an hour from here. She dropped me at the mall while she went to an appointment and I had a happy time picking up a few Christmas gifts. We only have a Walmart here, no mall, so shopping is limited which usually doesn't matter. I don't shop much. But I wanted a few specific items, so yesterday was my chance. The gift that made me the happiest was buying a lovely light soft fleecy deep purple blanket for the elderly lady I clean for every Tuesday. She doesn't have a blanket, she uses the cotton cover the ambulance personnel use to cover patients in the ambulance. Purple is her favorite color (and mine.) I can't wait to see her face when I give it to her.
But the update on this little couple is a bit scary. When Faiza came home yesterday, she found Bill lying on the floor. He couldn't get up and they called the ambulance. Bill is in hospital now, on oxygen, on IV's. He wants to be home but he is in the right place. The down side is that Faiza, who should be lying down recuperating from back surgery, is toiling back and forth to the hospital to be at his side. She is exhausted, she is over-doing. But she is a woman whose own needs have always come last after everybody else's. I worry about her. Her back has not had a chance to heal, and her legs are giving her much trouble and she is over doing because she has no choice. I know very well what that is like because I have done it myself my whole life too.
I pray he lives through Christmas. This couple is so close and loving, I can't imagine her when the dreaded day does come that he is no longer with her. She will be lost. Hopefully, he will perk up. But we have been watching his decline in recent weeks and it isn't looking good. Yet, still, her entire conversation is sprinkled liberally with "I love you's", and "habibti's" and "sweethearts" and "thank you's". Such a sweet little woman.
Pumpkins! Yesterday when Lori and I went to Nanaimo there they all were lining the road in the kazillions. Lined up atop cliffs, alongside the forest, sitting on rock ledges and one was stuck atop a stake right beside the road, like something out of the killing fields. All grinning. They looked adorable and I was chagrined I had not driven out that way when I did my pumpkin shoot. I KNEW they were there but the drive is an onerous one and I was tired. However, just know you received highly inferior pumpkins to what could have been on that post!
My old Mr Dog is still here, still hobbling. When he walks beside me, it isn't like walking a dog. He pads stealthily beside me like the bad old wolf that he is. He is failing, I am amazed he is still here and as he walks beside me I am thinking about the day not far off when he no longer will be. It never gets any easier to think about.
Ms. Jasmine, however, is rockin' and rollin'. From day two she was putting her full weight on her rear leg, which blew our doors off. At her two week checkup, when she got her stitches out, the vet could not believe how well she was doing and in fact told me to not let her over-do it, to rein her in a little. She is bored but being very good and is healing so well. She has to be walked on leash for bathroom duties, as she can't be free for months yet. So every time I walk her out to pee, Pup gets very vocal and indignant as in his mind she is getting a ton of walkies and he is getting one a day. No fair! I love that he still has the fire to care.
The vet did me a huge kindness by waiving her surgical fee, thus lifting a ton of stress off my shoulders. I took them a card with Jasmine's big smiling face on it, and a flat of doughnuts. The most expensive doughnut the vet ever ate. "Thanks for the surgery, here , have a doughnut!" It still cost a lot, but a thousand as opposed to $1700 is a considerable difference. People have kind hearts. And I think the fact that when she told me Jas needed surgery and I literally almost passed out, (they had to revive me with water and cold compresses), that actually helped me out a little. They didn't want me to go into cardiac arrest paying the bill, hee hee. Kind people with big hearts everywhere.
My sister and I drove around looking at properties yesterday on the outskirts of Nanaimo. Found some lovely rural areas that were also near the ocean (be still, my heart!), saw little farms that would be so lovely to live in with all our animals and the horse. "Farmhouse, mobile and five acres," she read on one sign we passed. "Sold!" I leaned forward and stared up at the heavens: "STOP IT!" Like God was showing us all the lovelies we couldn't afford and couldn't have.
"So now we can go home and stick our heads in the oven," she said.
"And just our luck we have electric stoves, not gas," I retorted. "A lot more painful!"
But when we did get home, and saw the sun lighting the poplars and a faint mist rising from the fields, there were our two cosy homes and all of our eager critters just waiting for us. We are pretty lucky, after all.