Thursday, December 11, 2008
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived a mommy and her three little ones. The two sweet little girls were joyful and kind. They loved to sing and play, and they loved their tiny baby brother. That little brother was just a baby, but a very sick one indeed. He was a happy boy, laughing and cooing at his sisters even though he lived every day with high fevers and could only sleep sitting up in his infant seat or he would stop breathing altoghether. His mommy took him to the doctors office several times a week for more testing and to try to keep his temperature and his breathing under control and to try to find out why, at 6 months old, he still only weighed 9 pounds. She could no longer work because that sick little baby could not be left with a babysitter. Their was not a daddy in their lives anymore, so the mommy was the only support of this little family. One chilly November day, the mommy picked up the biggest sister from kindergarten and they went home from another long day of medical testing. Pulling into the driveway, the mommy turned off the car, the doors opened and the two giggling girls fell out, laughing at each other as they tumbled their way into the old trailer house. The mommy unbuckled the baby man and his infant seat, pulling it out of the backseat of the car and wearily trudging up the stairs to the front door, the diaper bag banging against her side as she walked. "Mommy, look! What's this box", greeted her from the two little girls as she approached the front door. Tears filled her eyes when she gazed upon the box of groceries that had been left on her doorstep from the local foodbank. What a relief to know that her children would go to bed with full tummies, at least for the next several nights. Someone, maybe at the doctors office or at the little girls school, had put this families name in to have some thanksgiving food delivered. In the box was also a gift certificate to the local grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings. When times are so tough, their is no more beautiful a feeling than that box of groceries brought to that young mommy.
The young woman in this story was me, 16 years ago now. It put hope in my heart and fed my soul.
Last night was the annual Food Parade in my neighborhood. The food parade is an annual event here in Astoria. For three nights the fire department is out in different neighborhoods until they cover the entire town. The fire trucks are decorated with Christmas lights, Santa can be seen riding and waving from one truck, Christmas music and singing can be heard all over as they slowly make their way down the darkened streets. The volunteer firefighters and their families walk behind the trucks, collecting food for our local food bank from the people in the neighborhoods. It's something I look forward to every year, perusing the newspapers until I see the announcement, then making sure that I'm home and have a couple of bags full of groceries to add to the mix. The food banks, at least here in Oregon, have been dangerously low the past year and need our help to fill them so that less children go to bed hungry on Christmas Eve. As long as I have an extra can of anything in my cupboards, I will give to the food parade, or to any of the food collections that are around this time of year, giving back just a little bit of the blessing that was given to me and my family those many years ago.
Is there a charity or program that is near and dear to your heart this holiday season?
Christmas lights and cheerfulness fill our street. You can expect no less on "Pleasant Avenue"! Our house is the white one in the picture by itself and the other two are across the street from us.
May your streets be filled with Christmas cheer and your cupboards be full...
Posted by Paula at 7:51 PM