***If you haven't read my blog post "Feeling Called" two below this one, read it first. This one will make a whole lot more sense!***
"Wow." That was just about all she could say. "Wow." (Quick: what children's book is that from?)
I'm not sure how to start or even what to write. I guess I'll start by saying what a blessing it is to serve others. What a lesson it is in humility and graciousness and faith.
When I explained to my plan to the girls this afternoon, Emma was all for it. Hayley, not so much. She didn't want to do it, didn't want to leave her comfort zone, didn't want to face a tiny spark of reality. I can't entirely blame her -- it's incredibly hard for most adults to do that as well. I certainly can't deny that I was a little nervous to meet Dave and Donna. I don't exactly have a way with words when it comes to talking.
But off we went to BigLots and WalMart anyway. And just as I planned, we spent less than $100 and walked away with bags and bags and bags of goodies to help Dave and Donna start their lives over.
Check out what we bought...
2 bath towels
1 pkg. of wash cloths
4 each of knives, forks and spoons
1 pkg. dish rags
1 set dish towels
2 pot holders
12 pk. of Zest
25 pc. kitchen utensil set
mixing bowl set (three bowls with lids so they can double as food storage)
Not bad, huh?
We also added our old pots and pans, an extra set of cutting knives, some extra glasses and a pitcher.
I think Donna was most excited about the pitcher! She kept saying that now she can make iced tea!
Both of them were all smiles -- so genuinely grateful. There wasn't any sense of pride or frustration against "charity". Simply pure joy at the help people are willing to give.
We stayed for 10 minutes or so, chatting about this and that. They came from Texas last November just because they wanted a change. They'd seen pictures of Oregon and decided the Northwest was where they wanted to be.
Dave and Donna are married via common law. Dave turned pink when he couldn't remember how many years. But he did confess that he "had plans" to have Donna take his name. My heart did a little leap at that. How amazingly wonderful. Here she is, full of cancer, and he's not scared off. Donna sang his praises over and over again, telling us how he carried her sometimes and how he slept on the floor next to her in the hospital.
True love is amazing, isn't it?
As we drove home, Hayley asked how people get cancer. We explained it and she finally asked her real question: can you get cancer from hugs? Donna had hugged her. (She also signed her cast!) We continued talking about cancer and how it works. We talked about homelessness and hope and starting over.
Dave and Donna currently have two living room chairs, a tiny end table, a chair with a 12 in. tv, a bed and a pan. The girls saw their few possessions and maybe now understand how blessed they are to have all that they do. It's a huge concept and not something I expect them to fully comprehend.
But starting them on the track of appreciation and giving to others is something just as important to know.