Lee wrote a beautiful blog post for you all, but based on the events that took place today, I chose to wait until after Christmas to share his post. Instead, I would like to share my gratitude to the universe. Last week when I was coming home from Grinnell, where I was attending an intentional community development meeting, I stopped at the convenience store right by my house.
Two young women were grabbing gas at the same time. When they went to start their car, it wouldn’t start. they were having one of those cold winter night moments. You know, the kind that sucks no matter how you look at it? In that exact moment it sucks, anyways. They were both asking for a boost, but no one was responding. The one woman looked right in my eyes and said “Please could you give us a boost?”
I responded by telling her that I was driving my husband’s work vehicle and went on to tell her that it is against company policy for me to do so. I felt horrible, but I also didn’t want to jeopardize my husband’s career (my daughter dates his son and he also lives right near our home). I paid for my stuff and walked outside to my warm car, and saw the two ladies standing there. Still standing there in the cold.
I thought, ah fuck it. I gave them a boost. They were so grateful. Turns out they are a young, black lesbian couple who recently moved to our small town from New York. I offered to give them my number in case they had any additional car issues. They texted a thank you message later on. I thought about what it has felt for me moving here from somewhere culturally different. So I sent them a message inviting them to grab a coffee with my daughters and I.
Long story short, Monday we had coffee and made a tiny connection. Together they have 3 kids that are 15, 10 and 4 years old. I think I have mentioned before that my husband is a pretty family and close friend oriented person. He pretty much has his family and a couple best friends and that’s the extent of his socializing. He and I are opposites that way. I asked them what they were doing for Christmas and they said nothing. Just staying home with the kids. So I invited them to our family only Christmas Eve dinner.
Mountain was a little taken back, but he would do pretty much anything to make me happy. He cooks the entire dinner himself, so he now had 5 more people to cook for. I was happy that he wasn’t upset. Today, around 11 am I got a panicky call from one of the ladies. They were in an awful car accident while grabbing last minute presents in Des Moines. Their car was totaled and her partner was unresponsive. She asked me if I would go pick up her kids (who I had not yet met). Of course, I hopped in the car, waited for the kids to get ready, brought them home, fed them and they are currently running through the house totally oblivious to the potential tragedy facing them.
Just before I began writing this post, I got a call back letting me know that her partner pulled through. I believe she has a concussion, but she will be okay and they are being released, but their car is a right off and they didn’t have collision insurance. Mountain checked his turkey that is cooking away in the oven, put his boots on and just left to go pick them up. Last Christmas Eve morning an extended family member who is the mother of 3 beautiful kids, did not wake up when her kids went to get her.
I am so grateful that this Christmas Eve I did not have to tell the wonderful kids that one or both of their moms did not make it. I have a sad sort of happiness in my heart as I write this. For us and for these lucky kids, there will be no tragedy. The loss of their car will make things more challenging, I know it is their only form of transportation, but cars can be replaced. People cannot. I am grateful that they are alive and healthy. I am grateful that they have blessed our lives. I am grateful for the friendship that I know will blossom. It is strange how life brings people together when they are most needed.
I hope that you are all safe, warm, and surrounded with loved ones. I am now taking a deep breath of gratitude. Life is beautiful. If you feel inspired, I would love to hear what you are grateful for!
From my heart to yours,