It's Better To Get than Give
Sometimes it just is.
Christmas is the giving season.
Well, I'd like to see unabashed getting come back into style.
Every day that my mom was in hospice, our littlest grandson (her great grandson), brought her presents. His sippy cup, his tools, the TV remote, his bottle (...empty...let's not get carried away) a flower. Whatever odd thing he picked up, he'd offer it.
I'm convinced that every gift he brought her added a day to her life, so delighted was she to receive them. She knew he wanted her to smile, laugh, get better. He knew the TV remote made him bat shit crazy happy, so he felt sure it would do the same for her. So he gave it.
It worked. Getting gifts, no matter what kind, mattered to her, made a difference.
Now, I'm laid up.
Mercifully not yet in hospice.
Nothing even life threatening. Just annoying hip surgery. A surgery made more annoying by the fact it arrived on the heels of my mother's death. Not the best emotional timing.
That's when they started coming.
The gifts. The cards. The flowers. The food. The texts. The emails. The Facebook messages. The blog comments. The tweets.
Every possible venue available for gift giving and well wishing was taken advantage of, on my behalf, by the most thoughtful, generous people I've ever known. Some, I don't even know well. Some I haven't heard from in more than 30 years. But I can promise you...
It worked. Getting these gifts, in whatever form, mattered to me, made a difference.
They brought tears, made me laugh, soothed my grieving soul, put band-aids on my wounded heart, and lifted my heavy, sagging spirits.
Flowers, as a way to say, "I'm thinking about you and want to make your day a little better" will never be the wrong way to go. Marybeth, Melanie, Patsy, Beth and Tom, Mark and Luann, and the good people at Venoco sent all these.
The well wishes, kind thoughts, and perfect sentiments keep rolling in.
I'm a writer. Words carry a lot of weight with me. Here's some that were sent my way from Mark and Sandy, Jack and Justine, Kelly Rutter Nemic, Tom and Becky, Wes Marshall, Pat and Marcia and Matt and Jennifer:
The very one who rocked you in the beginning needed you most in the end...your mom must've been an amazing woman.
As you remember your mom, others are thinking of you and wishing you comfort.
People who've lost someone special know that the real grieving begins...later...when everyone has gone back to their own lives...know that those who care for you wish to share this difficult time...
I know your mom loved you more than anything...
Sending well wishes your way and hoping your boo boo soon goes away.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
Your mom must've been a rock, an inspiration and a person who cherished her family.
I'm here for you.
Whatever you need.
We're thinking of you and your family.
Although I'm not a part of your inner circle support group, I feel a special bond with the Venoco family and it breaks my heart when someone so kind and caring as you and Ed suffer such a loss.
That one was especially meaningful since it came from someone I don't know well, who works with my husband. Yet he took the time to write, and send, as much comfort as he could.
I'm not a religious person.
I've said so often in these pages.
But there's something particularly lovely about spiritual people who send me biblical words of healing and support. They're sharing something so personal and meaningful to them that they're willing to cross the boundaries of political correctness to do it.
I've been so humbled and touched by their offerings of prayers and extensions of grace.
No matter what you believe, I can't think of anything more comforting than knowing others are calling on their God and his angels to make an exception for you.
Then there's the emails, texts and phone calls (in some cases nearly every day) from my kids, my grandkids and my friends like Lisa Rivas, Lisa Robles, Mary, Kerri, Angel and Marybeth, Terry and Barbara and Mike and Jana.
Then there's Haley. My special food friend who made me homemade bread and sent us this lasagna when she heard I was having surgery. She's only 12...I keep thinking she's 11 but hubby says I'm wrong....which would be unusual for me. At any rate, she's young but knows the value of the right gift at the right time.
Then there's my author friends, Robin Winter, EL Farris, Julie DeNeen and A.W. Daniels, and William Martin who continue to market my book and blogs on Twitter, FB, and their own blogs even though I haven't been able to reciprocate in quite a while. And even though they have their own stuff to promote.
And this book came from my friends Jennifer and Matt...for something to do between the drug taking, the self pity, the mindless staring into space and eating. It's about a woman who has hip surgery and her husband thinks he can get away with a bunch of stuff cause she's out of commission. She kills him with a bed pan and crutches.
Na....just kiddin...I haven't had the chance to start it yet. I'm still in the mindless staring into space phase.
From my daughter, Kayla, this husband groper...I mean an extended arm from the hip surgery kit she sent. That claw on the end is holding the lip balm I dropped. Clutch.
And finally, there are those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for me:
The Fickers, the Behnke's, Marybeth Carty, Lisa Rivas and bartender guy, who all bellied up to the bar in my stead. Tears. With friends like these...
So, my blogger friends, my life has been enriched in ways I never thought it could because all of these wonderful people took time out their day to wish me well.
There's an argument to be made that I'm missing the point. There usually is. It's all in the giving not the getting. If all these good souls hadn't given...
Yeah, yeah, I understand that...but for now, I'm the getter.
And this is my blog.
When you lose someone you love, have health issues, or just all around feel like crap, there's not a lot anyone else can do for you. Except this: they can remind you what its like to feel happy.
That's the gift that keeps on giving.
12/17/2013 01:39:39 am
Beautifully said. When I was going through my breast cancer treatments, I felt the same. The notes, the cards, the food, the ring of the doorbell and the "Hi how are you today, do you need anything," from friends were the best gifts of all. Hope you recover quickly and get to enjoy some of the holidays. And enjoy the book! It's on my list, as well.
12/17/2013 05:54:19 am
Thanks, Claudia. I'm on the mend! I hope you are well and through with treatments. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a wonderful, healthy, holiday season.
12/17/2013 09:37:43 am
You're amazing. I'm so proud to say you are my friend. Get well, heal well, be well, and get back to kicking ass and taking names (omg that phrase so dates me). You da bomb! (another dater...but kudos to me that I never used the term 'groovy').
12/17/2013 02:18:32 pm
Enjoyed the blog. Healing comes in many forms - and even sometimes from places we least expect it. As a friend told me upon my dad's passing, "Your life will be forever changed." He was so right. All the best as you heal.
This is lovely. It is great that so many people have been there for you and given you so much. I have read that in giving we receive and in receiving we give - and you are definitely giving to those who give to you by your wonderful appreciation of their gifts.
12/18/2013 05:47:02 am
Yes, I am a lucky girl who feels very grateful. Thank you for reading!
12/18/2013 05:39:01 am
You are truly surrounded by love (as was your Mom) and I'm so glad that in each case it's brought joy and made a difference.
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