Thursday, December 24, 2009

In the Spirit

From my lovely friend Cyndi (who works with kids in the legal system):

One of my kiddos picked the week before Christmas to blow her foster home placement and get placed at the Family Crisis Center.  I just hate knowing any of my kids are in there for the holidays.  I just picked her up and took her to lunch so we could talk about what's going on and figure out what to do next.
She's 12 years old.  She sat down at Chili's and looked blankly at the menu for a long time before she admitted, basically, that she was too overwhelmed to look at it and figure out how to choose something and order.  Too many things to pick from.  Then she went on to tell me that she doesn't think she's ever been out to eat and, if she has, she doesn't know when. 
So I helped her figure out what she was in the mood for, something spicy and juicy, and suggested she get the cajun sirloin.  She was absolutely dumbfounded that I would pay for her to get a steak.  She then ate, more like inhaled, the entire 16 oz slab plus the huge sides in about 10 minutes and still had room left over for desert.  She told me at the end that she had never eaten so well before and started crying and gave me a huge hug.
Something I do at least once a week, sometimes twice, go out to eat and order whatever sounds good.   I just take it for granted.  I needed a good dose of looking at it through this girl's eyes, how grateful she was for such a simple pleasure.  Just a reminder to say thanks for everything we have, no matter how small and remember there are folks out there during the holidays who have so little.

From the beautiful Sam: (Background: it is currently 6 degrees in the city today, with snow on the ground.)

I just caught the tail end of their interaction, but there was a man on the train who appeared to be homeless. (Tattered & holey clothes, a jacket that was barely being held on by a few threads. And I don't know of a kind way to put it, but he didn't smell good.) There was a gal that had been talking to him, and I noticed she was only in short sleeves, but was holding her coat.
As the man went to get off the train, she gave him her jacket and told him there was some money in it.
What a kind & selfless gesture, to give someone your own coat, especially on a morning like this one.
I'm tearing up now just thinking about it again.
Merry Christmas.

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