Monday, December 20, 2010

Talk Thursday: But For The Grace… of God

Often I count my blessings, for I am truly blessed. I am of normal mental health, I have a husband who loves me, a daughter I adore, a grandson who is the light of my life, and my mother likes me. I have a job, a soft bed, fresh wholesome food, and clothing of good repair in a size I might not like, but they fit. I have more than I need, want for nothing, and I am happy.

And then I look around me. I realize that there is a sad part of me that has become cynical about individual human conditions, even about many of the organizations that aide those that are in need. On Saturday the local Soroptimist club teamed up with several other organizations and distributed almost 600 Christmas baskets to families in the community in need. Food for a holiday meal, maybe presents for the children, new socks, a jacket, or some other much need basic necessity – those daily items many of us take for granted. But the reality is I know that many people take those baskets do not want of much if anything. How do I know this? I’ve been handed a box by my grandmother who had it given to her by someone who’d gotten emergency food from the Food Share. I try to give at least a hundred dollars a year to the Christmas Basket Project, it’s not much but it will cover the cost of two baskets. I give several times a year to the Food Share, the rest that I give is to the local Habitat for Humanity. It is never enough and there are never enough donations, whether it be in Florence or in your own town. And yet, despite it never being enough for those truly in need there are those who aren’t yet take. This rents my soul. My arguments and anger over this injustice fall on deaf ears. But yet, I give because I can and if not for the blessings of my birth, the generosity of my family, and my job it could have been me who lined up at 5:30 in the morning to make sure I had a dinner for my family. I believe charity begins at home, Florence is my home, I give here, my money stays here, and helps people here. I am blessed.

The husband of one of my best friends is dying. It might not happen tomorrow (but it could) it might not happen next week (but it is a definite possibility), it might not happen next month (but that would shock me) it will happen; it is happening slowly and she has little or no power over this mandate of abused health and old age. He is a diabetic, former smoker, has less than 25 percent use of his heart and he is in renal failure – and yet he could linger. She is a strong soul but her plate so very full. She already has a severely disable daughter for whom she cares, grandchildren who come into her home to live and then leave when it’s convenient to do so, and children far from home – she needs their help and yet she is alone. I ache for her all the while knowing I am blessed because my family is healthy, hard working, self sufficient, and supportive. I am not alone and even more than that I am loved. That isn’t to say that my friend isn’t, it is just… I am not her, I do not live her life and except for my support 2500 miles away I can not help her.

My friends both in my work-a-day world, my online life, and off times, are real, diverse, and rich in the rewards of laughter, communion, and support. But for the grace of God, a circumstance of birth, a disrupted chromosome or mutated gene go I. I do not let my blessing go un-noted,, I do not let them go uncounted, I do not let them pass silently in the dark taken for granted. I am blessed

And the reality my friend is that you most likely were too.



Jen said...

Interesting how the people who seem to be shouldering way more of the burden than they should be, always seem to be the ones counting their blessings. There's a lesson to be learned there.

Cele said...

It seems to often go that way. My grandmother can drive me crazy at what she takes as a given, her whining ways. And then she will turn around and pay $2K for the girl who does her garden's teeth. She is a conundrum with a heart of gold.

The sad part about all this is, even for those who do, there can always be nmore to do.