Tuesday, December 18, 2007


It is the season of giving. But it is also the season of driving ourselves nutty with shopping, returning, budgeting, mailing, fretting, planning, etc.
Yesterday as I drove home from work in the holiday shopping traffic, I had a full blown pity party. I was sad that we would not be able to see certain friends, that we hadn't made as many new friends this year as I would have hoped, that our gifts weren't generous enough and that we couldn't donate what I wanted to East Bay Habitat, the organization that was (and is) so dear to my heart in Oakland. We made a family pledge back in 2005 which we have mostly paid off. But there was still some left over. The guilt of that unfulfilled pledge has haunted me. Because I know that they need it. We gave but it wasn't enough. They needed more. And we can't give it.

I missed Oakland.

I arrived to see Seren and Sam sitting on a huge pile of presents. Gifts had come from so many places. I immediately became giddy with excitement of the packages! And one of those gifts touched me in ways I'll never be able to express in words.

My dear friend is having one heck of a year. She has had some hard times. I won't go into details. I have tried to support her the best way I could. From 3000 miles away. I longed to visit. To have tea. To make her dinner. To just be there with her the way I wanted to be. But I couldn't. So I sent cards, emails and prayers. It all felt so useless against what she has been facing. No matter what I could think of to do, it just wasn't enough.

But we rec'd the most special gift from her yesterday. A wonderful card. But also a donation, in our name to Habitat! Her donation was the equivalent of the amount of money it would take to buy a door. She "bought" us a door for a families' new home.

I burst into tears.

The thoughtfulness of that gift touched me so deeply. On different levels. The first being joy at the thought of a family being welcomed into their home through that door. I got goosebumps at the thought of it. The second joy was just knowing that my words and prayers HAD reached her. On some level. Her generous gift was to thank us for our friendship. (Which she didn't need to do, of course. It is so "her" to turn that around and to give to someone else.) Our actions and our prayers ARE being answered. We can't contribute to Habitat the way we want to right now. And I can't be there for my friend the way I want to be. But in that moment of opening that gift, the two worries dissolved. My love for my friend and my commitment to the organization is "enough". She blessed me so much yesterday.

I sat there with tears in my eyes as Seren played nearby.


LauraC said...

That is really really wonderful. There's something so amazing about real friendships, the ones that will last a long time. When I start to feel down we haven't met as many people as I would like, I remember how long it takes to grown an old friend.

Look for our donation info this week on my blog!!!

LauraC said...

Oops, also meant to say that it is really awesome that I met you through blogging because it is amazing that you are the kind of person who would love to get a present of a donation to charity. Awesome.

Also, don't feel bad about gifts that are not 'generous enough.' A gift from the heart is a gift, no matter how much you spent.

Laura S said...

So, I am crying now at work. That is so awesome Meg! I know that God is blessing you heart for your friends and your love for those who need homes.