Deana was calling our store’s adopted “Christmas family” to get specific items they needed. The person on the other line was overwhelmed.
Hearing Deana’s side of the phone conversation took me back to a time when one of my husband’s colleagues showed up on our doorstep with four or five bags of groceries. It was 1983 or 1984. My husband was teaching high school, I was home with a baby. We didn’t have two dimes to jingle in our pocket; it was a paycheck to paycheck life.
Then the flu flattened us. The fridge had free space on every shelf. It was all we could do to make a fire, wrap a blanket around our shoulders, and stare at the wall. Dave Steen, a legendary high school baseball coach, called to check on our Thanksgiving plans. He listened to Curt’s explanation and heard the unspoken pathos between his words.
And the next day there he was on our front porch. Cheerful, matter of fact, generous. Paper bags spilling over with groceries.
I felt embarrassed, relieved, exhausted, awkward, thankful, humbled, uneasy, shy. Reluctant to admit that we needed help and yet incapable of arguing otherwise.
How grateful I am for that Thanksgiving. That pitiful, miserable, rotten Thanksgiving that turned a corner when our front door opened. Admittedly, it’s easier to be thankful for hard times when they are in the rear view mirror.
Any of you been there?
Everyone needs help sometime.