It's getting close to Christmas and I am not even close to being ready. Haven't done much shopping for anyone as of yet but that's pretty typical of me, since I usually put any kind of shopping off for as long as possible. We bought our tree and will decorate it on Sunday with my sons and little people. We have been talking about Christmas with the little people...reading Christmas stories...working on our Christmas giving projects that I have talked about here and I have even been playing Christmas music(I am not much for Christmas music, please don't hate me for this!)...all these things to get happy about Christmas.
Yet, I am not feeling it. I apologize to all of you that are in the Christmas spirit and love all parts of it...I really don't want to be a downer. And honestly, if you were to see me in person, you would never guess that I am one of those people, not feeling the good cheer of Christmas. I am a real good pretender, not all but most of the time. I just choose to let it out here and try not to in my real life.
The holiday's are suppose to be a time of merriment and good cheer but sadly, for many it is not. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is a sad, depressing and difficult time for some people. In the last two weeks, I have been surrounded by people that feel this way and I am trying to do everything possible to not be affected by them. But, I am human and how could anyone with a heart not be affected by these things?
Last weekend a 34 year old man from our community was killed in a freak car accident. He left behind a wife and 2 young children and a very loving extended family and many friends. He was a volunteer fireman, a bus driver and a great person. Yesterday a huge crowd gathered to say goodbye to this man that had touched many lives. I know other's that have lost loved one's this past year also and I see and feel their grief as they try to figure out how to live without their loved ones, let alone celebrate.
At most schools, the students are happy that it's Friday but not at my school. They dread the time that they have to be at home. Many of our students live in less then ideal home situations...many live in war zones of fighting between parents and total chaos. This is not a merry time for them. Many do not have Christmas trees because the parents don't want them and see no need for them, since there will be no presents anyways. It's hard for these young people to not act out in defiance and anger because they see the choices their parents make to drink, smoke, gamble and do drugs, yet, they cannot afford to provide adequate food and clothing for their children, let alone a Christmas present. These kids see very little to be happy about.
For some of our students, the best meals they will eat in a week, are those given to them at school. For some, the clothes they have, are ones, we as a school provide for them. These kids come to us, hungry most of all, for love, acceptance and to feel important. When I hug some of these girls, and they smell and are so thin, I just want to hang onto them and bring them home with me. When they tell me that they love me, I know that for them this is a big deal because they trust very few people in this world.
I have been mentoring a 15 year old girl, that also gets to help me in my room. Up until a year ago this young girl was in and out of lock ups, hospitals, and group homes. She has completely turned her life around and because of her, her mother has been now getting her life together. She has never known her father, just his name. Today, she was helping me tape up some boxes of old files and we got to the last box and all of a sudden she says, "That's my fathers file." I looked up at her and her face was white as a ghost. There, laying on the top of the pile, was a file with her fathers name. We got the school counselor and she was able to give her a little information but other than that, she knows very little about this man. This young girl has been through more heart ache in 15 years then most people go through in a life time. I give her a ride every day after school and she makes comments about coming home with me. This week, she asked me, if something were to happen to her mother, if she and her little sister could live with me. People, how can my heart not be broken by things like this?
Today, one of my young moms and her little boy, that have been out sick from whooping cough, finally came back to school. She is so thin and worn out from being sick, working and parenting and still trying to do school work at home. I talked to her about getting a Christmas tree and her face turned to such sadness that it broke my heart...she told me that they aren't celebrating Christmas because there is no money for presents or anything like that...that it's easier to pretend it isn't Christmas. She said that she was thinking that maybe she wouldn't come to school anymore until after Christmas because it would just be easier that way. I asked her to please come to school and that we would figure out a way to get through this. I then I reminded her that someone was giving her son some presents and that I was planning to do something special with her and the other mom's next week. When this girl hugs me, it's the kind of hug that says she doesn't want to let go, that she is barely hanging on...but all I can do is hug her and let her go.
These incidents I share with you are just tips of the iceberg. While I am completely blessed in these moments...these opportunities...yet I feel completely lacking in being able to do enough...to love enough...to say what needs to be said...to really listen, and hear what they are saying to me...to have more to give them...these lost starving souls. Yet, they keep coming to me over and over again and if you could hear the kind things that they say to me, that just blow me away at times, you would understand what this does to me. I am praying constantly. I cry out to God and ask why.
Every day I see how blessed I am with so much. Yet, I see how little others have. It is hard for me to be of good cheer when I see so many that are poor in spirit. It seems so unfair for me to have so much, when there are others that have so little. These are the things that break my heart and cause me to cry daily. If you are someone that prays, please pray for these people I have mentioned here.
To end on a brighter note, my baby boy(he's 19)flys in tomorrow. I can hardly wait to hug him and see his smiling face. We are suppose to get hit with a good old fashioned snow storm this weekend so hopefully lots of playtime outside for all of us! I love blizzards...love being snowed in, so I hope my wish comes true! Please forgive me for being a downer and a scrooge...I really am trying not to be!