This young man attends school with my daughter, Issa. While we don’t know him personally, a number of my neighbors do. One of them provides him with home physical therapy services.
While I met my daily word quotas during NaNoWriMo Weeks 3 and 4, some homemade gore stole me away from blogging about scenes from my First 50k. I’m not talking about turkey fryer disasters, the carnage at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day, or Black Eye Friday, either.
The gory scene-stealer resembled something from The Thing and took place on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving. My daughter Issa had just finished up a stellar 60 minutes of play at our local gymnastics center. We were looking forward to lunch with my mom and Riff at a family friend’s home nearby. Upon pulling into the friend’s driveway, I knew something was amiss.
Clue #1: No cars in the driveway or garage. Where is everyone? I’m guessing Riff misbehaved and grandma has him in lock down mode somewhere. Issa senses we’re not eating lunch anytime soon and begins eyeballing the Nutella cookies I made for dessert.
Clue #2: All those unanswered calls on my cell. In my defense, I rarely answer my phone while watching my children dance, play sports, sing, etc. They’re just too cute and I don’t want to miss a beat.
Clue #3: My husband, Tracy, finally gets me on the cell and says he’s at the ER because he hacked up his right hand with an electric table saw. He was just a few planks shy of finishing a home flooring project. Since I can be a bit of a drama queen, I now have visions of his shredded hand dangling by a tendon. Hamburger anyone?
As I’m driving to the ER, Issa is bombarding me with questions. Understandably, she’s worried about her dad and I have limited answers. Here’s the question I could answer without hesitation.
Q: Will this be on the news?
A: No; not unless a neighbor calls them and we have good neighbors.
Upon seeing my husband’s hand at the ER, the laceration was serious, but could have been so much worse. He just had outpatient surgery Monday to repair nerve damage. The biggest challenge going forward is limited use of his hand for the next four weeks.
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I admit to plagiarism. My post title, You Are Needed, the Rewards Are Many, is a rip-off from a quote given to me in an interview last week. The author of the said quote is a retired teacher and volunteer for Kids on the Go (KOTG), a non-profit I advocate for. While she was speaking about why one should become a volunteer for KOTG, the quote prompted me to think about the overwhelming number of non-profits, families, and individuals who really do need help from us to …
live, learn, eat, drink clean water, walk, talk, read, listen, work, play, hear music, dance, sing, create art, compete, sleep, grieve for loved ones, leave the house, shop, exercise, drive, vote, protest, shower, travel, make discoveries, preserve cultures, advance medicine, mediate conflicts, protect animals, save trees, conserve energy, etc.
Since the giving season began, yesterday at 10 pm EST, I figured the timing of this post couldn’t be better. It’s that time when we’re called upon to give of ourselves; make life better for others; especially those less fortunate. But, why reserve these thoughts for the weeks between now and December 25? Why not have these prompts for volunteerism every day?
Volunteerism comes in many forms. Some contribute dollars, others lend celebrity, and still more give time and talent. What one individual or group contributes doesn’t have to compete with the actions and/or dollars of another. All that matters is that you feel like you’re making a difference; a positive difference.
In addition to making my daily 1,600-word NaNoWriMo quota, writing newsletter copy, gearing up for teacher conferences, and dodging snow flurries, my children — Issa and Riff — are talking up a storm about that big hairy man in the red suit.
I don’t know about you. In our house, discussion has centered upon top items for their wishlists, Santa’s arrival date and time, and where Santa should leave their packages this year. It’s almost like the guy lives out his days on CNN and in the National Enquirer.
Just today, Riff asked…
- Will Santa would get me off the school bus when I get home today?
- What happens if I wake up and see Santa on Christmas Eve?
Just say it. Today could be like any other. Your family and friends — the people you love — are happy and healthy. They’re at the top of their game.
Just say it. Even though, you have said the words millions of times. None of us know when those we love will be gone from this world. None of us know when our time will be done.
Just say it. Rather than wait, shout it loud when you feel the urge to share. Your words might be the last ones they hear; or that you say. Speak with purpose; speak with love.
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