November is the month of Thanksgiving, officially. On Facebook, I'm participating, as are many others, in the 30 days of Thankfulness movement where you state something once a day, in a status, that you are thankful for. I've so far, covered the basics, my sons, my husband, and my family and friends
But, today, I received a surprise. Well, sort of. I was forewarned by my friend Ang that I would be getting a package in the mail. I didn't think much of it, or tried not to, and just be surprised when it arrived. Well, surprise number one was that it was a day late. No big deal.
I feel like this post is going to be a bit... of jumbled mess. I'm going to back track first.
Way back when... years ago... I forget how many years ago, but a long time ago, in high school, I joined an online blogging site: Kiwibox. There, I really entered into online journaling and in the process, made quite a few friends that I still am friends with this day. So, over ten years ago, I met a great group of girls, now women. After Kiwibox was starting to go... downhill, or really, we got old enough to think it was getting lame, we moved onto message board communities. One of my friends and I decided to purchase a domain and run our own. I forget, right offhand, how long we ran Bijouxmb, but it was quite a while. Another message board, a sister site, almost, was born as well, Quarantine, run by a few of our friends. For quite a long time, friendships formed, lives were shared, and we became close. Now, I will admit, when we decided to let Bijouxmb die, and I was pregnant with Spencer, I stopped frequenting the boards. Facebook was bigger and easier and it just sort of replaced it for me. But, these women have since and always will had/have a place in my heart.
That said, confession time: After Collin's birth, we realized that Jake's new job, the one he took at the beginning of the summer to better our financial future as well as provide more family time, wasn't going... as hoped. It really wasn't working out for us. We have an old suburban as our vehicle after our van went kaput and it would cost nearly as much to fix as it did to buy it. The suburban is a gas hog, and was eating away his income, really, from this new job. As of October, as sad as I feel admitting this, we've been really struggling, as Jake has been unemployed. It has been quite a struggle. We've been pretty stressed about finances and everything related to it. We've dabbled between who should get the full time job. Currently, we're trying to find Jake one. When we only have one vehicle, it makes it a challenge. And if we both work and were to work same shifts then we'd have to put the boys in daycare, which we just don't want. We're praying about it, and hope others can do the same.
In the meantime, we're doing what we can to get by. We've disconnected our internet, since it barely worked anyway being a cheap wireless type thing. We no longer have our smartphones and are doing a month-to-month pre-paid service on cheap flip phones. We don't go out, we can't really. We've been very blessed to have family and friends helping to look out for us, as embarrassed as I feel admitting that. Our church, too. I go through days where I am very upset and pessimistic about it all, an other days where I feel very hopeful. Jake has had a few interviews, and the most recent ones went very well, he believes, so we're waiting to hear. I know things will change, and I know we will be okay. But, it's not easy to feel that way always.
I made the 'gutsy' move to tell a few friends about the situation in October. I didn't want to, but I was tired of being silently stressed and not knowing where to turn to cry and express my fears. I felt better knowing there were others out there praying and thinking of us and keeping my head above water emotionally.
Well, I didn't know that one of these friends was a blabbermouth. Haha. I mean this in a good way. One of these friends, Ang, let my "secret" out to Q, the aforementioned message board (that I didn't own and run). I really had no idea, until today.
Today, this big, heavy box appeared on my doorstep. "For the love of Q!"
Right away, I was... well, I was nervous to open it, honestly, because Ang wanted Jake to take a video... and I was afraid I wouldn't have a "proper" reaction to whatever was inside.
If the reaction she was looking for was to cry, well, then I had the proper one. Haha.
Inside was various items, mostly clothes for Spencer. Warm clothes that are the right size for him this winter. TONS of them. There were pacifiers for Collin, and a chew toy for him too. Haha, that makes him sound like a puppy. There were a few gift cards. One, I will donate for gas for Jake to go to job interviews. One was for Starbucks, which gave me a "reason" to get out of the house, which I truthfully, really needed after a few emotional breakdowns this week, where I am now, blogging, using my cousin's laptop and the free wi-fi. There were a few nail polishes for me, which made me very excited, because lately, I've been really into painting them. It keeps me not only from chewing them due to stress and nerves, but also keeps them from breaking and hides my ugly nail that I crushed in a garage door this summer. There was a candy bar and some gum. There were a few notes.
The part that started my tears, of course, was the letter Ang included. In summary, she wrote that there is a belief out there that way you do, or contribute in life, multiplies three-fold and comes back to you. So, if you're nasty, three times worse might head your way. In her opinion, and apparently that of a few of my other friends from afar, is that I've been "good." I've been caring, despite circumstances right now, and I guess I have been that way for a while. I guess, they think I have a big heart.
It's funny to me to think that I had organized care packages for others during hard times in their lives, all in the same fashion, via our message board communities. Truthfully, I don't remember how many I orchestrated or helped orchestrate. Two at least, maybe more. It just... didn't stick with me, I guess. I just did it and lived on without thinking twice. I never in a million years expected something to come my way like this. Not once. I don't feel like I deserve it. Of course, I am grateful beyond adequate verbal expression, thinking about how much my son benefits from their generosity and hearts of gold, as he grows out of the clothes we have for him.
I think what shocked me most about receiving it, though, is the fact that I haven't really been an active part of that message board in over two years. I am not a daily part of their lives anymore, and somehow, they still care. I guess that shows something negative about me, really, because I know that even though I don't interact often, I still think of them often and wish them all well. I guess, I really shouldn't have expected anything less from them. I apologize that I somehow did. I am truly, truly sorry if I doubt anyone. Truly.
It's true, sometimes, I feel like I'm a good friend. More often than not, I am more critical of myself, though. I feel like I can't give enough or do enough for others, especially now. I guess, really, it doesn't always matter if I can give monetarily or concrete items. I know I pray, and I send regards, love, warm thoughts, when I can, regardless. It took their box of love to remind me that those things count too.
My mind is scattered all over again, so I think I'll (finally, I suppose) stop this post.
Thank you, to anyone and everyone for any small or large thing you've done for me and my family, recently, or in the past. I can assure you, it does not go unnoticed, and I hope that, as the belief I mentioned earlier goes, it comes back to you, threefold, or more.