Thursday, December 26, 2013

Taking Things For Granted: Socks and My Sister

Today I was listening to a bunch of stories going around a room and there was one by a man who had been sitting quietly and decided to share his recent experience.  He was talking about how his bicycle had been broken and so he went to buy a replacement one as well as a pair of shoes (just your basic generic brand name shoes and some doctor prescribed socks).  He started adding everything up and realized that he did not have enough money to get anything and had to put the socks back because he had to have the bike for transportation and needed the shoes to be able to ride the bike, so the socks would have to be left behind.  Instead of feeling sad about this, he instead felt very thankful that he was able to afford the bicycle because he could not work or function without some form of transportation.  He was feeling joy at this gift in life.

I was sitting there listening to this story and it touched me to my very core.  I couldn't hold back my tears to even think about it.  I sit here and worry about so many stupid little things and this man can't even buy socks to wear with his shoes.  And he is happy for what he can afford instead, and feeling very thankful.  I was shamed that I could ever be living in a state that was not in constant gratitude because I have SO very much in life.  I know that I do my best to be thankful for all that I have when I can think on the times that I would have been happy with a quarter of what I have.  I wasn't needing anything for Christmas, I was so thankful to be able to give Liam what I could and was truly feeling bad that I could not provide more for him this year with all that has happened.  Although I have had my fair share of curve balls thrown at me, especially in this past year I have somehow managed to make it day by day, week by week, month by month, until here we are looking at a new year.  I have no idea how I have managed to afford some of the things that I have had to pay for, and I just send my thanks and my blessings out to the universe and am in gratitude for all of the amazing help that I receive in each moment.  I am so blessed that I only have to work one job to provide for my son, and that I am able to see him and spend time with him and feel comfortable in where he spends his day in the hours that we have to be apart.
I was overcome with thoughts of my sister more than anything.  I love my sister, I always have and I always will, but goodness knows we are polar opposites in almost everything in life.  we have lived together off and on since she was about 16 years old.  There have been good times, there have been bad times.  Somehow we always find a way to smile and joke and laugh our way back to happy times.  I know that in the last year and two I have been hard on her.  I am always making her mad for "trying to be her mother and not her sister."  I wish I knew how to be different with her.  I try really hard to be a better sister.  I am maternal at heart but I always think of her as one of my best friends.  I love her through thick and thin.  I was thinking about the stupid things that I have been mad at her for in the past and the things that we argue about and I felt so incredibly ashamed for some of the ways that I want my sister's thinking to be different than what it is.  For wanting her to see things through someone else's eyes.  I have always tried to push my own life's lessons onto her instead of really accepting her as who she is, no matter how hard it can be to watch.  I know that I worry about her more as a mom than a sister sometimes, I know that I can be the overbearing overprotective sister, I am the "party pooper" and the boring one.  I hate to see my sister in any pain at all, I always wish that I could take it all away and feel it for her and just see her be happy and free in life all of the time.  I have shamefully been envious of my sister at times.  I have felt that there was unfair advantages given to her for things that I worked so hard for so long to achieve.  I have wanted things to be "fair" to have been given the same punishments when growing up.  Whereas I would accept whatever punishment was given to me and serve it out, finding a way to own it and do what I wanted to do anyway, my sister would argue for days and get off virtually free in my eyes.  It was hard growing up seven years apart and having our own unique generation gap.  Somehow this man's story about socks made me think about all of these things and more.  I just sat there ashamed at myself for not being the sister that my own sister deserved to have.  I just wanted to break down and cry, as I am while I write this.  I just wanted to hug my sister and beg for her forgiveness to tell her that nothing in the past mattered that the only thing that mattered in life was that she was my sister and I loved her with all of my heart.  Although I did get to see my sister later in the day it was amidst chaos and I was able to convey at lest part of this message to her and hug her and tell her that I was truly sorry.  I am so thankful for that opportunity even if the emotions I felt then and that I feel now have no comparison in words....

To end the man's story he went to check out and before leaving the store, he was stopped by someone who handed him a shopping bag, inside of the bag was the pair of socks that he was unable to afford, and he was simply told that someone had purchased them for him.  He eyes filled with tears as he told this part, and I felt like I must be the most selfish person in the room.  I wanted to go out and buy everyone socks and hide out in stores to watch what people put back and anonymously buy them for them when they seem unable to get it themselves.  I wanted to give away so many of Liam's toys to someone who could better use them in mass amounts.  (I am still in search of a needy family for this purpose). 

Anyway to sum up this post, I just wanted to share how this man's story effected my way of thinking and my emotions and hope that maybe even one person can read it and feel the need to act as well. 
For after all this is the season for loving and giving to those in need.

My beautiful sister and I

1 comment:

  1. That's the way to write from the heart Britt. The lord has so many different ways of giving us insight. Just like the man's situation gave you a unique insight, your writings do the same for me. I wish that I could have stayed around and spoiled you more as you were growing up, but I had to walk my path. Your a great sister to Shayna and many would be ssoossooooo lucky to have you in their corner. Jim Goode