A sweet gift and the true meaning of Christmas….
Hello world! It is the day after Christmas and what a busy one it has been! Up at 9:00, and immediately, the house work began. Laundry going (and well, on-going!), vacuuming done, dust bunnies washed away, bathroom cleaned, closets organized, windows opened, fresh air rushing in, Christmas gifts put away, “returns” pile made, and some “old” put into the “goodwill” box. At 1:00 hunger REALLY settles in…so back to making more dishes 🙂 – Brunch consisted of scrambled eggs with onion and spinach, sliced tomato’s, cottage cheese, and rice crackers with some yummy humus. Occurring thought – “darn it, I forgot to add orange juice!”.
Now current time – the house is clean, the animals are sleeping, and the house is super quiet. Ahhhhhh….Now that my personal spaces are all clean, it is time to begin down loading and organizing my work world. There is so much running through my mind, so much get done, and I’m excited about it all! But before I move on into the world of this week and “New Year’s”, I want to take some time to share a sweet story that added an extra special element to my Christmas. (Which, by the way, although family was missed, Christmas weekend was simply amazing!)
First, some background info. I split my every day life into two different work professions. I work our Juice Plus business in the mornings, and I work with some wonderful children that are apart of Boys and Girls club in the afternoons. (Hereafter, I will refer to the club as the B&G club) The B&G club originally began WAY back in the late 1800’s, with the main focus being to give a place for young boy’s (and now girl’s) to hang out and have fun. ( ie: stay out of trouble!) Here in Colorado Springs, there are 2 “traditional” clubs, but the club has also partnered with one of the school districts, to house a Before and After school program right within the schools. So, I’m blessed with being a part of this special program, and my school is actually located right outside of the Ft. Carson Army base. Naturally, with being so close to the base, we have many kids in our program that are military families. It has been a humbling experience to see how military families sacrifice so much, in so many, many ways.
One of my kindergarten kids – Thomas – is from a military family and his father is currently serving in Afghanistan. Thomas’ situation is a bit more complex than that of my other kids. You see, Thomas was born in Korea to an American father and a Korean mother. This year the family decided to move to the United States while his father went over to serve in Afghanistan. But while Thomas does understand and speak english, his mother only understands a little, and speaks even less. Thomas has had a very difficult time transitioning into the American school system and the school has really had to work with Thomas. Thomas began the afterschool program a few months ago, and that too, was a challenge for him – and US! For some reason, I was really drawn to Thomas, and I began working with him on such things as sharing with others, walking quietly in the hallways, not throwing tantrums, (or at least not so many!) and his overall behavior. What I learned is that Thomas is a very bright, funny and athletic child. He is a special soul, caught in between two different worlds and cultures. I call him Mr. Thomas, and I love the time that I have been able to spend with him.
So, the other day, right as we were about to get out for winter break, Mr. Thomas ran into the room and handed me an envelope. I hugged him, thanked him, and wished him and his mother a Merry Christmas. I waited a few minutes before opening my gift, and when I finally did, what I found was a Christmas card, a gift card, and a beautiful bookmark from Korea. While the gifts were nice to receive, it was the message found within the card, that meant the most to me. Here is what the card read:
“Mrs. Trina – Thank you for taking care of Thomas. This year is a hard time for us because my husband is Afghanistan, and Thomas and I don’t know American culture, besides we can’t speak english. Thomas loves the after school program, and he loves you so much. I have a difficulty in English to express my thanks to you. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.” And below this beautiful note, Mr. Thomas drew me a Christmas tree with the message “I love you Mrs. Trina”.
Now it is me that has no words to express the depth of which this message and this boy has touched my heart. Simply, Thank you, thank you, from the depths of my heart.