Usually by now I have everything not only bought...but close to being all wrapped. Usually by now I have my cards in the card holders of our friends' and families' homes. Usually by now I am very much in the Christmas spirit. Not this year. Luckily my shopping has been done for some time, but my cards aren't ordered...presents aren't wrapped...and my spirit is low.
But I have to say - so many of you have lifted my spirits along the way. Not a day goes by that I don't get a personal email, a comment on Facebook or a drive by while I'm at my mailbox telling me about Salvation Army donations. My Dad was a big fan of the Salvation Army. When I made a brief comment that I would love for you to drop a nickel...a dime...or whatever you could in the red buckets this holiday season in honor of my Dad - you did more than come through. It warms my heart when you take the time to tell me you made a drop in the bucket. But some of you have gone one step further. Like my friend, Ashley. With her permission, I am sharing her email to me:
I'm about to step into the Thanksgiving fray, but I thought of you and your dad this morning and wanted to send you a note. I was so excited to see the Salvation Army guy with his bell and red bucket this morning outside my grocery store!
You wrote beautifully about your dad - and his appreciation for the Salvation Army after that amazing story of how they got him home for the holidays. My great grandfather, Harry Nolan, served in World War I on the front lines. He said that the team from the Salvation Army would crawl through gunfire to bring the troops hot coffee and donuts. He remembered the coffee as the best cup he ever had - and always reminded the family to be generous to the Salvation Army, because where other organizations claimed to help - the Salvation Army REALLY did help. Harry died before I was born, but - I know of his legend through the stories my Grammie and my mom tell - and, each year, when the bucket and bell appear, I always drop some cash in, and have a cup of coffee with Harry.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. (((BIG HUGS))) and much love from CA,
Thank you. Not just for the money - the literal drop in the red bucket. But for taking the time to write to me (I have read and wiped tears away reading each and every one of your emails). For taking the time to think of me and to pray for our family. And for taking the time to pick out, purchase and mail a card to my home. I will likely never be able to respond to each of you as I intended. It's too overwhelming to think about how long that might take me. But you must know...what might seem like a simple "drop in the bucket" as you take a minute or two to reach out to me...is an investment I can never repay.