Everyone looks for a happy ending. Myself included. But today, I sit here and I realize that we are celebrating a happy beginning.
I came from a solid family, we had food to eat, clothes to wear. In fact - while I was not wealthy growing up at all.....I was not poor. We had enough...and on most days - more than enough. I had no need to celebrate a "beginning" to my life on my own, because it kind of just happened. And I am sure that most of us can relate in some or all ways to this scenario. We had enough....and then we sprung forward into our own adult worlds.....got married....had children....worked....cared for our families and our friends..... The world spun us in the right direction. Our beginnings gave us what we needed to overcome hurdles and harship...And so we spend much time in our lives celebrating happy endings. The baby we wanted, the house we dreamed of, the ultimate job, the race time we strive for.....all happy endings to a well laid plan. Or....a not so well laid plan that just happened to send us down the right path!
This past week....and the week before that...I have been very much savoring all of my happy endings, and my ability to reach that ending because of the beginning that I took for granted.
And so this week we celebrate a new beginning for our family here on Amelia Island. They have been hungry, sick, without home, without a bed to sleep on or a toy to play with...without a place to call home, without clean clothes, without so many things. More withouts than "withs" in their lives to date. I swear the only thing consistent in their lives to date has been love.
And now, because of the love that was present in their eyes, and because they were willing to let us help and work hard with us to create it...... They have enough. The have a happy beginning.
Just to recap that beginning that you all gave to this family, I will list the items and services that they are now privy to because of donations and good hearts all around our awesome town. I feel that each person who has prayed for this family, and/or helped in some way, would like to see where it all lead!!!
The house is fully furnished with NICE, QUALITY, STURDY, USEFUL furniture and home accessories. Bunk Beds, solid dressers, pictures on walls, shelving, couches, tables, chairs, TV's, stands, storage items etc. etc.
The kitchen is fully stocked with dried goods, canned goods, cooking items, small appliances, and all dish and glassware. And let me tell you.....Grandma can cook!! :) And she uses it all with the most appreciation I have ever seen. Each spatula and whisk makes her smile. Measuring cups, pans etc. She is having a blast in the kitchen and the kids are eating better than mine right now!! I am just not a cook??!! ha ha
The children have bikes, helmets, books, art supplies, toys.....everything they need to have a fun day and to be excited about being home! And there are also toy boxes and storage bins for these toys and in the past few weeks I have yet to find a broken toy or missing pieces to games etc!! Amazing how when you have a place to put things...they stay nicer and available to the kids! :)
Both children and their Grandmother not only have enough clothes to last them at least a year - and longer for Grandma...she is not growing!! ha ha.....but they have been washed in their washing machine and put away in their new dressers so that they are easy to find and smelling fresh! :)
The bathroom has towel racks, towels, shower curtain and enough TP and shampoo and soap to last a decade!! :) Well..maybe not that long, but every time I go over and pick up Baby D...he smells like he just got out of the bath. He takes a bubble bath every morning and he just is so dear and smells like a fresh little sweet baby! :) It makes it even more fun to hug his cute little self!! :)
The children will Attend Step by Step preschool this summer at no cost. The most generous donation EVER and I am so proud to know the teachers and staff there!! They are AMAZING people. And the council for Aging is providing the care van (approval pending but it looks REAL GOOD) to take the kids to school each day over the summer months. The boys will be in school in the fall. Support provided by a number of areas including Florida's early start program etc. etc.
In addition, - and probably the biggest part of all of this - there are some wonderful people who will be keeping in touch with this family....making sure that all is well and that needs are met. People who will play with the kids and make sure they are learning.....just truly awesome people who have a love as deep as my own love for these children! And all of this....to assure that this beginning leads to a happy ending for them all!
I will miss this special little island...this wonderful little town. I moved here with sadness.....leaving a life that I was quite fond of, to travel far away. I knew no one, and I somehow even managed to get lost finding the school in our first week? Yeah...it was all so strange and different to me. And in no time at all, the people here made me their friend...they made this a home. And I now have to move on to the next phase of our life, but with much sadness. ON a brighter note, however, I leave here with the best memories, the hope of maybe returning, friends that have filled my heart and a sense of belonging that I could have only dreamed of! This has been the best two years and I thank you all for giving that to me and my family! Thank you Amelia Island...for EVERYTHING!!