Two years ago today I left to get Josh! That thought kind of has me in "memory lane" mode today. And as I was sitting in the car today dropping off Will at preschool I will filled with another memory. A memory of a little boy. R.
As I sat at Southside Elementary working with R, I could tell that it was going to be like pulling teeth that day to get him to practice his numbers. R was in a special program for kids that just needed more help..and I was his helper for an hour a week.
So instead of asking about numbers, letters, reading etc....I said, "So what do you think Santa will bring you for Christmas this year?" And he looked at me....kind of made a "what you talkin' bout Willis?" Face and said, "Mrs. Renee...there ain't no Santa Boy!" It was said with proclamation....not as a question. He was sure as shootin that there was no such thing as Santa Clause.
Well anyone who knows me knows that I am now seriously fighting the tears. He was 6? And had no doubt AT ALL in his little mind that Santa was a farce! Aghhhh...
And so we went on to talk and I explained to him that from what I know...Santa only brings gifts to people who believe. "You have to Believe to Receive"! He thought my rhyme was funny...but it also changed the look in his eyes a bit. Hmmmmm??? They seemed to say.
And so I asked him, "If there was a Santa Boy....and he was to bring you a gift...what would you want him to bring you?" R didn't hesitate for a second...he said, A remote control truck...a huge one...that I can drive on the street!
And so it was.....R was living in a homeless shelter at that time with his little brother D and his grandmother. The house was full of people...no other children however. The slept together on the floor and ate at a local church for one meal a day. R was able to eat lunch at school. D...well...we were not sure how he ate.
That very day after school the kids and I rushed to Walmart and found the biggest truck we could get our hands on and swooped it up. Others were also donating to the cause at this point. So we took our gift to the place where they were being held.
And with that...school was out and the holidays proceeded!
About 2 weeks later...I am back at school with R. Working on writing his name. He was with me this day. Working hard, trying more than usual. And at some point he stopped working, put his pencil down and looked at me with this coy smile. He said, "Well....ain't ya gonna ask me about it?" Me, "About what?" R, "Santa....ask me if he is real?"
And so I did - and the answer was a resounding yes! He told me of all the presents he had received and how D got presents too. And that Santa really does hear you because he got a Remote control truck just like he wanted...but his Grandma said he could only drive it on the sidewalk!
My time with these children increased and most of you know that story. This little man touched me...and so many others. And while we were able to do great things for him, he is still poor, he is still less fortunate.
Many days I get so focused on the "do" of my life. Basketball, cubscouts, school plays, homework, birthday parties, holiday shopping...etc. etc. That I forget to remember how fortunate we are. And at that same time I forget to keep close to me the plight of many people that are struggling every day. They struggle through the Holiday season and through the years with no end in sight.
I know that I my responsibility in this world right now lies here at home. But I want to continue to remember, to help where I can.....and in time...I will dedicate my work to helping people like R and D. To making their world a better place. I don't know how or when. But I will continue to remember and one day that path will be apparent to me! :)
So today I basque in the glory of my own blessings. And at the same time I remember that what we have is a gift! A gift this is not had by all. Keep these less fortunate families in your hearts, minds and prayers this holiday season!!! :)