Tom spent this past Thursday evening in the emergency room. He was fine, but a friend of his fell on some steps leaving their office building and landed headfirst- Tom said it sounded like a bowling ball hitting the concrete. The miracle of it all is the friend suffered no damage - they ran all kinds of tests and he passed with flying colors.
That night, Tom came home laden with gifts from this friend and his wife - Christmas gifts they just hadn't given him yet...a case of Shiner (the assorted pack), a 'half-yard of ale' flask, and a very generous gift card to Truluck's for both of us. The note inside mentioned how much they appreciated all that Tom does for them..."if anyone thinks there is no such thing as angels on the earth, they just haven't met anyone like y'all." They go on to thank me for being so willing to share my hubby with them.
Tom has helped them with a few things - working on cars, helping build a TV room in their new house - but the fact is, this couple has helped US numerous times! They (and sometimes their two daughters) spent numerous hours over here, sanding stripped cedar trees to be used as posts, putting together our kitchen cabinets, helping with flooring, and summer before last, helping with the downstairs back patio. I can honestly say we couldn't have built this house without their help. On top of it all, Tom's friend has a degenerative neuro-muscular disease, so activities we take for granted are getting more and more difficult for him. Like walking. Yet, Tom says he never complains. As Tom puts it, "he just sits and listens to me complain."
And the other fact is, Tom loves helping people. There have been times in our marriage when this kind of got on my nerves...times when there were things he needed to do for US, but instead, he was off helping someone else. It's tough being married to a saint sometimes!
Over time, though, I've come to realize how much this means to him. It makes him happy - the more he can do for someone else that really needs help, the happier he is! I love him, I want him to be happy, so it doesn't bother me anymore. Besides, he has always managed to take care of what we needed, too, plus some (I'm sure we don't show our appreciation as much as other people do!) And the times we've needed help ourselves, it was easy to find...everyone wants to repay him!
Honestly, I haven't really done anything to deserve the kudos this couple expressed - all I did was 'let' him help them (not that he would ask my permission!) But I admit this gift card is truly a timely blessing for me. With the recent shift in the economy, looming bills, and mounting debt in front of us, it was quickly becoming clear we couldn't afford to do much of anything special or different to mark my upcoming 50th birthday. Since my 40th kind of came and went quietly, I was hoping for something a little more memorable...for me, this gift card is a little ray of sunshine...an assurance of a memorable celebration to help me into the next half-century. (And for Tom, I'm sure it's a relief!)