A lady we know has fallen ill and not only has she been unable to work for a month, but is having difficulty finding a doctor who will perform the surgery she needs. She’s got an appointment scheduled for December and in the meantime is in a lot of pain. We know her through the local foods coop that we shop at; she runs the register there, packs our boxes and orders produce, and answers all the children’s questions with a smile and a giving spirit. We love her, as do the people she works with, who are preparing her meal’s daily in the coop’s cafe kitchen.
Recently the coop’s manager sent out a letter to the membership updating them as to her condition, and putting out a call for a little help for her from everyone . . . . . could be food, money, a prayer, a ride, a card, whatever. She gets paid on a daily basis, and since she’s taken all her sick leave/vacation and is now on open, unpaid sick leave, the manager was concerned as to how she would pay her bills and keep up with her living expenses until she can get back to work.
So we had a discussion about all this and the children wanted to know just how come it was taking her so long to find a doctor who would heal her? Little Man was picturing her walking up to a doctor, in pain and anguish, asking if the doctor would please help her, and just how could the doctor say no?? I wondered at this too, I mean what does it cost us to help one another out? Seems to me that one only gains by doing so. Money is so material, and comes and goes but relationships come and grow and grow instead.
As we were having our discussion, and it so happens that we can’t contribute financially, we were talking about what we could do. Make her cards, paper flowers, things to cheer her up, etc. the children began pondering what we could sell to make money that we could give her . . . . . this involved everything from their toys, to furniture, to books, to basically emptying out our house, and finally they had an idea: we could bake cookies and sell them, and give her that money! We all agreed upon this and spent a morning together baking chocolate chip, molasses, and peanut butter cookies alongside of apple pie bars, all the ingredients we already had in our well stocked pantry. It was really fun, and when done we wrapped them in up, all 4 dozen treats.
Down the mountain there is a corner store that sells gas, bbq, hot dogs, guns, bullets, beer, and other sundries. It gets a lot of traffic around here. Locals and hunters hang out in the parking lot chatting, loggers and anglers sit at the picnic table telling tall tales and then some, and the owner, Rodger, lets folks keep a tab. To his parking lot the treats went, along with Laughing Fox, Little Man, Girl, and Stormy. We’d called down to the store and asked if we could sell cookies in his parking lot, and he said, “Sure come on down.”
Tenderfoot and I stayed at home and made some cards. When they came back the treats were gone but they had $98.35!!! The treats weren’t priced, so when folks asked how much, Laughing Fox told them to give however much they wanted for however much they wanted, and told them a bit about what they were doing there. They were all so excited when they got back and filled with stories about all the new friends they’d made and the people they met, and Laughing Fox was marvelling at the experience he’d just had, all fueled and motivated by these children.
It’s amazing what magic can happen if we share and have discussions with our children, where there is space for them to contribute to the table as well, to act from that place, and to not only see but to be kindness in the world. It was an educational moment for us all here today, the day before Thanksgiving. We are thankful. Happy day to all of you out there.