I have a dear friend I have known since I was 5 years old. That in itself has been such a gift to me, 4 plus decades of friendship. She was always a leader, even when we were little kids, always a great student, and an all around good kid. And she has become this incredible adult that is doing amazing things in so many communities as a social worker-for children, for those with severe illnesses, and so many more.
Her latest, most important work of service and of her heart was as she cared for her terminally ill mother. My friend was careful, kind, loving, gentle, and managed to keep her families characteristic humor intact as she posted about their struggles, hopes, fears, and happy moments, even in this.
She leads by her example. It makes me want to be a better daughter to my mother while I still have the opportunity to do so. My mother and I don't always see eye to eye. She has had issues with severe health problems, depression, and other things since I was a small child. Somewhere along the way, it ended up contributing to me being a bit head strong, which can be difficult when both parties in a relationship share the same traits.
But my friend's example causes me to pause, to really listen, and to remember. My mother's mother is gone, a grandma that I loved dearly. One way I can still actively love my grandma, is to love her daughter and help when I can. This can mean a box of doughnuts from her favorite bakery, a driver to a surgical procedure, or a pan of homemade lasagna-from my dad's recipe.
I live in the Midwest. We are currently experiencing the thrills of a polar vortex. As exciting as that sounds, it's really not. There are whole populations of people in grave danger because of the extreme cold, my elderly parents being part of one of the vulnerable groups.
So, the other day started off rather poorly in a series of unfortunate occurrences-a million inches of lake effect snow, and the street plow and sidewalk plow coming through at about the same time. This led to my husband's car being stuck at the end of our driveway.
My husband and I were feverishly trying to shovel and shove his car free-when out of the darkness emerged a real life super hero-a gentleman with a truck with a plow-said his work was closed and he was driving around helping people. He helped us free my husband's car and plowed our driveway.
I was hoping to ask him to check on my very elderly parents when I was going to pay him. He didn't want any money. I was speechless and started to sob. I hated to ask if he would check on my parents-but he asked what was wrong-and then he wrote their address down and said he would drive right over.
He said-"Oh, that's right by my school." It turns out he is the principal of the middle school by my parents house. And he did just that-drove right over and plowed out their whole driveway-so my almost 80 year old father will be able to take my mother to her doctor appointment later this week.
I have always been a huge fan of Holland Public Schools for what they do for the students--and I also want to say how grateful I am for what they do for our whole community!