Life can be a bear, but friends make it bearable, amirite? I’ve had an unbelievably challenging year, but check out what a pal and her grown daughter did to bring me cheer.
Sandy texted the day after Thanksgiving and asked if I was around, said she had something to drop off for me. How sweet! An INFP at the end of a holiday week, I felt slightly anti-social, but I hadn’t seen her in months and was delighted for a chance to see her face, in person. I’d been bundling up for a much-needed walk in the sunshine when she texted, so while I waited I paced the sidewalk between my home and the next block, eager to soak up a smidge of warmth. When her SUV rounded the corner, I hustled back to my house for a brief visit on the driveway. I half-expected the typical friend-gift of pumpkin bread and a holiday card, but was I in for a surprise.
“It’s usually just a family thing,” she said, “but this year Brooke and I decided to make two Advent boxes—one for my niece who’s away at college, and one for a friend who really, really needs it. And, well, you’ve had a real shit year!” With a MINOCA heart attack in April (my fourth), my elderly mother’s compounding health challenges, and my husband’s cancer diagnosis in June followed by aggressive treatments through summer and fall, I was the lucky winner! 😂 In stunned silence I watched as she opened her trunk to reveal a large, red-plaid box stuffed with shiny, wrapped packages—25 gifts—one to open each day of December leading up to Christmas Day.
Can you believe that?
Touched to my core I immediately thought of three other people who deserved it more than I, but I decided in that moment to make myself open to receive the kindness she intended for me. I believe they say it’s better to give than to receive because it’s so gol-durned humbling to receive generosity, with grace.
Life can be rough, and work isn’t reliably fulfilling, but the angel Clarence was right when he told George that “no (one) is a failure who has friends.” I am wildly successful and incredibly grateful for the angels in my life, friends who help take the sting out of “a real shit year.” It is a wonderful life.