Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Is Really Important This Time Of Year

During the Christmas Holidays so many people are bustling around buying gifts, cooking meals, it's a time where most people spend the joyous season with family and friends that they haven't seen in a year, or maybe just saw last week. Rarely do you find those who don't spend the holiday surrounded in the bosom of family and friends. But I know of a few populations of people who have a difficult time during this time of year. Often the severely mentally ill have no family to spend the holidays with and also I see this with the developmentally delayed population I work with several days a week.



I was having a group session at the ICF/MR where I have clients, you might remember the grasshopper story, and the topic was how to cope with the holidays. Some of the women discussed how they feel bad for those who don't have family to spend time with and think those people would feel sad. Suddenly one of the women started crying and said "I wish I could be with my family". Immediately the other four women set aside their excitement about going home and spending time with family to give attention to this group member who was sobbing and heart broken. One started patting her on the back and saying "I love you" and the others soon cooed in with sincere statements of "I love you too" and "I care about you". In just a matter of minutes the woman who had been crying was smiling and wiping her tears. She thanked the other group members and told them she appreciated them caring about her. I sat there rather amazed how quickly they tuned in on the woman's feelings of pain and despair and wanted to make sure she was not alone and that there were people who love her and care about her, even if her family hasn't come for years to see her, they were there for her.

I sometimes just wonder if this residential community I go to several days a week isn't some type of self check that God makes sure I get, letting me know that every little small thing matters. It never ceases to amaze me at the love and support the residents can share with one another. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a Utopia by a long shot. They have their times of bickering and behaviors but it just always seems that when one of them starts hurting there are those that flock to that person soothing their hurt feelings with words of encouragement and love.

I generally feel we live in a wondrous world that is full of blessings but sometimes feel as a society we get lost in the self absorbed issues we feel are problems and get to feeling sorry for ourselves about stuff that doesn't really matter. As I watched the comforting going on of this group of women who will never have the opportunities in life that most of us are afforded I realized that to them just being able to offer words of encouragement and a loving pat on the back or a tender hug was worth more than all the gold in the world. Shouldn't we all be so lucky to know what is really important this time of year...the giving of ourselves to others!

5 comments:

  1. You are an incredible woman Shirley! I love your insight to life.

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  2. My thoughts exactly! So many of us are so blessed and yet take things for granted. We should all realize what is important 365 days a year and not just during the holidays. We should give of ourselves to those less fortunate. It doesn't have to be gifts or money, the biggest gift you can give is your time to help someone out or just be there for them in happy times and sad times.


    Okie - I appreciate all you do for our crafting world, but more importantly I appreciate what you do that helps others that are less fortunate. I know that these women and your other clients are certainly blessed to have you in their lives.

    Merry Christmas to you and your Daughter.


    Marilyn C.
    Marilyn C.

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  3. I love following your blog and reading and seeing all seeing the wonderful things you create! This post is very inspiring and was just a pleasure to read, it created a real visual in my head to connect to what really is important! thanks for such a great blog Okie - I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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  4. I really like when you do your from the heart type posts. I wish you lived near me, I know we'd be great friends :)

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