** This is some pretty powerful food for thought and is a 100% true story posted by an online acquaintance of mine from Nevada:**
Every year Mike and I put together 100 gift bags for the homeless that consist of socks, hats, gloves and other goodies and pass them out the weekend after thanksgiving. This is a tradition my mom and I started years ago before I married. Then after Mike and I started doing K9 Therapy visits, we added the residents of the nursing home on our gift bag list, just with different goodies.
This year has caught us off guard. We have been so busy and overwhelmed with so much going on, that I haven’t had much time to prepare for the holidays. I am so far behind.
Some of you may remember a post I made quite a while back about a homeless lady I met while trapping feral cats downtown. Her name was Ruth, and when she had seen my friend and I getting the traps out and baiting them, she was pretty upset with us, thinking we were going to hurt the cats. After explaining to her what we were doing, and enlisted her help, she had calmed down, and at that moment, her life had changed, for the better.
That could have been the end of any contact with Ruth, but because I just had to come on here and share that story, many people on this board suggested I do something for her, a gift bag, perhaps, as a thank you. As some of you may remember, I took your suggestions one step further. My friend happened to have a casita in the back of her property, and we moved Ruth in there, for free room and board, and in return, she would help care for the ferals, on my friends property.
I have learned so much about Ruth, a wonderful beautiful lady, with a heart of gold, but as human as she is, she had made mistakes, which in turn, she had lost her husband, her daughter, and her home, she had become homeless, until that night we met.
Ruth moved into hospice 3 weeks ago. As I was visiting with her last night, just sitting, holding hands, with barely a whisper, she had told me she had a gift waiting for me at her place, but I needed to pick it up immediately, that it was something that needed attending to .
I didn’t want to leave her side, she had a way about her, that made you feel so comfortable, that everything was going to be okay.
After Mike and I left we headed straight over to her place, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. There in this small little room, a place she made home, were 100 gift bags all packed and ready to be given to the homeless. The only difference was the card she put in each bag, with a note for the recipient, explaining who she was, where she came from, she was once homeless too, and to not give up, everyone has an angel.
We passed the bags out last night, we were not even half way through, when my cell phone rang, she had passed away.
Her last words to me last night, “in the spirit of Christmas, be generous with your time, love your family, forgive, don’t give up hope”.
With that said, thank you to all who may have had a part in bringing Ruth into my life, and I echo her words...
In the spirit of Christmas, be generous with your time, love your family, forgive, and don't give up hope".
Happy Holidays to all!