11.24.2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts

This is my friend Cheryl. Sorry about the sizing of the pix's, took them off her Facebook page. Cheryl and her husband Dan, have been dealers at Country Roads for some time now. On Sunday, I had to say good-bye to Cheryl with hopes of seeing her and Dan soon. Here's their story in a condensed version. Cheryl & Dan are about my age, with Dan being a bit older. They had a house, have grown kids, a couple of grandkids, one being autistic, and Dan was self-employed. And with the economy the way it was/is, he couldn't afford their health insurance, so he let it go. He had no other choice. Dan is diabetic and hasn't taken the best of care for himself. These past four months he has been seriously ill, and a recent surgery just pushed everything over the top for him and Cheryl. They sold their house, and in this housing market here in SoCal, didn't get much but she was thankful they got "something". After the house sold, Cheryl moved in with a friend while Dan was still in the hospital. Now, she has learned that Dan will be in a medical care facility here for some time. There seems to be some major medical "mistakes" that have happened to him. Meanwhile, Cheryl is driving to Arizona to live with daughter. She told me she didn't even know if her car would make it there! They have to leave Dan, but her and her two grown kids will take turns coming out here to be with him. She said this whole ordeal is surreal! I hadn't seen Cheryl for awhile, and she had come into Country Roads this past Sunday and was telling me the latest in this path in life they've been placed on. I could hear, see, and feel her hopelessness. It broke my heart. She had a few things left at the store she had marked down to 75% and had told me just to donate what was left to charity. If you remember a post I wrote when Rachel Ashwell had been at the store for a book signing a week or so ago, I had a customer want more than 50% off of a $32 item in Cheryl's space. I briefly tried to explain to this woman why there were no further discounts, mentioning what Cheryl was going through and "why" her and Dan needed the money. The woman just looked at me and said, "we all need the money". I'm still in amazement over that comment, actually disturbed at the selfishness of it. And if the store hadn't been so crowded, I may have slapped her! Before Cheryl finished saying her good-byes to me, she was telling me how much she had wanted to come to Rachel's book signing and was sorry she missed it. I told her to hang on a minute, and I got a chair and climbed up on a shelf behind the counter where we have some signed copies of Rachel's books for sale. I grabbed one and gave it to Cheryl telling her that I wanted her to have this. I reminded her that Rachel wrote this book when she was at a point in her life that she was struggling with some issues of her own. I saw Cheryl's eyes fill with tears, her bottom lip start to quiver and everything in me wanted to throw my arms around her and give her a big hug. But I knew in my heart that would cause us both to cry uncontrollably. So instead, I mustered up a big smile, and told her to stay in touch, got her new email address, and watched her walk away. I prayed her car would take her safely to Arizona. The reason for this story? It is the little things in life that can make a difference in peoples lives. It's Thanksgiving, and please remember it's not about all the food on the table, it's about the people "around" that table. Help when you can, it doesn't have to be a lot, but just let someone know you care and please, remember always to be "thankful" for what you have!

8 comments:

Maureen said...

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank you for sharing. Sometimes we need to hear things like this to put life in perspective. My thoughts and prayers are with Cheryl and her family. Blessings to you and your family.

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Hi Sue, I just sent you an email, but forgot to let you know who exactly it was. This post just is so hard to read. God be with her and her family. She and her husband are in my prayers.
Debra

Moonlight Hollow Musings said...

Oh, girlfriend,you just don't know how much I needed to read this wonderful post today! I have been in a "feel sorry for myself" mood today...poor me! You just made me realize that in spite of all Lurch's medical issues, we still have each other and get to be together every day! Thank you so much and I will be praying for Cheryl and Dan!

Malisa

SHABBY~VINTAGE~BLISS said...

I WILL SAY A PRAYER FOR CHERYL AND HER HUSBAND. IT IS ALL TOO FIRMILIAR, REMINDS ME OF MY PARENTS IN BIG BEAR, TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR SO MANY PEOPLE RIGHT NOW. I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT LADY SAID THAT ABOUT EVERYONE NEEDS THE MONEY RIGHT NOW...HMM. I HOPE SHE MADE IT OK TO AZ. WHT A TIME OF YEAR TO GO THROUGH ALL OF THAT. WISH THERE WAS SOMETHING I COULD HAVE DONE BEFORE SHE LEFT. I WONDER IF CATHOLIC CHARITIES OR SOMEONE CAN PICK UP HER HUSBANDS MEDICAL BILLS... SOMETHING, ANYTHING TO HELP. GOD SPEED AND PRAYERS FOR HER. HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR THANKSGIVING WITH YOUR FAMILY, I KNOW I AM EVER GREATFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE, EVEN IF IT ISN'T MUCH!!- HEATHER

Tanza said...

Hi Sue,
What a very sad story .. I hate hearing this kind of news about people we love .. It's happening so much more in this economy .. when it touches those we love, and care about so much, it makes it all the more real .. I wish her and her family peace, and some sort of happiness in the near future .. TERRIBLE !!
Blessings for a beautiful Thanksgiving to you and your family ~
hugs ~tanza~

Sue said...

Thank you for everyone's kind words. If we've learned anything out of this "mess" our country is in right now, it's "hope", its "faith" and friendship. I think that is one thing the blogging world is really great for. Cheryl and Dan will be okay, since they have all of you praying for them. My heartfelt thanks to you all!!

trash talk said...

Add my name to the list of those who are saying thank you for this post and the reminder. My heart is breaking for this family. I am thankful for what we have, be it ever so humble. I wish there was something I could do and if you think of something, please, don't hesitate to suggest it to me. Bella has received so much kindness from strangers, that I want to pay back some of that kindness. Prayers will be lifted up for Cheryl, I promise you that.
Debbie

Jacque said...

Even with the difficulties your friends are facing they, through you sharing their story, are able to touch lives in a positive way. May they face less challenges tomorrow~ Thankful for it all ~Jacque