I have joined a fantastic group of ladies, who are involved in a weekly blog project. Every Thursday, we will dazzle you with our insight on various topics. And each week, we take turns coming up with the idea for the blog topic. Please check out their blogs as well, listed under my Blogroll section. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Mom Of Many (Susanna): One Mom’s perspective on life, raising kids, knitting and other unrelated topics.
This week, Melissa’s choice was: What is something you did that changed someone else’s life?
I truly believe that we change people’s lives in small and subtle ways, just by being in their world. We sometimes don’t realize how until we are no longer in a relationship with that person. Afterwards, we often reflect on what that person brought to the table, or vice versa. Whether it’s positive, or negative, or a little of both.
The first memory that popped into my head, and still fills me with love, is the year my sister Carrie and I made the choice to share, and to give.
It was Easter, and we had the typical scenario that we’d experienced since we could remember: large, overflowing Easter baskets filled with candies, chocolates, games, clothes, etc. An egg hunt (this year, money was found in the plastic ovals!). A delicious dinner, good company. My grandparents always hosted the party, and even though I was 14, I still participated. Carrie was 11, just getting to the age where she was outgrowing the experience.
While searching for eggs, we noticed our neighbors, peering through the chain link fence. The boy was Carrie’s age, his sister much younger, still a preschooler. I’d done some babysitting in the past for the both of them, and felt sadness as I noticed no festivities going on in their backyard. I nudged Carrie, and we walked over to chat with our neighbors. We discovered that there was no special day set in place at their house, no baskets, no eggs.
My sister and I knew all too well what it was like to go without. We’d had that off an on in our childhood, and even at 14 and 11, we could identify and relate. If not for our grandparents, would we be having Easter?
She and I thought up a plan. Quickly, we scooped up empty plastic eggs, candies, money, etc. We stripped our baskets bare, and started to fill up the eggs with the goodies. My family watched, perplexed, but no one said anything. They let us do our thing, and we walked over to the neighbor’s yard, and went to the back. I told the kids to go back inside and count to 100, to allow Carrie and I time to hide the eggs and goodies. We planted them inside bushes, up high on trees. We hid them wherever we could, and the kids came running out, eager to start the hunt.
It was so much fun, watching them! I felt very grown up, and knew what it must feel like to be a parent, watching her children play. It felt really, really good. Around the age of 14 is when I started to understand fully what compassion was about. Their mother came out at some point, tears in her eyes. She was a single parent, and unable to afford something like this. She gave us both hugs, and thanked us for helping her out.
It was such a simple gesture on our part, but one that spoke volumes to all of us involved. I’m not sure how much this changed anyone’s life, but I know it certainly changed Easter for all of us, in 1992.