Roller Skates and Christmas Trees

November 16, 2012

It is Friday, the Friday before Thanksgiving and I am truly concerned that I do not believe I have experienced this past week, this past month, this past year. I think some alien life form has sucked me in and just throws calendar pages at me in fits of madness. Doug and I have a running commentary-it’s not a joke, it’s just always Thursday. Always. Not like much really transpires in between, but yes it does, lots of life… It just blurs with speed.

Right now, FLOC is very immersed in our Christmas for Kids program. There are so many families out there in our Dayton community who need joy, who need support, who need to know someone cares. I’m going to tell you a story about a dear family we were lucky enough to help last year.

One of our board members worked in a bar over the holidays last year. On one of his afternoon shifts, a young lady came in and sat quietly at the bar, lowered her face and started crying into her hands. JD, the barkeep and board member gently asked her what was so difficult in her day? Could he help? The woman explained that she was a hospice worker and that she had just left the saddest bedside she had ever experienced. There was a very young mother who had been given two to three months to live. The hospice care nurse described a very bright, vibrant woman who had her three young children climbing all over her hospital bed in a little room, filled with the sounds of laughter, love and the steady drip of an IV. The young mother had a dying wish- she wanted to give her daughter a birthday party at Skate World, but she had no means by which to do this. JD said, wait, I think we can get that covered. JD called Skate World in Vandalia, who donated the entire skating experience- from skates to food to fun. FLOC had a cake donated by Ashley’s Bakery in Oakwood with this young lady’s favorite band on it (it wasn’t the Beatles, so I was unaware). We had a pile of gifts for the birthday girl. Her mom came in, wheeled by a loved one, her smile bright, the colorful scarf on her head matched by the dancing joy in her eyes. The birthday party was a great success.

A week later, JD came to her home to find her covered and comforted by little children wrapped up in blankets on her bed. He also had a mile high pile of gifts, which he carted, back and forth from a car brimming with Christmas. When he was done, he asked the young mother where her tree was. At this point, she was crying through a radiant smile; she said, my, I don’t have a tree- but I DO have Christmas. Of course, JD made one last trip to his car and shook out the fully decorated, tinsel riddled, star shining tree and put it up in the midst of the children’s wonder. They all cried.

That is the stuff of which FLOC thrives on. You, our dear generous community, you paid for the birthday presents, your donations made that Christmas miracle happen; that’s what we can do, because of your kindness and giving spirit. So now we’re working on Christmas for Kids 2012. The beauty of the holiday, the meaning of the moment- it’s something we cherish- and it’s something we live through the lives we’re fortunate to touch at this special time, and throughout the year. Look for barrels located throughout our community– all toys and gifts donated will provide holiday magic to a family who so desperately needs just that.

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