I grew up poor. I had very little growing up that would have been deemed a prized possession until my sister and I reached high school and we got the original Nintendo with the sports pack. Before that we had to play with the boys upstairs that had one. My sister and I were also taught to donate what we could where we could. Just because you are poor does not mean you cannot help out another person who was less fortunate than yourself. From dropping off toys at the Marine's Toys-For-Tots collection location on Foster, to putting our pocket change in the red buckets of the Salvation Army, my family has always wanted to make Christmas special for some lucky kid out there.
Due to my mother and her desire to show us the right path to travel, I have always taken pride in my good deeds. I have done things from helping a blind man cross the street to giving a homeless soldier the only bill, which happened to be $20, from my pocket. I do not always toot my own horn when I do these types of deeds because I do not feel that I am doing anything out of the ordinary.
Many of my friends support food banks in the Chicagoland area, some donate their time serving food once a month at a soup kitchen, or some will see a person down on their luck and buy them a meal. What I find extraordinary is what my very closest friend has done for me in my time of need, and she deserve the praises I give her. She is my friend K.
K has there for me from the time I posted I was laid off. She has always been there when I needed her in the past, but never did I feel I needed it more then when I lost my job. K was maybe at her new job for 3 months when I was given my walking papers. She knew what it was like being without a job, so who better to talk to about it then her.
K calls me up to make sure I am not hanging by a support beam in my ceiling. She asks me every time I see her if I need anything, or just asks that I run errands with her because she knows I will keep her to her list with just a few things that might not be but we feel she deserves them. From trips to Costco to saving my newspapers that I turn into litter for the rabbits, K has been a savior. She has been a blessing in many disguises.
I, like K, have found that many of my friends have fallen off the face of the earth when I lost my job. Maybe it is the fact that they do not want to be asked, "Can I crash on your couch since I'm homeless?" or maybe they fear the one thing that should not be dealt with among friends, "Can I borrow a $1000 to keep me afloat until my unemployment kicks in?" Regardless of the reasons, K has been there for me. She even worries about me taking the train home from her place in Wrigleyville to my place which is just a few stops away. She is the first one to hand me a $20 to take a cab home, or offer up her couch to let me crash.
Thanks to K I have kept my sanity during the days when I feel I am at my lowest. She has been where I am right now and knows exactly what is needed to be heard, or knows exactly when I need that ever welcoming warm hug. I appreciate her for all her good deeds she has done for me and what she has shown me through all the great work she does through her church (I am agnostic and she still loves me), all the work she does with Breaking Bread, and not to mention all the other good things she has done for anyone she has seen on the streets in need.
When I decided to go back to college and pursue my bachelors, she was there to encourage me. She was the first one to tell me that I was a smart cookie, even if I didn't have a college degree. She was also the first one to tell me that I should not be ashamed of my nerdy side, especially when I knew she had one bigger than mine.
K, you and I must have been sisters in a past life due to all that we have done for each other in the small amount of time I have know you. I want to thank you for all that you have done for me and all that you will do for others that might be worse off than myself. I love you and and want to thank you from the full capacity of my heart for being there for me in both my darkest and my brightest hours.
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