Today was the best day, one I have been looking forward to for a week. A day that makes one realize that there are truly wonderful people in this world among all of the crappy ones we seem to encounter on a more regular basis. A day that actually put me, the Bah humbug atheist, in the Xmas Spirit.
It was also a day that made me appreciate the internet and friends that we make online. Since the beginning of the internet (I was online very early and have always been involved in message boards and forums since before they crawled on land) I have made friends online. Long lasting relationships formed based on our common interests.
So it was only natural that when I became a mom I would seek out like minded mommies. I found moms with babies born around the same time as my first son. I joined their already tight knit group (I was very nervous to introduce myself, they had known each other since they found out they were pregnant in many cases) and soon found many friends and a way to spend the hours while I NAKed (nursed at keyboard).
Among those friends I ended up making an IRL friend from that board. Without taking up a lot of your time I will say that I sought her out when I saw she lived 5 minutes from me. I didn’t really have any IRL friends in the town I lived in. I was still fairly new to the area. Truthfully, I needed a real person to talk to besides my young son and husband.
We hit it off. Our babies “grew up” together and loved each other. Then things went downhill in her life. She found out she was expecting, unexpectedly. Then she was laid off from her teaching job. Then the snowball grew larger as her relationship ended and she learned the man in her life was about the douchiest douche on the planet. If I could convey to you how douchey he was you wouldn’t even believe me. It is almost impossible to be as douchey as he is. But trust me. He is scum.
Due to these things she had to move back home with her parents. It was a sad day. Our babies were going to be separated and we would only be phone friends. Also I had recently found out I was pregnant and was sad she would be missing all the fun times.
She moved home, her parents suck, and she couldn’t find a job that would even cover daycare costs. (I am so thankful to be home with my kids, the cost of daycare is astonishing). Then her unemployment ran out. RIGHT BEFORE XMAS. She had no money to her name. And since life has a way of dumping a million things on people at once, she couldn’t even qualify for welfare. Did I mention the dad has contributed close to nothing?
How could so many bad things happen to one person? A person who has been a single mommy doing her best to take care of her two babies, and who gave up a life in one state to make sure her children had a home and food.
Here is where internet friends come in. Our message board, after the initial idea came about through one of the members, began a covert operation to gather funds for our friend. Many of the members weren’t in a much better position than our friend, but everyone who could spare something did. Or were contributing in spirit.
In days we had an astounding sum… $1,000. Even around Christmas, when funds are tight, people gave. I think we all knew we would want the same if we had been shit on like life was shitting on our friend.
Today our friend checked her mail. She received a card, opened it, found a cashiers check for 1,000 and sat in stunned silence for a full five minutes. She wasn’t expecting it, she certainly never asked for it, but it was greatly appreciated.
In the meantime we were all waiting, tracking, and stalking Facebook to see when the card arrived.
All of these moms are different. Some are crunchy, some are traditional, some are a little of both. They are from all over the country, and some are in other countries. One mommy was staying up late in her neck of the woods just to see our gift get to her.
When you don’t know how you will feed your kids or put gas in your car, even the smallest gift is helpful. I know she is happy to receive it but I think everyone involved was happier to give it.
I only wish we had a magic wand that could repair her situation because she deserves a break. 2011 has to be the year for her.
I am just grateful to be a part of this group of ladies. I have met many in person on my travels, but even the ones I haven’t, I feel like I know them. Maybe that is why blogging doesn’t seem so strange to me. I am happy to invite others into my life to an extent. And I enjoy following others on their journeys.
And if you don’t believe in the good people on the internet, I recently learned about another operation spurred on by The Bloggess that turned into a gigantic giving spree.
Today was a great day that renewed my faith in the giving spirit. I know many involved believe this was the work of a higher power….. I believe it was the work of caring women.