It would be easy to simply say she is my neighbor- because she is. But it's not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Anne. Friend, is what comes to mind- a true friend who has been there for me and my family, in more ways than I could possibly articulate.
About a week before Christmas, Rick received a phone call from the store manager, Mindy, at the Moorhead Burger King. He would only share with me the conversation revolved around a "surprise," and going to Burger King for dinner one night.
But then my mom was hospitalized, and the time we arranged didn't work.
So after making sure mom was in good hands, we decided to have breakfast at Burger King, with Mindy and Anne, who have worked together for 30+ years!
We walked inside and were greeted with a showering of snowman literally covering every surface of the walls! They were so cute.
Then we saw this:
We all ordered our complimentary breakfast, thinking the gift of a free and yummy meal, was pretty spectacular in itself.
Next, I think our pretty shocked and speechless family was led over to a table covered in presents!
The story slowly unravels. It seems everyone had a little part in it. The idea stemmed from the new owners of Burger King, and so our local stores, decided to do"Project Snowman" for the first time. They had a process for people to nominate families. So Anne submitted our name, but had no part in picking the family. To her delight and surprise, they picked us!
So Mindy with the help of Anne got busy planning. They had a huge part in asking the boys and Rick some of the things we might need or like as a family. And boy, did Mindy and Anne deliver!
How about athletic wear, from our favorite sports teams? Hoodies, for the boys and Rick, and a zip up coat for me! There was a knee hockey net and sticks for the boys. And a whole set of Viva La Juicy for me. That alone planted huge smiles on our faces!
In addition were gift cards to the grocery store, to my favorite nail salon in the summer for my toes (Anne and I go together in the summer), for fishing gear for Rick, etc.
They thought of everything! Everything was both useful to us, and a real treat to have.
I can only imagine the amount of time Mindy and Anne invested in making all of this go so smoothly, and be such a huge success!
And the part where not a dry eye existed? Cause you know there has to be tears when things of this magnitude happen…
When I opened the beautiful angel. And guess who requested an angel- for his mom?
The sweet boy, Colton. As, I looked up through my misty eyes, to see his big eyes swimming in tears. Through a choked voice he says, "because we always get an angel for mom at Christmas."
He remembers. That boy. My heart.
Each of the boys also received an angel ornament with "mom" written on it too.
Burger King- you stole our hearts! Project snowman was a huge success! Mindy and Anne, and all who donated, have such compassionate and generous hearts. We're so touched and honored to have been nominated and chosen to be the recipients of such a gift!!
As our family sat watching a movie late Christmas Eve, I asked Colton his thoughts on Christmas so far.
"Well, I do miss Grandma not coming here."
Then the rest of what he said I sent out in a text, to Anne.
"So far?" Colton Said.
"Best Christmas Ever."
“The word I think of is precarious. I am struck by how precarious it all is. How the things that hold us are only as strong as the faith we have in them.”
― David Levithan, The Realm of Possibility
― David Levithan, The Realm of Possibility
We cling to these very blessings, those uplifting and gratitude- filled moments- throughout the holiday season. They tend to buoy us as life continues its rocky, "precarious," course for our family.
Mom spent another night in the ER needing to have more fluid drained again. This time, her niece, my cousin Pam took her.
Because at our house? Our superman, has come down with Shingles.
Yes- he is truly miserable. But he has been to the clinic 3 times, and the ER once, thanks to our friends when they were all in Roseau for hockey. Rick has all the meds on board now. He is resting, sleeping long hours, and letting many of us take over for him.
So I'm clinging to my word- whispering it over and over again- "I believe, I believe."
~All shall be well~ I believe.