Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Overwhelmed by the Kindness of Community

I have been reflecting on the idea of Place and Home as I prepare to make a trip back to the United States to visit my family for two months. This post is part of a series of my thoughts on what it means to be part of a family, a community, a home...

A week before my birthday, my sister called to inform me that she and my brother had been accepting donations to help Mo and I make a trip back to the States. Dad's health was rapidly deteriorating and I wanted more than anything to spend time with him...to have him spend time with his grandchildren...But financially it was not something Mo and I could do on our own. Not only did we have the plane tickets to purchase, but also Song's documents (U.S. and JA) to procure. We hoped we could save enough to come for a week or two over Christmas but maybe that would be too late...

I began sobbing over the phone when my sister told me how many people donated and how much they had collected. Many of the people I met only once or never met at all. I was (and still am) moved that so many would feel compelled to help me and my family. On my birthday, my sister and brother told my parents about what they had been planning and presented them with all of the cards and letters they had received. My parents were overwhelmed by the generosity. They could not believe the outpouring of love and support. My mom cried into the phone as she read me some of the beautiful words written in the cards. When my dad got on the phone, his voice cracked with emotion. Later that week, he began an intensive chemotherapy treatment as part of his palliative care. The thought of being able to see us soon kept him going through the difficult weeks of treatment.

In a recent phone call with Poppo, he talked excitedly about our upcoming visit. It brought me so much joy to hear him so uplifted. It was the best I had heard him sound in months. I realized that this will be one of the most important trips I ever make...

To be an active participant in community is very important to me...to make connections, support those who are around me, pull together and uplift...I have always done my best to do these things. Over the past few years, as Mo and I have struggled with unemployment and other setbacks, we have received so much from our families and communities. I have been humbled time and again by the love and support that surrounds us. I look forward to the time when Mo and I can return the many favors and pay it forward.

As the global economic crises continues and people rally for change in all parts of society, I see a paradigm shift happening. People are returning to real values in real ways...not just bantering political jargon...but actually doing things that align with the rhetoric. People are coming out of their homes and reaching out towards each other. I believe there is a new world order emerging with Community at its heart...and this couldn't excite me more...

If any of you who donated are reading this now, please know that my heart is full of thanks. When I reach the States, I will be contacting each of you personally. What you have done for my family is the most wonderful blessing! I cannot even begin to express my deep, deep gratitude for your generosity. The money that was left over after purchasing our travel documents has been put towards my father's medical expenses.

1 comment:

Renee said...

You write so beautifully. I'm sobbing while reading this. I am so glad things worked out for you all to come "home" for a bit. We received a beautiful thank you note from your parents. You are all so special to us. Love you all and travel safely.
your cousins...earl, renee, krista, and bryce