It started off with this simple sentence….one that really impacted me…made me sad…started me thinking. On December, 17, 2012…it was a Monday…Ms. B described to me in her own words…what Christmas would be like for her and the other five people living in a very small space. Four adults and two young children…one with developmental disabilities-along with seizures and also is blind in both eyes…well Ms. B said to me in reference to Tuesday, December 25…”It will be just another Tuesday for us.”
As I left their home…walking the path with my dear friend Posha….I tried to wrap my head around the fact that they would not be celebrating Christmas….and although I would imagine the adults in this home had made sacrifices and understood that buying gifts…and having any sort of Christmas dinner was just not manageable this year…what I could not process was how the five-year old (presenting with typical skills)…how would he understand that Santa forgot him…..he attends kindergarten….so he was sure to have heard the holidays were approaching…I’m sure they had a holiday party at school…and I’m sure the kids were talking about what they wanted for Christmas…it’s one of the most exciting times of the year for so many children…..so for that reason I could not get the “B” family off my mind…especially their five-year old “D”.
On Tuesday, December 18, 2012…I posted this on my FB page:
Ok friends and family….I have a favor… For those who can help. One of my families is actually not celebrating Christmas this year. When I asked the very very young mom ” what does your five-year old want for Christmas?” She looked at me with such sadness in her eyes and said “I don’t know. It will just be Tuesday here for us”. They are a very poor family. And this young mom advocates so well …for her very disabled child. I see this child for therapy. They do not have a tree up or any decorations. The daddy works very hard. But times are more than though for them. I’m dropping off donations of gifts and maybe some food as well on Sunday. All I can think about is the five-year old. What would he think Christmas morning? How would he understand that Santa forgot him? He just breaks my heart. And to really see it first hand. And to feel this young moms disappointment just got to me. They have a 5yr old son who is perfectly able and healthy and a 12 month old child who has developmental delays, is blind and has a seizure disorder.
The 5-year-old brother does not have developmental concerns. That’s why I was so saddened. How would this five-year old understand that Santa forgot him? Heartbreaking. Anyone wishing to help. Please let me know. Kim
To say the least…this really went viral in a way…viral on Long Island…and then across the US…touching CA….Florida…and so many other states…I was more than overwhelmed….I could not believe how many people were giving…and how many people “needed to give”….given the horrific sadness suffered in Newtown, CT….people needed to give.
In one of my blog posts I commented: I don’t know about you guys…but I needed this…the Sandy Hook tragedy is so awful and unimagineable..to now help this family enjoy Christmas together….and I can not even imagine the five-year old’s face when he sees that he was not forgotten by Santa.
Sandy Hook impacted all of us….as mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and grandparents…we felt (and still feel) their pain….we can try hard to think about how we can help…pray for them of course…but I believe many people wanted to do more and did do and are doing more still now. So giving to the “B” family for me and so many others…helped in the healing process.
You of course can read on my blog…as I gave a daily account about the gifts that were given…where they were from…and the many connections I was making with people all over the United States of America…a very special thank you of course to my friend Rachel…she shared my story on her FB page…and she literally had her dining room full of gifts…and the gifts were all wrapped with such care…tags on them indicating who was to receive…as there were gifts for mom, dad, the grandmother, the uncle and the two sons….a true Christmas miracle for the whole family. I spent the week before Christmas with my regular responsibilities on pause….collecting gifts and donations…picking up a tree, ornaments, decorations and a wreath (donated by Reliable garden and Fence in Middle Island)….and the Saturday before Christmas…my Katie and I drove all over Suffolk County collecting gifts. It was an amazing experience….and to feel the connection between so many people….
But what I never knew (until after the gifts were given)…was that a handful of the gifts were given to me by Jack Pinto’s grandparents…..you can picture his beautiful face in the paper…and saddened to tears about his horrible death in Newtown, CT. Even Victor Cruz..a football player Jack idolized….even Victor…a major league football player…he had Jack’s name written on his cleats. Sandy Hook…Newtown…the families…and the children…they touched all of us.
So…when Jack’s grandparents found out about my Christmas miracle…they wanted to “give”…and they gave Jack’s gifts..thinking about that makes my eyes well up….giving helps with healing is what I keep thinking….giving helps with healing. Jack’s grandparents wondered on Christmas day if little “D” was enjoying his gifts…most especially a remote-controlled helicopter…and when I told the “B” family about Jack…and specific to the remote helicopter…the mama…well she pointed to a shelf up high…and said: “that’s one of his favorite gifts…he has me keep it up there to keep it safe.”….
Hard to believe…that in such a tragedy…happiness was also given to another family so desperately in need….hard to believe that there was a connection between my little “B” family…and the Pinto family.
Giving helps healing…
It really was NOT “just Tuesday”…it was a Christmas Miracle.