Gifts Come In Unexpected Ways

Holiday Blog Tour 2012
Holiday Blog Tour 2012

Hey everyone! I’ve been sharing the news all over the internet about this awesome holiday blog tour of which I have been chosen to be a part of by Icess Rojas Fernandez. Did you catch yesterday?  You should!

Now it’s my turn, the pressure is on! Of course, when you are on a blog tour with great names like Caridad Pineiro, Julie Amante and Zoraida Cordova, it can feel as if you have to perform at your peak.

I was going to write about a personal memory of long ago, when an anonymous person gave my family a beautiful Christmas holiday. I tell my students this story every year right before my school’s annual toy drive. So yesterday, after my students left school, I stayed behind to write today’s post. It wasn’t flowing out of me. I knew what I wanted to say, it just wasn’t happening. Time flew by and I left work to go to School Board Member Marta Perez’s holiday event for the students in her district who just so happen to be my students.

Several of my 7th graders were already there waiting for the event to begin at 5 o’clock. They were all girls so you can imagine the nervous giggles and oogling at the high school boys who were more buff looking than their classmates in the middle school. The girls included me in their mischief and we had a fabulous time.  Each student received a free book at the event and you know that brought a smile to my face. Books equal love in my world.

The holiday spirit was in the air for many of the attendees. My students even took part in the wii dance game in front of the entire crowd. Brave girls! After they left, I stayed in case more of my students would show up. One of my students, Nicole, did and won a prize in the raffle drawing. She walked on stage to accept it. She didn’t know it but her two classmates and I were cheering her along. For a very shy girl, this could be terrifying but she rocked it.

My last two students kept me laughing with their turn on the wii and their frustration at being so close to winning a prize with their raffle tickets. As much fun as I was having, I had to leave them because it had been 12 hours and I didn’t think my dog’s bladder could go that long without leaving me her version of holiday gifts on the floor.

I drove home happy. Great day, fun event. I couldn’t wait to get home to write the story about my Christmas in the white house. The story about those amazingly personalized gifts for each member of my family left on our doorstep by an anonymous person. The story about how I will never forget that every gift we give brings hope and smiles to people even if we aren’t present to see them open their presents. The reason behind my passion in giving at our annual toy drive.

Went home, opened the door and got a whiff of something not good. I knew it! My dog, Fendi, couldn’t hold it in. Quickly, I looked around my home in search of her stinky gift. I couldn’t find it. Probably, it was my imagination. I took her for a walk and returned home. The stink still penetrated my nose. This was real. But where?

I open the bathroom door and almost vomit every meal I ever had in my entire life! The tub, toilet and bathroom floor looked as if a sewer exploded in there. I had never seen anything like this in my entire life. Feces covered my bathroom. It was gross. Immediately, I call my aunt for help. She can’t help me because she has a nasty strand of the flu. Honestly, I’d rather have a sewage problem than the flu. That’s deadly for me.  I knock on my next door neighbors’ apartment. I explain the situation and ask them if they are having trouble with their plumbing. I even invite them to see my feces decorated bathroom. They tell me this has happened to them twice since living in this complex but not as severe as my situation. Goody for me!

Looking at the sewage water pouring out of the toilet and into all areas of my home was going to leave me in a really bad situation.Being in a wheelchair isn’t easy when your home is flooded. I was cursing myself. Had I not stayed after school to work on the blog post I’d have spotted this. Had I not gone to the holiday event I would have been able to fix this before 5 pm. Had I this and had I that kept running through my mind. All of my holiday spirit was leaving me faster than you could say Jingle Bells!

That’s when my holiday gift came in an unexpected package. My next door neighbors took over. After I turned off the water valve, my neighbor Lenin and his wife, Windy, gave me the calm after the storm. He went outside, opened something that allowed this gook to gush out. I asked for no details because I was having enough trouble knowing that my tub was covered with feces. My TUB! My relaxation center! Need I say more?

His wife swept out the water that reached my kitchen and bookshelf in the breakfast nook area. Thankfully, the books are safe! You can breathe a sigh of relief as well. I understand that feeling.

These two people could’ve minded their own business, went back inside and continued their evening. Instead, they wrapped their hands in double and even triple plastic garbage bags and cleaned my home as best as possible until a cleaning person arrived. This is truly the act of giving. Without being each other’s Facebook friend or following each other on Twitter, they did gave me the gift of friendship.

Lenin even removed the FECES from my tub! Really! Does this not call out for Santa placing him on the NICE LIST! Are you listening Santa?

So you don’t need to read about my Christmas from a long time ago to realize that the holiday spirit isn’t only on December 24th.  You need to read about how a group of neighbors who live day in and day out, side by side, without knowing each others’ names, favorite food, occupations and income brackets help one another when a crisis occurs.

Keep the spirit alive. To know your neighbors is to love your neighbors.

For those of you stopping by because of the holiday blog tour, thanks! Hope you return soon.  Make sure to stop by How Many Frogs tomorrow to read Stephanie’s addition to the blog tour.

To my regular visitors, as you can see I can write about other topics other than the mismanagement of funds by Miami-Dade County School leaders.