Day 17: Anonymous Christmas Gifts

“Hello!” “Hallo!” “Ni hao ma!” “Ciao!” “Konnichiwa!” “Jumbo!” “Namaste!” “Privetstviye!”

Priscilla and I messed with the buttons on our new gadget, watching as the little kids on the map lit up as they repeated their messages back to us. The Kids Around the World See ‘n Say globe spit out random factoids about the language and culture of each country. It must have been looping for several minutes before Tabitha got so irritated that she confiscated the annoying toy. I have no idea why this particular memory is so vivid to me, but I still remember most of those greetings today. The person who gave me that present really must have known what they were doing.

There we were, surrounded by all sorts of new toys and gifts, a lot more than usual. For some reason, we were given cabbage patch dolls, hot chocolate, sweatshirts, memory boxes, journals, and more that day. We didn’t know to whom we should say thank you for there were no tags on any of the presents. I, of course, didn’t question this; I just kept on pressing those buttons and eating up all the information and playing with my brand new stuff with a smile on my face.

It turns out that all of those little trinkets were given anonymously to the Espiritu family by people in my community and beyond, people who knew Momma and our family. These people didn’t just give us material gifts and silly little toys for the little ones for Christmas to lighten up our lives during hard times; they also blessed us with acts of service, transportation, home-cooked meals, home visits, messages and letters, or even a simple yet powerful prayer. I remember it all happening as a kid, but it didn’t click for me until much later that the reason behind all of it was because of my sick mother. My six-year-old self only reaped the benefits of those blessings. Now, however, I can see just how much my family was surrounded by such wonderful people in our time of need – back then and even now.

Today, my sixteen-year-old self wants to say to all the people who reached out a helping hand during my family’s time of grieving, no matter how big or small the deed, no matter where in the world you are, and no matter if I know who you are or not – thank you. To those who still help and pray for me and my family today – thank you. To those who never even knew my Momma and yet continue to contribute to my healing journey – thank you. From the bottom of my heart…thank you. I love you all.

“Goodbye!” “Auf Wiedersehen!” “Zàijiàn!” “Ciao!” “Sayōnara!” “Kwaheri!” “Namaste!” “Dasvidaniya!”

-Sara Joy

(Yes, I did have to look up how to spell most of these. Some of them I really only knew the general sound of the word haha.)

~ by Sara Espiritu on January 8, 2020.

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