Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The saga of the good will bears continues!

As I sit here contemplating the words I will use, I have chills on my body.  The temperature in the room is comfortable, but my body/my spirit is experiencing something that goes beyond words.  The chills aren't goose bumps to me.  They are my glory bumps; glory bumps because the way my spirit is responding to the events of recent days is absolutely a God thing and my spirit is fully aflame!  Please "bear" with me!!
Where to begin???? Ok, long story short......I found myself with four teddy bears that were beautiful and undoubtedly too large to use for the kids who will come through the Emergency Room.  To honor the intentions of those who wanted me to have these bears, I came up with an idea and presented it to Greta, the Director of the Emergency Department.  She thought it was a great idea and we proceeded.
The idea was for me to clean these four bears and take them to the hospital.  Greta would take them to the off-site Christmas party for the employees of the Emergency Department.  They would be auctioned off as Christmas gifts for four lucky children/adults.  The proceeds would then be used to purchase more teddy bears.  Greta called me yesterday evening and I was overwhelmed with her news!  That, my friends is an understatement!  Greta told me the bears brought in a total of $120.00!!!! She said one of the ER nurses took the mike and before she began auctioning the bears, shared with the group the story of Nan's good will bears and of her experiences as she gave teddies to those who needed this wonderful expression of God's love.  She got the crowd involved and the fun began!  Do you have any idea how many teddy bears I can purchase with $120.00!!!??  Well, let me tell you that when my bank, RBC Centura brought in $100.00 in September at a fund raiser bake sale, I spent all the money and purchased 138 teddy bears.  Now I will be able to purchase even more bears!!
God says, "wait, it gets better! When you think it can't get better, just watch and it will!" Another long story short..... well, maybe not so short....but you need to hear the details of this one.  I paid a visit to my hair dresser this evening after leaving work 15 minutes earlier than usual. There was only one customer in the shop and he was in Denise's chair.  She knows all about the teddy project and I filled her in on the news about the destiny of the four big  bears and the generosity of the Emergency Department staff.  The gentleman in her chair was interested in our conversation and Denise told me to share the whole story of Nan's good will bears with him.  He was a very involved listener as Denise snipped away at the hair that curled around his ears.
I told them, also about a very special "bear", which I actually had in my car at the time.  This teddy bear  began as a brown bunny rabbit given to me by a very sweet lady last week.  She couldn't find a teddy bear so she purchased this beautiful rabbit.  Well, you know I use only bears, not bunnies.  I wanted to honor her intentions to give this bunny for the sick children so I decided to transform the bunny into a teddy bear!  It is an awesome teddy now.  Mind you, it was a beautiful bunny.  I opened the stitches in the back and removed the fluffy white bunny tail and sewed up the back.  Then I opened the stitches on the head and removed the bunny ears and cut them into the shape of teddy bear ears and then sewed the new ears in place.  The beautiful pink nose was removed and I sewed a dark brown nose in its place.  It still has the oversized bunny feet, which makes it absolutely adorable!!  They were so impressed that I told them I'll run out to the car and bring it in to show them.  They loved it!!
I understood from Denise that the gentleman is a shy person, but he sure didn't seem like it as we talked. As he paid for his haircut, he told us two family members had passed away very recently, one being his mother.  He lived with her all his life, and now she is gone.  This will be his first Christmas without her.  He took care of her in the last months of her life as she dealt with cancer.  Denise hadn't seen him in months until this evening when he came in for a hair cut.  He said he hadn't been out in months because he was taking care of his mother in the final stages of the cancer.
As he walked toward the door of the shop, he turned to me and asked if I would take a donation to buy bears.  I told him yes.  He then pulled out his wallet and gave me $50.00 cash.  He smiled at me and as we shook hands I thanked him profusely, all the while holding that precious bearabbit.  I was taken aback at the whole scene that took place in the beauty shop tonight!  Surely, God was present with us and smiling!
I stood in stunned amazement as he walked out into the dark night.  I walked up to the counter and saw his name on the customer sign in sheet.  An idea flashed across my mind!  As Denise had no other customers, I asked her for a phone book.  We looked up his name.  It wasn't listed in the phone book as we read it on the sheet, but one entry caught our attention.... a man's name and a lady's name beside it.  We wondered if the lady might be his mom.  I took out my blackberry and googled her name, our town and the word "obituary".  It brought it up and I searched the obit. for a clue.  Sure enough, there he was, listed as her son!  I wrote down his name and address.  I will be sending him a very special thank you card in the mail and along with the card will be the bearabbit!  His generosity astounded me and his sadness at being alone without his mom this Christmas touched my heart deeply.  He doesn't know it yet, but he surely will be getting an unexpected package in the mail this Christmas.  When he is lonely, he can see and touch this bear and know "the rest of the story" as to how this bunny became a bear and I hope he will be comforted.
I hope you did "bear" with me until the end of this story.  I will clean the bear and on Friday, I will put the package in the mail containing the thank you card and the special bearabbit.  I love giving surprises to people even if I'm not there to witness the receipt of the gift.  Rest assured, God will be there as the box is opened and the bearabbit is revealed to the generous man who selflessly gave money to a woman he only met moments before.
Remember this, God puts us where He needs us, when He needs us there and for as long as He needs us there.  Amen!
It's getting late and the dishes in the kitchen are in need of attention.  Take care.  Remember, also that God prepares for your blessings long before you receive them.  Give a blessing.  Be a blessing.  Accept a blessing!  Love you! Nan
Please keep my brother Woody in your prayers and his wife, Judy.  As I type this message, he is in Duke University Hospital being admitted for excessive fluid build up in his body.  The meds aren't working and the doctor wanted him in the hospital tonight rather than wait another day.
I also have a friend, Diane who is in Baptist Hospital.  She is a very sick lady and needs your prayers.  She is 55 and had a heart attack in her 20's.  Due to complications during a four hour surgery, they had to stop due to a drop in blood pressure.  She was put on a ventilator.  She continues to struggle.  Allen and I visited her last week in the hospital and I took her one of Nan's good will bears and she was so appreciative.  I have been told that as folks have gone in to visit her, she has continued to hold onto her teddy bear, stroking it all the while.

1 comment:

  1. Very touching how God was working with you and the others involved in this lovely story. Makes me smile!