Better late than never! I shared this experience with my sister and a few others, it was a great dose of humbling and I wanted to pass it along.
A few weeks ago, before Thanksgiving, I was feeling a little sorry for myself. I miss my family and friends and was really bummed that I won’t be able to see them this year for the holidays. Add the fact that Chris worked Thanksgiving and is scheduled to work Christmas Eve and Christmas day and you have the perfect ingredients for a pity party!
Karly was at dance and I had been talking to our cousin Tammy about some holiday ideas and was actually feeling a little better. Went in to kill some time in Barnes and Noble which as many of you know is quite easy! I grabbed a few Christmas spirit type books to check out hoping one would help ground me. There is never anywhere to sit so I head to the children's section where the table is typically open. I get settled with my books and Chai latte and start in on this new pick. It is very Jesus-y....a little too much for me. Either way, I keep reading and get about 2 chapters in and the author references one of his other books...The Purpose Driven Life, which is super religious. Not that it’s a bad thing, just not my thing. So I am still giving it a chance...I am almost to the next chapter and not super sold on it but realizing it is short enough I can just read it there for free and buy something else. Yes I can be a big Jew! A few minutes later this odd looking lady who works there walks up to me. She is very frumpy and a little awkward and I am really not wanting to chat it up. Here is our conversation:
Emp: How do you like the book?
Me: oh..it's ok, don't know if it's really my thing (remember, I live in the Bible belt. One of the first questions people ask you is what church you are a member to...seriously)
Emp: Yeah it was a little too religious for me...
Me: (sigh in relief)...me too!
Emp: Will you take a recommendation for the best holiday book ever?
Me: of course
Emp: I worked at a B&N in California and this woman insisted and pushed me to buy this book. I wasn't too sure about it but then I read it. It was great. It reminds us no matter how bad we think we have it someone has it worse. People tell me I am so sorry you have cancer. I remind them that the man receiving radiation before me is so ill he has to be wheeled in and has an 'X' drawn on his head where is tumors are. I walk in jamming out to my iPod and walk myself back out. I am blessed. This book reminds us of the Christmas spirit...not of the overzealous greed.
Needless to say at this point, I am crying. Big huge alligator tears rolling down my cheeks! She is even tearing up at this point. She goes on to tell me how when she bought the book it was her first Christmas away from her family and the book reminded her of the good in the world and how lucky and blessed she really is. This person was exactly what I needed though in the moment I didn’t even know it.
Of course I started the book there and bought it. It's an easy read, but I love the message. I read it in less than two sittings and didn’t want it to end. I even have Chris and Karly convinced to let me read it to them. Check it out...probably not for everyone, but I loved it and would love to start the same tradition.