A loving, thoughtful and generous gift

As some of you know, I started a new job about two months ago and have been traveling quite a bit since then. The last weeks have been particularly crazy and pretty exhausting, shuttling between time zones, balancing work and personal time. As I have mentioned in some earlier posts, the last year has been a very challenging one for me and the experiences that I had have made me think a lot about the friendships and people I have spent a lot of time, energy and even money on in the past years. Being made a fool of or being taken advantage of for being generous and kind; being attacked, hurt and left alone when one is badly beaten by life and circumstances by those one has stood by when no one else was standing by them…to experience this and more is not something that is easy to deal with and has made me question myself, my judgement and my faith in people more than once.
While I have been battling with all these emotions, trying to deal with the wounds caused by those who have justified their hurtful behaviour by insinuating that I “deserved” it one way or the other; I have been even more thankful for the friends who have stood by me, for the generous gift of time, encouragement and love that many have given me, for the way that some friends have gone out of their way to give me something that they knew would bring joy to me (like showing me parts of a city that they thought I would love!).. the list is endless and this post is to thank just one of these friends for touching my life with her generosity and love.

This weekend has been a whirlwind one with a lot of traveling. I was in Glasgow last week, took a flight and a train on Friday to be in Hanover at 9am on Saturday morning for the six year old daughter of a very dear friend who had her first day of school and wanted nothing more than for me to be there…….but I digress.
We (Bernd, my mother and I) came home this evening around 8pm, had been on the IMG_8770road for over 6 hours and were quite tired. I was clearing some papers on the dining table when I found a note on it from a dear friend Marinella, who comes to help me with some household work every week. Bernd had helped her with some paperwork one evening last week. When I opened the fridge (the note said that there was something in the refrigerator for us), I found a huge bowl of home made tiramisu (an Italian delicacy!) Bernd had mentioned to her last week that my mother, who is visiting us at the moment, loved Tiramisu.

In one of my earlier posts, I have mentioned a bit about how special Marinella and her family is for us. In this past year, Marinella has been there for me in more ways than one, especially when I was struggling with all that was happening around me. There was

Jaden greeting Marinella

a period of over six weeks last year when she was the only person I physically met during the week who built me up, encouraged me, wept with me, gave me hope and and even made me laugh. On a side note, Jaden adores her and greets her with more enthusiasm and excitement than he greets me or Bernd 🙂

Finding this huge bowl of freshly made tiramisu in our fridge reminded me yet again of friends who care and who go out of their way to show it. This loving gesture of hers reminded me that there are wonderful and kind people in the world and how blessed I am to know one of them. When I thanked her for it, she wrote back saying that she knew we would be tired when we came home and she hoped that the surprise would lift our spirits and make us smile. This generous and thoughtful gift reminded me that there are people who give back thousandfold; who do not take one for granted; who listen carefully to the small things one says and who tell you that they care in a way that reaches your heart.

Thank you Marinella not only for the wonderful homemade tiramisu but for all that you do to brighten our lives; for the wonderful, loving and generous person that you are; for the huge blessing that you are in my life. Thank you for reminding me that even if some “make a fool of me” for being generous and kind, it is not a justification for me to become hardened, selfish or superficial. Thank you for reminding me that God uses wonderful people like you to give back thousandfold what I (or someone else) may have given elsewhere and that in the end I am blessed beyond measure. Thank you for the balm that you are on wounds that still hurt; for the hope that you give me; and above all thank you for inspiring me to be a better, kinder and more generous human being.

Marinella, Sarah and me

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