Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Sunday Well Spent

Today was action packed from the start.

It was filled with family contentment, happiness, and inspiration.

PJ Library is a program we participate in where every month in the mail, we receive a Jewish book or CD relevant to both a current holiday and MH's age. It's completely free for the first 2 years of enrollment, and just $18 each year after that up until age 6. It is fantastic!

We love receiving our special book every month - PJ Library books are full of learning, and it makes me so excited to see MH specifically pick a PJ book at bedtime (even when they are completely "off season" - she definitely has her faves!).

In addition to receiving these fantastic books (did I mention that they're FREE???), there are PJ Library events all year long.

This morning, MH eagerly picked out a pair of new jammies to wear to Temple for one of these programs to participate in a couple of hours filled with Jewish learning, a wonderful craft, music, and meeting new friends. Watching her take pride in her religion and see how much she'll enjoy attending Sunday school in a couple of years was heartwarming and made me full of pride.

After the program ended, DH, MH and I shared a fabulous brunch at one of our favorite spots. Again, I felt a huge amount of pride as MH practiced writing letters (her favorite today was H) while we waited for our food to arrive. This letter-writing thing is new . . . a couple of weeks ago, she was playing at her easel when she exclaimed "Look Mommy! I made an A!" And she had. She has continued to write more and more letters since then, completely on her own. It's so exciting!

Next up, a visit to see Grandma G at her rehabilitation facility.

That's right! This morning, MIL was transferred out of the hospital and into a wonderful facility where she will receive extensive physical therapy and literally learn to get back on her feet.

Over the past few days, I have become an advocate for MIL, working hard to make sure she would be in a facility that would make her happy and want to work hard at getting better. I am blessed to have some wonderful resources who helped me achieve my goal.

For the first time in about 10 years, I saw a happiness in MIL's face that I have never experienced.

She walked, further than I have seen in ages.

She smiled, saying I'm the best daughter-in-law she could ever ask for.

She beamed, as MH quickly became the littlest ambassador at the facility, introducing herself to everyone she met, endearing herself to the nurses and other staff (we were immediately shown where cookies and juice could be located for her enjoyment any time we visit!), and cheering on Grandma G with every step she took.

I was happy (which might be a slight understatement).

And proud of how hard I fought to make sure MIL will be getting the best care possible in the best environment possible, regardless of what others in the family thought.

After a wonderful visit, it was off to the Jewish Federation of RI (JFRI), the largest Jewish fundraising organization in the state.

The money raised by JFRI helps on a local, national, and global level (one of the local levels being helping to fund the fabulous aforementioned PJ Library).

I've become involved in several committees of JFRI over the past few years, mainly so I could understand more about why it is that they want and need money so badly.

I've learned that the things they do are amazing.

I've learned that they don't just "want" my money. That a small donation can help feed people in another country for a month. Or provide medication for someone who would otherwise go without.

Today was "Super Sunday", a day when people volunteer their time making phone calls to solicit and secure donations.

And, while I'm normally content to send in my donation every year, wishing it could be more, this year I decided to commit myself and my husband (with a little added incentive since my best friend and her husband were chairing the event) on a much larger scale.

I was briefly trained in how to solicit someone over the phone, something I must honestly say I was not all that comfortable with.

However, I quickly took on the attitude that this was not personal. I was not asking someone to give money to me. I was asking for money to help people in need - something that at this particular point in time is far bigger, and far more important than my worries that someone would hang up on me, or worse yell at me for interrupting their dinner.

With the first calls I made, I was fairly close to hyperventilating. I got some interesting excuses. I even got the daughter of a previous donor who told me that the said donor was no longer alive (not the best call of the evening for me!).

I also started to gain a bit of comfort. And confidence.

And as soon as I secured my first donation, I was absolutely positive that it would be no problem to keep going.

I spent three hours on the phone, soliciting people I did not know, and earnestly thanking them from the bottom of my heart for whatever it was they could give.

The experience was fantastic, and I would do it again without hesitation.

I have no idea how much money I raised in total, but that part really doesn't matter to me.

What matters is that we were doing a mitzvah.

For three hours (which passed so quickly), I was a part of something far bigger than me, and something that I can speak of with great pride.

All in all, I'd say it was a Sunday well spent.

My heart is full, and for the first time in weeks, I feel at peace.

10 Fabulous Replies:

Simply Shannon said...

good for you Rach! Sounds like a day well spent indeed.

Melissa said...

wow! very busy day and very wonderful day!

so glad to hear that your MIL is doing so much better! Good for you for going "to bat" for her! so nice to see that she's aware and thankful for all that you've done for her!

did you get any people who are like me, and hung up on you before you could get two words out? we get so many calls for solicitors, that as soon as I hear, "Hi! I'm so-and-so, calling on behalf of..." and that where I hang up! LOL!

Julie said...

I can't imagine how daunting it is to make phone calls to people you don't know! Glad MIL is doing better and it sounds like MH is one smart cookie (but we already knew that, right?!).

Elaine A. said...

I am SO very glad to hear that about your MIL! How wonderful, for everyone!

And yes, it sounds like a great day! : )

Liza said...

What an awesome weekend Rach! I am so glad you have so many wonderful things going on. You are very blessed and even better, you know it :)

Laural Out Loud said...

That is awesome news about your MIL! I bet her smile was such a great reward. I think you've touched her life in a very special way.

Glad you had such a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

OMgoodness! that is WONDERFUL!!

family contentment, happiness, and inspiration....THAT is how every Sunday should be:-)

McMommy said...

Life certainly takes us through hills and valleys.
So happy you have found an inner peace right now, friend!!

Anonymous said...

Rachael I am so happy that Super Sunday was so inspirational for you, and blog worthy, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you going outside your comfort zone and supporting me and my husband as we chaired this wonderful fundraiser! Love you! xoxoB

Krystyn said...

Agreed...what a well spent and special day.