Islander gives thanks for family’s Christmas miracle | Our Opinion | Dec. 24

The following is a timely piece written by a Bainbridge Island resident who wishes to remain anonymous:

This is a love letter to our island. It’s also a miracle story, and you may have been a part of it.

After a two-year financial struggle, it looked as if our house would go into foreclosure right around Christmas last year. We had already started getting our food from Helpline House (a gigantic blessing).

I can’t tell you how hard it was to walk in there and how my heart opened...along with tears at their kindness. At Helpline House, I wasn’t that dummy who had lost everything, just a person having a very hard moment.

Out in the rest of the world, however, I was suddenly aware of how homeless, poor or struggling people are talked about, even kindly, as a separate group, a lesser and distant group of “untouchables.” I was suddenly “them.”

I had never been aware of holding any group or people as separate or less. It was a shock to feel how my own fear of misfortune came out as an unconscious attitude. Somehow “the poor” had not been entirely included as a part of my human family, even while giving to them.

I knew there were people who were far worse off than us, still I found myself crying all the way to Helpline House a few days before Christmas. Immediately, one of the women/angels there asked me if I needed some blankets – minutes before a load of new blankets had been donated. I was stunned because our aging kitty had just urinated on a pile of our only blankets.

I hadn’t said anything (I couldn’t trust myself to speak), but those were exactly the kind of soft, warm blankets we would have bought if we could have.

Then they offered me books. The first five my hands touched were the next books in the series my kids were reading. All five of them. Several were donated from Eagle Harbor Book Co., where we would have purchased them had things been different.

Then someone walked in with a donation of handmade pottery ornaments and handed them directly to me. Making pottery ornaments was a family tradition that had been buried in the stress of the moment, and there they were.

Maybe you were the person who followed your impulse to bring fuzzy blankets or ornaments or a specific book to the Helpline House barn. Maybe you did something else and will never know how wonderful the result was. Maybe you were a part of someone else’s holiday miracle.

Things have turned around wonderfully for our family and in turn we can give again to others.

It seems, all of us are the miracle we’ve been waiting for – for each other. That’s why we are now celebrating this holiday and every day.

With love, your neighbor.

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