Last week I catered the annual memorial celebration for Ashland Community Hospital Hospice at the Ashland Community Center. The room was decorated with twinkling lights, soft music played, and candles glowed inside paper bags with butterfly cutouts – each with the name of a loved one lost. It was a beautiful way to honor those who have died in the last year and I was thankful to be a part of it.
After the celebration, I packed up the few leftovers and headed home. As I approached the plaza area I noticed a group of young people sitting together – one of them holding a sign that read “Looking for a Helping Hand.” As soon as I could, I pulled my car over and gathered up cookies, a pitcher of hot cider, a few paper cups, and walked over to the group.
As I approached the group, I was a tiny bit fearful of how my gesture would be received because these kids have been living on the streets and perhaps have become jaded. I shouldn’t have worried because as I gave out the cookies and cider I was met with grateful smiles and sweet comments. When I reached the young man who had been holding the sign, I saw that he was missing a hand and also noticed his beautiful, clear blue eyes.
After I left the young people, I drove home thinking about that young man. I often ponder what life events lead a person to choosing to live on the streets. Did he learn that he was “less than perfect” from his family of origin? Or was it something he decided on his own. Will he ever find his true potential or has he given up forever?
I’ve been haunted (no seasonal pun intended) by that young man all week and then yesterday I was sent this link and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (like I must have been) you probably have already seen it. It is the audition of a young man named Emmanuel for the show The X Factor. This young man and his brother were born in a war zone in Iraq and left at an orphanage as toddlers. And fortunately they were lucky to be adopted by a family who helped them see a world of possibilities instead of limitations.
We all face roadblocks or limitations in our lives, and many of them are self-imposed. Perhaps we hear voices from the past telling us we are not good enough… or that we will never make it… or that we are unlovable. Many of us have supportive friends and family who help us move past these stumbling blocks, while others do not. And still I am wondering, what can we do to reach out and help? I don’t have the answer… but would love to work with others towards one. I’ve been lucky… and want to pay that forward as best I can.
Oh. This blog is supposed to be about pies… Well, I did manage to give away a pie last week as well. During the pledge drive, I delivered an Apple Almond Pie to the folks at Jefferson Public Radio. I am so grateful for the on-air staff (Maria Kelly, Brad Ranger, Eric Teel) and the behind the scenes folks (especially Sue Jaffe) who work tirelessly to bring us the news, information and music we enjoy. You guys are awesome!
Finally, I want to send heavenly birthday wishes on this day to my dear friend Irene Orselli and to my Grandpa Powell… and chocolatey birthday wishes to Bob Edwards!
I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love. ~Mother Teresa