This is posted with permission from Shauna. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us.
Pink Christmas Miracle
This is one of those "that only happens to Shauna" stories. It is a miracle that almost did not happen. This is a story I have wanted to write for many weeks.
Last Christmas, I participated in PINK CHRISTMAS hosted by Kristi at Everything Is Pink. I met a new friend in Mesa, Arizona (who, I WILL meet in person..Hurricanes or not!) and had fun preparing a gift for a secret Pink Sister in Utah. I was also pleased to be part of helping a needy family have Christmas. It was a great experience, but for some reason, I was dragging my heels to sign up again.
This year, when Kristi announced the 2008 PINK CHRISTMAS Sign Ups, I wanted to participate, but weighed back and forth whether I should add one more "thing" to my list of "things" that take my time around the holidays. After all, I don't know most of these women in "real life" (although I feel like I do, in many cases)
I even missed the Sign Up Deadline by a few days (I was on brain over-load at that point), yet Kristi graciously included me in the 2008 Pink Christmas Festivities. I just could not dismiss PINK CHRISTMAS from my mind.
The day my PINK CHRISTMAS Envelope arrived ( I almost did NOT open the envelope because I was flying in high gear right before the Breast Cancer Walk...I thought...I will open this next week when I can savor every piece of paper inside.), the moment I opened the envelope, I knew WHY I had met Kristi via the Blogosphere, and more importantly, WHY it was important for me to participate in PINK CHRISTMAS. I sat right down and shared the reasons WHY with Kristi.
Have you ever met people who impact your life in a big way by the small and simple things they do? People who leave a print on your heart forever, even when your paths don't cross for many years? My life is generously sprinkled with people like this (chances are, if you are reading this, you have left a print on my heart) and this story is a perfect illustration.
Rewind To circa 1987-88 West Palm Beach, Florida
Ron and I were raising 3 young sons (ages 6, 4, and 1). We were living in Greenacres, FL, in our first home, a small villa home (fancy word for Duplex). We were poor, but did not know it. We were just doing our best to raise 3 energetic boys, serve the Lord, and make a difference in the world around us. Ron had just been released from serving as Bishop of a Singles Ward (Congregation)and I was Primary President (In charge of the Children in our congregation at Church) Life was good.
We received a call from a sweet newlywed couple, David and Stephanie, who were planning to come to West Palm Beach for Major League Baseball Spring Training. (Florida is an exciting place to be for Spring Training). David had been recruited by the Montreal Expos and he was reporting to Spring Training for the grueling physical, mental, and emotional work outs that come with trying to make it all the way to the Big Leagues.
They wanted to know if we were aware of an apartment they could rent during their stay in Florida. It happened that Ron's mother had a Townhouse they could stay in, but it was unfurnished. As I remember it, we got a bed for the floor, and they stayed there for a few weeks. The next season, they called to ask if they could rent the Townhouse again. One glitch....the Townhouse had renters in it. Without hesitation, I said, just come stay with us, and I meant it. We cleared out one of the boys' bedrooms, and turned it over to David and Stephanie.
They kept asking us if we were sure and telling us they did not want to impose on us, but we were insistent. They headed down to Florida in their Honda and stayed with us while he, once again, went through the rigors of Spring Training, Work-Outs, Cuts, etc. We were delighted to have them stay with us and have always looked back on that time with sweet memories. This couple brought such a sweetness with them. They were just starting out with very little by the world's standards, yet they had everything in each other's love and big dreams.
He was a catcher and my boys would marvel at the thickness of his glove and the speed of the balls he had to catch in that mitt. Jeffrey had a crush on Stephanie and would call her his "girrrrlfriend". David was sweet to "share" and Stephanie was so good natured about having a little 4 year old being head over heals in love with her. She was so helpful with each of the boys. I remember watching her and thinking, she is going to be an incredible mother someday. Her children will be so blessed to have her as their mom.
I always think of David when I make Homemade Bread because he taught me to find joy and satisfaction in small things, like Homemade Bread. One day, I had Homemade Bread out for everyone to eat. I said something like, sorry, I have been so busy, this is all we have to eat right now. David replied that he had been raised that if you have bread....you have a meal. He went on to explain that his mother had passed away when he was still at home and his father would make bread for the family. They would center their meals around this bread and they were always satisfied.
In just a few short weeks, their sweet attitudes made a huge impact on us as a couple, and our family as a whole.
A few weeks into the second Spring Training Season, David decided to put his Baseball dreams aside and go to Medical School (he was brilliant) They packed up and headed to South Carolina (Stephanie's' childhood home) where he did, indeed, attend Medical School. He became an Orthopaedic Surgeon. They had 5 boys and a full life. We kept in touch and exchanged Christmas Cards every year, however, between them moving, and us moving, the cards came back and we have lost touch over the past few years.
Back To Now....
This past September, I was looking at my Christmas Card list and making notes as to who I would send cards to, etc. I said out loud....I want to find out where David and Stephanie are. I want to send them a Christmas Card this year. I will try to find them this year....I am SURE the Internet will help. And HELP it did.
I had not idea that finding them would be as easy as signing up for PINK CHRISTMAS, yet there it was...their names in black and white....and now I know WHY I found them. Stephanie and her 5 sons need my prayers, love and support. David passed away in July of 2008. In the PINK CHRISTMAS envelope, there it was... some of the PINK CHRISTMAS Money was going to a fund started to assist Stephanie as she picks up the pieces and begins life without David. You can donate by clicking HERE. You can also read more details and see a photo of David, Stephanie, and their sons.
Now I know why I could not get PINK CHRISTMAS out of my mind and thoughts. The Lord was trying to anser my prayers and give more support to Stephanie. I know prayers are answered in ways we could never design. I know friendships are eternal. I know miracles happen around us every day. I know the Lord uses us to bring about Miracles and answers to prayers. I dont know why David had to leave this earth and his family, however, I do know that there is strength in prayer and that the more prayers for a person, the more support and comfort they will receive. I am honored to know Stephanie and have the opportunity to pray for her and her children. I know my prayers and those of her family and friends can give her strength and courage.
The Blogging Community is amazing...this all started when Gabrielle at Design Mom posted a link to Kristi's Everything Is Pink blog where she was featuring the GOOD MAIL concept all started by Jill, The Good Mail Queen. All because of GOOD MAIL, I found PINK CHRISTMAS, and then Stephanie.
And to think...I almost did not sign up for PINK CHRISTMAS and I almost did not open the PINK CHRISTMAS envelope the day it arrived.
It is truly a Christmas Miracle....a PINK CHRISTMAS Miracle.