Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a State of Mind

Collage for Wayne,
He sent me this story yesterday.
~ "I'm currently doing AmeriCorps for Austin Habitat for Humanity. It's basically a 1700 hour service project where they give me a place to stay. Since I basically get to work for and with families that need it all the time, let me instead tell you of a cool experience I had recently while working with a local family. (names removed for privacy purposes)Our homeowner was celebrating her 70th birthday on the same Saturday we had a volunteer group coming out. This meant that in addition to the volunteer group, there were lots of family members on site- the men and a few of the women were outside helping Daniel (my boss) and I while the rest of the women and all of the children were inside cooking and hanging out with their mother/grandmother/great-grandmother. I soon found out that she had 18 great-grandchildren! Daniel had to head out a little early, so we worked on finishing up some of the tasks we had left. I eventually sent our volunteer group home and finished up the final tasks of the day with a few members of the family. Once the work was completed and the final piece of her (now) safe and sturdy foundation was in place, they invited me in to have some food and celebrate the birthday with them. I was honored to be asked and glad to accept the invitation!
I came inside with them and they had a plate ready for me- one of her daughters had set aside some food for me, and boy was I grateful! They had made a roast which was absolutely amazing. I couldn't even pick it up with the plastic forks because it was falling apart it was so tender. She even remembered that I was allergic to milk and didn't put the mac & cheese on the plate. There were 2 types of rice which were both delicious, and even some collard greens. It was the sort of home cooked meal that you just don't see much of when you move out on your own, and I loved every bite of it.
It's worth noting that two of her grandsons are in a hip-hop group which is starting to become popular in the area- later that evening they were set to open for Young Buck, a member of G-Unit/50 Cent's crew (a big deal in the hip hop scene). Several of the great-grandchildren obviously looked up to their uncles and had already begun to hone their hip-hop skills. I must say, I was grinning from ear to ear when I saw two of her great-grandchildren no older than 9-10 perform a "Happy Birthday, We Love You" rap for their great-grandmother! It was a wonderful performance, and you could see they had worked hard on making it good for her. After that, another group of the great-grandchildren carried in some signs they had made (spelling Grandma) and recounted her wonderful traits in an acronym (D is for the Divine Love you show us, etc). Then, one of her daughters sang a song a capella for her. It was a very moving moment.
The opportunity to participate in this day with them was a great one that I cherish. It's a wonderful thing to be able to become a part of a family, even just for an afternoon, in such an intimate way. I'm glad to be able to help a woman like this, a woman loved by her family and friends, to have a safe, healthy, and affordable home to live in. It is certainly an event that I would have no association with apart from my Habitat/AmeriCorps experience.
~Thank You~


Joy Logan said...

That is so wonderful!!! I am so happy and impressed with you,what a wonderful thing to do!

onehuman said...

It's not me...
it's all the wonderful things that other people do,
that's impressive...