Tuesday, May 6, 2014

An Unexpected Gift

Several weeks ago, I posted a picture on my Instagram account . It was a snapshot of a Land's End catalog with a pair of sandals circled. My mom had looked through the catalog and found pair of sandals that she wanted. On this particular day, she had put the Land's End catalog on the kitchen counter, next to the coffee maker (she knows my daily routine, coffee first, always first). What is so special about this is that my mom has not worn any type of sandal since the stroke because she has to wear a brace on her affected side to support her leg, ankle, and foot. When I saw that she was interested in a sandal, something different, it made me a little sentimental. I tagged Land's End on the picture and within a few hours, someone from the company commented on my picture and asked me to contact them. I emailed them and heard back from a wonderful new friend named, Raija. I told her a little bit of my mom's story, that she had suffered a massive stroke four years ago and faces many daily challenges. I shared with her that my mom's speech was affected and that she isn't able to communicate with words, but she finds many creative ways to get her point across. Raija and I emailed back and forth about my mom's situation. She shared with me that her grandfather had suffered a stroke and that is why our story touched her heart. She wanted to know what types of things my mom enjoys doing or what hobbies she might have. A few weeks later.. this wonderful package arrived.

We were overwhelmed and grateful. Not only did they send us the sandals that my mom wanted, Raija also added a personalized bag, a beautiful blanket and some word search books that my mom would enjoy. I want to express how much this meant to us. The journey with a loved one that requires constant care and supervision can become overshadowed by the monotony of daily tasks and challenges. I will admit that some days, I forget to look for the blessings or take time to notice the progress that my mom has made. The fact that Land's End would take the time to notice a picture and want to brighten my mom's day helped to restore my hope and realize that we aren't alone on our journey. We deal with bouts of isolation and it's easy to feel like no one notices the challenges we face. My faith has been recharged and I am inspired to look for ways to be a blessing to others. Thank you Raija and Land's End for your thoughtfulness and generosity. You have blessed us beyond measure!