Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rob's Christmas Day Special

Hello, folks, and thanks for tuning in. Like Tarzan on a vine, I am now on an upward swing emotionally, and so I am filled with a touch less doom and gloom than usual. I have reason to gripe, but I'll get to that in a bit. First, allow me to quote myself, and others, from GitP. We'll start with me:

I have received a few gifts. Two were a financial boost to help me simply survive, and another was someone accessing my game account for City of Heroes and buying me more time than I expected. (Ask for one, two, or three months at most, and end up with six plus a holiday bonus of an extra month; seven months of game time, and I never asked for even close to that amount...at least not seriously.)

But I also received a couple of gifts with no price tags. Several phone calls which reminded me that I have caring, loving friends. In a time when I was feeling so lonely and almost forgotten, people have called me for the sole purpose of just talking. Boast all you want about your loot beneath a tree or stacked at the foot of your bed tomorrow morning. I have virtual bags of human kindness, and they are truly glorious.

This caused Cristo to reply:

Now if that don't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then you need to get help, fast.

Several posts later, an unknown forumite, (to me, anyway), said of Cristo's comment:

No kidding. Gratz Bor.

First, when someone quotes me, I consider it an honor. It means I've said something worth paying attention to. Cristo quoted me before making his comment, and the child hiding deep within my adult body was bouncing in his seat, pleased to no end that someone noticed something I said. Then to say something positive about that quote...Well, now I might actually crack a smile. And then to be congratulated on my quoted gifts...

You know...we take a lot for granted in our lives. Most do, anyway. Until they've lost what's important to them, or suffered through some tragedy, they don't realize exactly what they already have. I've lost friends. I've lost family. I've faced numerous disasters, and found myself worn but still mostly functional at the end of them. For all the whining I do from time to time on this blog, I am perpetually aware of what I really have.

Once upon a time, there was a wealthy guy that would send me a monthly "allowance." I was amazed. All I had to do was mention that I needed help, and he would send money via PayPal. For over a year, this guy helped me survive...and them some. I kid you not when I say that I would ask for specified amounts, and he would send as much as he could spare, which was usually much more than I would ask for. In his messages that followed such things, he would insist I go to the movies, or buy myself a few things that would make me happy.

Then things took a downward turn for him. Just as I was saying, "Let's start putting a leash on my spending," he sent a message that said, "I can't help anymore." The selfish, greedy part of my being human was disappointed that I no longer had a "sugar daddy." The rest of me was concerned for my friend. Life wasn't playing out the way he had planned, and I wished for all the world that I could don the tights and cape and fly to his side to give him a pep talk and a hug. We spoke recently, and I reminded him that our friendship was not based on money, though it appeared that way. I care about this guy. I wish I could stumble upon a few million dollars to start paying him back. More than that, I want him to KNOW WITHOUT DOUBT that I am not disappointed in him, and that I value his friendship immensely.

Meanwhile, others seem to take up his cause. "Help Bor live at, or slightly above the figure that represents poverty level." Well, I've already said that $10,400 is someone's idea of a joke when it comes to calculating poverty. In order to stay above water, I need at least $200 more a month. Somehow, it's worked out. A little here, a little there. I actually don't get anywhere near $200 a month most of the time, but what I do get I make count. Sometimes it's money. Sometimes it's a Wal-Mart gift card. Or, as mentioned before, it's someone paying into a game that allows me to have some fun with my day.

So here we are in the Season of Giving. It's the time when people tend to give the most, from friends and family to charitable organizations. Since I live with my hand out in hopes people will help, I have experienced a yearlong Season of Giving.

That, my friends, is where I start to gripe. There should be no season for it. During the hot Arizona summers, as I pass the dollar store on the way to the market, someone might stop me and tell me they're hungry. Me, the guy living beneath poverty and usually begging for help, will go into that dollar store and buy a bottle of water and an inexpensive package of something to eat. As is fitting, I usually do it with money someone has sent to help me survive. That a majority of the people wait for the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is saddening. The Season of Giving should be a yearlong event, not something that's crammed into a month and half of celebrating.

If I weren't Jewish, I'd have a tree in my apartment right now. Although there would be nothing beneath it, it would be overflowing with gifts. They would be the gifts I receive throughout the year. You can't buy them. You can't wrap them. To attempt to put a dollar value on these gifts would be to attempt utter foolishness. I have the gift of friends who care about me and love me. Though I often complain about my financial situation, I have a wealth that cannot be stored in any bank in the world. The wealth is my beloved friends, for whom I pray that they all have the very happiest of holidays, and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

+Rob Meadows

1 comment:

Joe said...

You know, you may be named Rob, and I may be named Joe, but I think we both know that we are in reality both Rich. Cheers also to letting the spirit of charity and human fellowship exist throughout the year, and indeed one's lifetime, not just when the TV reminds us to. Hunger doesn't take the summer off, folks.
~Joe