That rings a bell

Here’s our lad Joey a couple of winters ago, prompted to put some money into the Red Kettle of bell ringer and local Sioux Falls radio celebrity Greg Belfrage.


As we said, Joey was prompted.  He didn’t feel a surge of charity.  He has little if any comprehension of charity or, thankfully, the ugliness of its antithesis, greed.

But seeing this picture again (it was one of those Facebook reminder thingies) rang a bell.  For caregivers and those we support, there is so much generosity to acknowledge.  We’ll take a quick stab at it, but need to confess that we’re not through our morning caffeine.  So hopefully some of you can add comments pointing out others for whom we should be grateful…

  • The taxpayers of our nation, state and city.  There are federal programs that ensure school and other services for people with special needs. The schools themselves operate via an array of state, local and federal funds.  There are various programs that help pay for Joey’s health care – and his medications alone would impoverish us without the help.  City transportation and emergency service folks make our lives better, with both daily needs and in acute situations.  These and so many other people and services are funded by tax dollars.  We know that paying taxes isn’t something we do with charitable joy, but we are grateful for all of our fellow taxpayers who are vital parts of family care giving.  You make Joey’s life better and our burden lighter.
  • Community agencies.  We should all be amazed by the elaborate and effective agencies that caring people labor to create and operate for the good of others.  We live in a city with a number of them, and we could type for days about the one that is Joey’s primary support.  There are groups that host camping for people with special needs and others that give solace and support to care givers.  So many people investing their time, talent and treasure in making our days better.
  • Health care providers.  From management of meds that control Joey’s seizures and aggression to emergency rooms that got him through some terrifying moments to techs that can win him over for teeth cleaning, another list that we could type for days.  More good folks than we can possibly name, but we’re so grateful for all of them.
  • Businesses and professional folks.  Stuff that seems humdrum to others is solid gold for people with special needs and their care givers.  We’ve had a sweet person cutting Joey’s hair for several years.  Can’t tell you what a relief she is.  There are restaurants that make Joey feel at home and businesses that hire people with special needs.  Others donate some of their profit to support schools and community agencies.
  • The internet community.  There are all kinds of supportive people just a click away.  (We hope our blog serves some of this need for others).
  • Friends who make Joey’s life more fun and who care for us as we care for him.
  • Neighbors who understand and do things like clear the snow off of our driveway so that one more chore is out of the way.

So much of our blogging is about the mishaps and mangled aspects of life.  But the picture of Joey and the bell ringer is a reminder that all kinds of people are making our lives much better and more complete.  Hope that we’ve rung a bell and that you are blessed with awareness of many such people around you and gratitude for them in your heart.


4 thoughts on “That rings a bell

  1. Tim, I love the photo and I love the list! The only things I would add to it are Strangers and People From Our Past. Sometimes complete Strangers have seen us struggling, e.g., me trying to help my husband to the car, and come to our rescue. An example of the People From Our Past: last month the driver I had lined up to take my husband to one of his appointments (I work FT plus PT and can’t take him to every single appointment) bailed at the last minute. I was desperate for help — there was no way I could take the day off — so I put it out there on FaceBook. To my amazement, a woman who went to high school with my husband offered to drive him. This was someone he was never particularly close to and who he had not seen in over 30 years. She was willing to pick him up at the ungodly hour of 5 AM and drive him 90 minutes to his appointment, wait for several hours while he had a procedure, and then drive him back. I was totally floored by her kindness and generosity.

  2. Thank you for adding to this, Shelley. What great examples you give. So many people who go out of their way to help. And who would believe that anything good could come of Facebook! j/k lots of great folks out there.

  3. I’m just loving that you’ve joined the blog party, Tim!! Your blog is terrific (just like this blog post is) so I hope the party has given back to you. 🙂

    Wishing you and yours a very wonderful holiday season.

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