|Here's a great story of how helping others can help us as well ~ Enjoy!|
Last year my family was moving from New Hampshire to Washington State. In the process of selling our house, giving away most of our belongings (we were moving to a much smaller house and didn't need most of it) and saying goodbye to all the friends we'd made over the past 22 years there; our 27-year-old daughter, who was living with us, became progressively more ill, eventually becoming unable to sit up or walk.
Three weeks before we were supposed to close on our house, she was diagnosed with both Lyme disease and a brain tumor, which was pressing on her brainstem. Her excellent neurosurgeon was able to remove the entire tumor, which was non-cancerous, and within days she could walk again and use her arms. Intravenous antibiotics took care of the Lyme disease.
When we returned home from the hospital (after 11 days away), there was a big sign welcoming us home from our neighbors and dinner in the kitchen. Our friends had set up a meal plan for us so we didn't have to cook for the next couple of weeks!
The people buying our home graciously gave us an extra two weeks before we needed to be out. And a crew from a local moving company generously offered to pack our house at no charge! Because they are professionals, they did it in about a tenth the amount of time it would have taken us (and nothing broke).
Our friends again rallied to help us donate more of our unmovable items, taking loads to Goodwill, our local homeless shelter, libraries, the dump, etc. Some even took furniture that they would store until they found someone who could use it. And then they helped us clean, made sure we had mattresses to sleep on, and generally gave us the most incredible send-off.
Every person who came to help told us of a time when we had helped them when they needed it and how happy they were to be able to reciprocate. By just being good friends and neighbors and were now getting a return on that kindness.
Telling the story brings tears to my eyes of all the wonderful friends we left behind. We can never repay them, but we can pay-it-forward on the West Coast!