Generosity

posted by Momo Fali on June 11, 2009

Back in the spring of 2002, my husband and I were told by a pediatric cardiologist that our baby would be born with a very rare heart defect. His best guess was that our son would be premature, then be sedated and ventilated until he reached five pounds and at that point, he would have open heart surgery.

When the news came that our child’s heart was getting worse and he would, indeed, be born seven weeks too soon, people in our lives starting mobilizing.

My best friend organized a massive effort to have people bring us dinner. She knew we would be at the hospital a lot, and we still had our three year old daughter to take care of. It was unbelievably thoughtful.

Which is why it should make perfect sense that we declined the offer.

My husband and I felt sure we could handle our household, his job, the dog, our daughter and a baby in intensive care. We handled it all right, but I look back and realize it was the most stressful time in my life. Luckily, our son proved his doctor wrong and he came home after three weeks. If his hospitalization had gone on for as long as the doctors expected, I don’t know how I would have held things together.

That story leads me to Tuesday, when I went to the garage to take some meat out of our upright freezer only to find that someone had left the door open. Water was dripping from the door and every bit of food had turned to a gooey mess.

What does my son being in the hospital have to do with a door left ajar? Wait for it…

Everything…everything…was completely thawed. All the beef and chicken we buy in bulk to save money, a big turkey, and lots of fish my husband had caught. Thousands of dollars in food. Gone.

I felt sick. I cried. This was food we bought despite losing our business last year. This mess was discovered just days after finding out that our health insurance at my husband’s new job starts the deductible over again on July 1st. The deductible we just met. Oh sorry, the $4000 deductible we just met. Oh, and before that insurance started February 1st, we had just met the deductible on our old insurance. That baby with the heart defect? He’s seven now and had his ninth surgery…in January.

In case you’re not counting, that’s THREE different deductibles we will meet in ONE calendar year. Our premiums are crazy-high too. We will put out over $20,000 in health insurance this year alone.

After realizing the food wasn’t salvageable, I did what anyone would do. I called my husband and then I starting venting to everyone who would listen. And, people did listen. Not only that, they did something about it.

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail saying that three great ladies would be at my door on Sunday with food to restock my freezer. A mighty generous statement, especially given that they live roughly 400 miles away.

It turns out that one person said he’d like to help us out then it kind of snowballed and other wonderful people got on board. People started mobilizing, and this time we didn’t really have a say. When I tried to stop them I was told, “This train has already left the station.”

All I can say is that I will do my best to pay this forward. I promise.

I couldn’t turn them down like I did my best friend all those years ago. And, I’m betting that when I look back at this time in my life, I won’t think of how stressful it was, but rather how generous people can be.

They didn’t do it for recognition. As a matter of fact, they planned on keeping it private. But I was not about to let this go unmentioned. My pride can take a ride in the back seat for this trip.

When I told my neighbor about it, she got goosebumps and said, “Thank you for telling me this. I needed to hear it because there is so much bad in the world.”

She’s right. But, you know what? There’s a lot of good too.

    Comments

  • Heather B.


    1) I love random acts of kindness.

    2) I love that you're going to the MamaPop party that way you will definitely be able to stalk me.

  • Only Aman


    That is freaking awesome! I mean random people bringing you meat?

    Was your husband jealous? 😉

    Sorry – couldn't resist the silly joke.

    I am glad to hear about it, and you didn't do those people wrong by sharing about it!

    -Aman

  • threebysea


    A break in the clouds- yay! I love stories like that- it almost seems like an Oprah moment. Except a lot less planned and scripted. And whereas I'd like to meet you someday, I have little use for Oprah. (God help me if her show ever contacts me to appear and this statement comes back to bite me.)

  • Amy


    Amazing!! The blogging community is a powerful and wonderful thing.

  • Angella


    Awesome, awesome, awesome.

    Talk about a wonderful community.

    You have been blessed, indeed.

    (Also, as for your health care costs – the States always blow me away. Here in Canada all of your costs would be covered under your monthly premium of $108. My mind is boggled.)

  • Birdie


    That's absolutely fabulous! That's the way it's supposed to work. I bet it was really fun for them to do it too because it just feels great to help people (without being forced to). I think God put that inside our souls. I'm glad you had friends around you that could reach out and help carry a little of your load. Thanks for sharing your story Momo!

  • Kat


    Oh that is so awesome! I have big tears in my eyes now…because people brought you meat! It just goes to show, there are angels among us!

  • BusyDad


    I would never pass up the opportunity to deliver you some meat. Wait. SO badly worded. I'll rethink and repost.

  • moosh in indy.


    Damn straight there's a lot of good in this world. And it does need more recognition. Pride or not.
    My heart swells to know that someone is taking care of you.

  • Perksofbeingme


    I have come to love this community and the support and generosity of it. It truly is amazing.

  • Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]


    We are so fortunate to run in such an amazing community, even if we are all imaginary online friends.

  • WeaselMomma


    Birdie got it right that it is going to be a barrel of fun and monkeys for us! Anyone else who would like to do so can contribute through paypal via sending to weaselmomma@yahoo.com
    I can't wait to meat, um meet you in person.
    Now go donate people!

  • Melisa with one S


    I hope you have a better reaction to people touching your meat than I normally do:

    http://thesuburbanscrawl.blogspot.com/2008/11/oh-no-she-didnt.html

    I CAN'T WAIT til Sunday! xoxo

  • BeautifulWreck


    Amazing. I am an eternal optimist. I believe there is good in people and I love to see it in action. I am so glad your freezer is going to be stocked full of food for you and your family and there is not a doubt in my mind you will not pay it forward.

    PS I am a fairly new reader and follower on Twitter and I'm enjoying getting "to know you" through your blog and tweets. 🙂

  • Tara R.


    Goes to show that there are good people in the world and that your are greatly loved by so many of them.

  • Mr. Man


    If this were Twitter, I'd retweet @BusyDad's comment. TOO.DANG. FUNNY!!! Generosity is meant to be paid forward (as you mentioned). Later Momo!

  • melissa


    because it's karma. good things happen to good people.
    and you are good people!!
    xo

  • Colleen


    I just got teary eyed.

    After reading about little Dakota's mom abusing her and then Little April Rose being a scam, I needed to hear good news about our community.

    You're in my thoughts.

  • Caroline D.


    OMG talk about going from despair to joy- what a wonderful story! you are right- people are good. I'm so glad you are getting help.

  • Hockeyman


    It's sad that the news media only focuses on all the doom and gloom of the world. I believe there is more good than evil out there but no one ever takes notice. So when good things like this do happen it seems most people are thankful to hear good news for a change. That mindset needs to be reversed in our society. If the news media and all media started focusing on positive stories and acts of kindness, perhaps the human spirit would not appear to be broken. We all know it's not broken but it sure does feel fragile more than not.

    Thanks for writing about the positive side to the human spirit. Hopefully it's a trend that will continue and people will start doing good things instead of bad things to get the public notoriety they seek.

  • Heather


    This is just so incredibly awesome! I wish that instead of publicizing the bad news that the world would focus more on the good things and how much better would the world be if we did that. Thank you for sharing this amazing story.

    Many hugs! xoxo

  • Kori


    I never cease to be amazed at the generosity od people. NEVER. I am so glad for you, from the bottom of my heart.

  • Tracey


    There is no doubt you will pay it forward… Your love of your children, the great sense of humor you share with us all, your work at the school, the raising of a daughter w/ great dreams…. the list goes on. Your blogs brighten a lot of days. Take – freeze – eat – and enjoy! God bless these wonderful ladies and your family!

  • Amy


    Wow. That is really, really beautiful. You are loved.

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins


    What a great story…involving lots of really great people. Thanks for sharing it!

  • NukeDad


    Way too many eggshells to step on, so I'll just say: I hope you enjoy that cut of top choice….wait, wait; may that huge package of meat bring….oh dear lord; that's quite a rack…no, no; ah, hell-enjoy your present!

  • Stella


    That's wonderful!

    So much good that we sometimes don't see because we focus on the bad! Thank you for sharing!

  • Lynn @ Walking With Scissors


    I have chills! I just love a good happy-ending story. People can be so amazing. I'm glad that the train left the station before you had a chance to tell it not to!! 🙂

  • Tom


    Now you just need to get a freezer alarm. Or keep the popsicles somewhere else. Can't wait to see pictures of the meatwagon pulling up!

  • MYSUESTORIES


    How truly wonderful!! I hope you were able to share some of your thawed foods with others in need!

  • Rachel


    You inspire people
    You radiate such love and strength.. that is why people want to help you.

    You didn't ask, you didn't whine, you didn't cry "oh poor me.. who will save me"

    You struggle and yet, you stay strong and you fight. You DON'T give up.

    *off to see what I can do*

    <3 you

  • anya


    That's what it's all about.

  • Xbox4NappyRash


    I've learned myself this week how 'strangers' can move you.

    That is a wonderful thing to hear.

  • Chuck


    I believe you pay it forward every single day. Somehow it feels to me like I was already owing you. 🙂

  • Sadia


    Hooray for community!

  • Christina


    I love people helping others and not expecting anything in return.

    When we had car problems last year a reader sent her husband over to fix our car for free. It was the sweetest and most generous thing anyone has ever done for us.

  • MommyTime


    The world IS a good place in many many respects, and you are clearly one of the good ones who deserves to have coming back to her a little of the good that she puts out for others.

  • AlisonH


    W O W !!! My heartfelt thanks to those good people too!!!

  • Jaina


    That made me all teary. What wonderful people. You're absolutely right…there is a LOT of good in the world. The bad just too often steals the spotlight.

  • OhCaptain


    Just awesome. I'm very glad for you!

  • DiaperPin Up Girl


    Total goosebumbs.

    I love hearing about the good in the world.

  • Damaris


    I hate insurance! I just found out on Tuesday that I will have to be 2 weeks induced because my insurance happens to run out a week after my due date and they can't process the billing that fast. So they tell me that if i want them to pay for my delivery I have to get induced 2 weeks before my due date.

  • Kathy


    Momo, I finally got back here. I read your post and cried. So happy to hear of everyone rallying around you. Then I got mad because a client had an emergency and I had to dab my eyes and run. What's with people?! I'm crying here!

    Wishing you a run of good luck for a long while. You and your family deserve it.

  • St


    OMG, that is so cool

  • the MomBabe


    That is so awesome.

  • surprised mom


    I can't wait to meet you! With WeaselMomma the wheel, you know the ride is going to be something to remember! See you soon!

  • FrankandMary


    Who could be driven to despondency with all that community love?
    Today we talked about "soulless materialism" at work, & I was the one who brought it up. Now I feel like I have to print this entry & show it to them tomorrow. I thank you for "telling" me also. ~Mary

  • Mrs4444


    I look forward to pics and an inventory; I hope you need to buy another freezer, heehee.

  • Heather


    There is so much good when you need it the most. It just goes to show that when you least expect it, when you really need it, when you just can't take ONE.MORE.THING.

    ….something, someone..reaches out.

    I am so proud of the internet right now. There CAN and there IS good.

  • Mimi aka pz5wjj


    Oh that is just so sweet. There is good in this world, lots of it.

    This made me cry.

  • Secret Agent Mama


    That gave me chills.

    You are cared for because YOU are a kind and wonderful person. I know you will pay it forward. Because YOU are a kind and wonderful person.

    Much Love!

  • Kim


    THis is just wonderful and it restores my faith in people to see such beauty.. xox

  • Chittypulga


    These are the stories that probably will never make it into the main stream media. Therefore, people who can help rarely get the motivation to share or give to someone in particular.
    Big Yeaaaahhh!! to social media and the blogger community for doing the job!!
    …You know Momo Fali, life is made of happy moments and others not so pretty. However, those are the ones that make us grow… It will all get better in time 🙂

  • James (SeattleDad)


    That is terrific. Way to go bloggers!

  • Mocha Dad


    It's great to see the kindness of others.

  • Rachael


    Thank you for posting about this. It reminds me that people ARE truly good.

  • the*4*of*us


    I think this is so awesome!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Out-Numbered


    Wow. Sometimes you have to let go and accept that good Karma that's coming back to you. I'm sure you deserve it. I also can't believe your husband catches his own fish. I'm such a pussy.

  • kay


    God always provides just when you thought He's forgotten you. You are loved!

  • The Devoted Dad


    Your story touched many, including myself. You have some great friends of whom I found out about your situation. Also, on a side note- I like your blogs new design. I didn't know the old one, but you got a new reader. Take care, Jason C.

  • CasualFridayEveryDay


    Oh how touching!!!

    Nell

  • David Peters


    Uh… I can't believe it but my freezer was left open also! Can you believe it? Would you please give those 3 extraordinary ladies my address? Thanks. Kidding, of course. That is an amazing story, and your neighbor is right about all that is bad in our world. But you, friend, are more right… there is much more good and that is what we should direct our efforts and attention on and be grateful. I'm glad you've got some good food on the way… this time, keep the door shut! Yeah, I know it was you, don't blame it on A and A, fess up 🙂

  • OHmommy


    How did I miss this?

    Have a wonderful afternoon. The kindness of others is so awesome. Especially in the blogging world.

  • Undomestic Diva


    Something tells me you're the kind of person that would do the same exact thing for someone else without thinking twice.

  • Aunt Juicebox


    My heart just breaks every time I think of those medical bills. I can barely afford mine, I can't imagine what you have to come up with each year. I know your son is a blessing, and worth the expense but that doesn't make it any easier to come up with the money.

  • musingwoman


    I'm very glad you shared. There's so much pain in the world. Whenever there's a ray of light, it's good to see it.

  • meleah rebeccah


    What An Amazing Post! People totally rock! I love it!

  • MaNiC MoMMy™


    Awesome! I am friends with Melisa and know WM … what a great fabuloso thing to do! Bless you!

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4


    Goosebumps. For sure.

    Best story I have heard in a while 🙂

  • LiteralDan


    I was so happy to hear that everyone was going to be taking care of you, and just sorry I couldn't do more to help. Let's hope this is just the start of a long string of very good luck for you all.

  • mrsmouthy


    Wow, what a mix of sad and happy. I'm so glad there are people taking care of you…and that you've learned how to accept it now.

  • Vodka Mom


    yes, there really IS some good in the world, Mr. Frodo.

    xox

  • Maureen


    OMG Momo… I can't believe this also happened to you. Just after DDs birthday in May, our standup freezer door was left open… and everything was warm when I went downstairs and discovered it the next day. The rest of her frozen cheesecake birthday cake: Gone. All my homemade applesauce: Gone. Meat: Gone. The only thing I was glad was gone was the turkey leftovers we really should have eaten from Christmas!

    So we don't use that freezer anymore; it was an old hand-me-down from my aunt, and the door really doesn't shut securely. I no longer trust it.

    So happy you got re-stocked. You are amazing and so are your friends!!

  • nola


    There is also an awful lot of good in the world. Glad you got a sampling of it. Very glad.

  • MommaD


    thank you for sharing such a personal story, it indeed lifted my day. blessings to you and your family!

  • Deb


    I never knew the generosity of women and kindness of strangers until I had a family, and I have since been witness (and the lucky recipient, on occasion) of acts of benevolence that have made my heart expand with joy.

    I'm so glad you have such wonderful women on your side. Hugs.

  • Karen MEG


    So that's what you were twittering about, I felt so clueless.

    That is indeed wonderful; people who say that blog friends aren't real life friends… well, here's one for you.

    I hope things turn around for you soon, momo….(hugs)

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Twitter Me This - Momo Fali's
    Wednesday, 11 May, 2011

    […] of Twitter.  Just ask my husband.  Most notably, Twitter got me a job.  Holla! It also got me a freezer full of meat, a mention in Ladies Home Journal, roommates at conferences, product recommendations from trusted […]

  • Trackback from So Much Good - Momo Fali's
    Thursday, 25 April, 2013

    […] haven’t felt this good about humanity since the infamous meat-wagon, freezer incident of […]

  • Trackback from The Necklace
    Sunday, 11 August, 2013

    […] big hat tip to Momo’s awesome daughter for making the “oopsie” that inadvertently set off the chain of events and thus, one of the best friendships I have ever had. So, WOW, it was all worth it, […]

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