Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Ultimate Gift

Last night, Josh and I attended his bank's annual Christmas party. I love having a reason to dress up and go on a fancy date with Josh, so I always look forward to this party. Plus, they give away great prizes and there's excellent food! Before we left we had Sue take a picture of us in front of the mantle. I promise I felt like I was in high school again getting my picture taken before going to prom :) Josh and I left and looked forward to a great night...we both needed it!

This past week was a pretty tough week for Josh's little family at work. Josh's loan assistant and good friend, Reve, got a call early Tuesday morning that her husband Richard had been involved in a serious car accident in south Louisiana. Reve called Josh around 6:45 that morning to let him know that she was on her way to the hospital where Richard was already in surgery. We both went to work with heavy hearts and immediately started praying for their family. A few hours later, I got a text from Josh, while I was at work, that let me know that the doctors didn't expect Richard to make it through the day. Less than an hour later, he let me know that Richard had passed away :( 

So many emotions rushed through me the moment I saw that text-shock, anger, sadness, and confusion. Josh and I kept talking about it and we both couldn't understand the why's of it all. Why Richard? Why take a wonderful father and a wonderful husband? Why take his life right at Christmas time when it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year? Why take away a son from a mother, who just lost another son a few years back from cancer? There were more whys than we could possibly ever answer, and I know that this side of heaven, I'll never know. Ultimately, I realized that life is precious and you have to make the most of every single day, every single moment. You have to say "I love you" more, hug more, kiss more, and spend time with the ones you love. I know without any doubt that Richard did this. He loved his boys, Drew and Scott, and his wife so much; he adored them. I don't understand why he had to go, but I know that ultimately God has a plan. It sounds so trite, but if you don't believe that, then how do you go on? How do you wake up the next day and live your life? I'm so thankful that Reve, her boys, and her mother-in-law are so strong in their faith, and they are trusting and depending on God to get them through this difficult time.

The morning of the Christmas party was Richard's funeral, so everyone was thinking about and praying for Reve that day. Usually, she is with us at the party cutting up, laughing, and having a great time, but understandably so she wasn't there that night. Like I mentioned before, everyone's heart was pretty heavy that night. Josh didn't really want to go, but I knew that he needed a night out so we did. I'm so glad we did because THE MOST AMAZING thing happened while we were there. 

Every year Josh's bank gives away what they call the "Trip of a Lifetime." They put every employee's name into a hat and pull out one name. That person wins $10,000 that they can use to go anywhere in the world they want to go. The only stipulation is that you have to be present to win. Before he drew the name this year, Cliff made the announcement that if he pulled Reve's name, she was going on the trip no questions asked. Everyone wholeheartedly agreed with this. If anyone needed a trip, it was Reve. We all held our breath as a name was drawn. Cliff is always very creative at how he eliminates the employees and pretty soon it was Josh, and our friend, Carrie, left standing at our table. Once again, Josh was "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" but we both cheered happily when Cliff read Carrie's name out loud. She was stunned, shocked, and amazed. She and every other woman that works in their office started crying. She made her way up to the stage where she hugged Cliff and whispered something in his ear. He nodded and then led her to the microphone. Carrie, bless her soul, spoke into the microphone and told us that she and Frank, her husband, had decided before they came that if for some reason they won, they were going to donate their trip to Reve and her two little boys. My heart swelled with pride, love, admiration, and amazement at Carrie's genuineness, her love, and her compassion. How many people would give up the trip of a lifetime and give it to someone else? I don't know very many. 

The night got even better when we all crowded around Josh's cell phone to tell the good news to Reve. Cliff, Josh's boss, made his way slowly over to where we were and before we had a chance to press SEND, he told Carrie he had some more news. He had just talked to the chairman of the board of directors and they were going to give Carrie a trip, too!! WOW! That completely made my night! Isn't that what Christmas is all about? Sharing love with the ones you love, giving without expecting in return. I'm so thankful that I was able to witness such a miraculous gift.


Malinda said...

Beautiful picture of Christmas. Bless that sweet family. I can't imagine her hurt. We'll be praying for them during this time.

Audra Laney said...

Wow. Brought tears to my eyes. Some people's generosity never ceases to amaze me. What an example!

The Johnson's Life said...

i love this mana...glad you posted this!!

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