One of the most fabulous blessings to come out of my tragedy has been the contact with so many strangers. People from all over the place have emailed or written me and some have even sent me gifts. Each card, note, email, or gift moves me so much. I guess I am so humbled by every person who reaches out to me because I just don't know if I would take the time to do that for a stranger. I like to think that I would, and though I love to give gifts to family and friends, I have never really given a gift to a stranger, (except last summer when I sent Nienie and her family some of my "Katherine Lived" T-shirts).
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Even since I launched "Hope Heals" a little over a month ago, I have received several HH-related little gifts (see below), which I've come to know as little "sussys". When we were back South this summer, we were in a gift shop in Charleston run by a few Southern characters who enlightened us on this charming Southern colloquialism. In typical Southern fashion, the history of this word is not totally known and the spelling and pronunciation of it is pretty varied--it's likely from the French "souci", meaning a "care or thought"; it's also known as "cerci", "surcy", "searcy", etc. This term means the perfect, little surprise gift given "just because". I think it's a fabulous example of celebrating the small joys in life, and as fun as it is to receive a little gift unexpectedly, there is nothing better than seeing the look on someone's face when you give them a little "happy" out of the blue! (Mia and Cora--2 sweet friends of mine who live close by--do this all the time!)
Technically, the gifts below were not sussys, since they were birthday gifts, but they were so sweet, I just had to share! The coupon book for free rides for special outings is from my dear friend Anna (her baby sprinkle posted here in the last posting) and was so thoughtful as it not only revolved around some of my favorite things--brunch, Sprinkles cupcakes, girl's night out, etc.--but also, since I can't drive, the coupon entitles me to her picking me up to go to these fun treats!
The fabulous birthday pinata was sent to Jay--who loves anything Mexican, particularly the food--from his sweet sister Sarah. Imagine his surprise when he picked up this birthday present from the post office--it was mailed as is, not in a box! So funny!
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Also, my cousin Liz (gorgeous, single, Emory Law Student, 25 yrs old - email me for her number) sent me a beautiful email this weekend and I wanted to share part of it with you with a few of my comments ...
"I am glad you keep up the blog and spread the message to the world -never give up, always have faith, life has little pleasures worth seizing. I hope they read between the lines and get the full picture that you are just too modest to convey - in this crazy, tragic, beautiful world there are people that never give up, despite all odds, keep fighting, remain faithful and do it all with grace, eloquence, and beauty." I don't want there to be any reading between the lines here. Let me be very clear about it: this is an unbelievable story of redemption and hope. I long to be a wise steward of my story. There are terrible tragedies in this world, but there is also intense beauty. I am not remotely too modest to say that I am living that out. I'm celebrating the beauty that is all around me even though there is (still) some pretty intense suffering in my everyday life. I never want it to look easy because it is not. It is hard and sad, but my perspective is good. As I am about to classify this as, I'm way "Too Blessed to be Bitter".
P.S. You deserve an awesome guy like Jay. He totally ruins things for the mere mortals. I like to pretend that men of exemplary character like my father, Big Daddy, and Stig (my other grandfather) are no longer present in our generation, but then there is Jay.... Y'all are just the rockstar dream couple. I don't know about that. Actually, I do know and it is just not true. We are committed to each other and to Christ and that really makes us stand out in a world guided by feelings in the moment, zero commitment, and total entitlement. We are actually pretty normal. We do have incredible families and had upbringings that could only be deemed amazing. BUT, you did too!!!! So, DO NOT SETTLE! You are a phenomenal girl who deserves to be with someone equally incredible. The right man is out there who will rival your incredible intellect and devotion to our Lord. I just know it. (I agree about Jay, though. He has exemplary character and a deep wisdom that is very difficult to find in this world). However, he IS a mere mortal. Always remember that.
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Side note: I just stumbled upon this and wanted to share it with you. Last summer, I happened to be at FBC Montgomery when Anna Sailors performed this song. Over a year later, I am still as deeply moved by it as I was then. Enjoy this. Anna, you can pay me later!