Dec 24, 2017

Christmas Eve ~

It only takes a moment to say thank you, but your 
thoughtfullness will be remembered a long time.  Thank you...

Almost Home is my “baby”as Arvid says.  I have been running it for over a year,
 and in that year I have grown very close to many of the tenants.  So close that 
many treat me like their daughter.  Yes most of my tenants are older.

Yesterday as Arvid and I were taking my couple and their 2 kids 
out to dinner, one of my tenants called me and she said, “Nadiya, can 
you please come over a little today after you’re done with dinner.” 
 And yes, she said all was good, but she just wanted to see me.

After dinner we went to Almost Home.  I knocked on her door and 
she opened up and gave me a big hug.  Yeah a hug that I reciprocated.
 It was very nice.  She then proceeded to give me a Christmas card. Those who 
know me know that a card means more to me than any present would.

Needless to say I was really happy and touched.  I opened the card and 
saw that it was a card she had showed to me a few weeks ago.  She 
had asked me if I liked it.  I said yes, and she proceeded to tell 
me that it was for her daughter.  When I saw what was in 
the card I was speechless.  It was signed by many of the
 tenants.  I was not expecting this at all.

The fact that there was also a gift card in the card was more than 
I could have imagined.  I did not want to accept it, but as 
Miss Wynette said, “if you don’t you will hurt our feelings” I accepted,
 but come next week it will be buying lunch for all of them.

My tenants work hard to make ends meet and many live on a fixed income.  
For me the card will be cherished always, but I cannot and will 
not accept nor take their money.  Already planning on 
what I will be buying for them with it.

I don’t know what I did in this life to have been blessed with 
all the kindness and love I am surrounded with, but whatever it is,
 I am so very grateful.  We do not have our families by us right now,
 but everyone at Almost Home has become family to me.

In Norway there is a tradition where  Victoria and Michael visit 
the cemetery of their grandfather, Arvid’s dad every 23rd of December.  
This has been going on for years now.  The best part is that they always 
light a candle and leave a special message.  In that special message I 
am always included.  It makes incredibly happy and I just have no
 words to express my gratitude other than thank you,  Thank you.

My Christmas is already special.  I received my special goodie box
 from parents.  In it there are tons of stuff mom and dad always make
for us and some especially for the holidays.  Took me back to
 my childhood and of course missing home and my family.

Sometimes we forget that the true meaning of Christmas is not always 
how much we can give, but it is how much we can give back.  I have been given 
more than money can ever buy.  I have Arvid, Sniff a wonderful family,
good friends and a life that I can say is very satisfying because 
I believe that in more ways than one Arvid and I have changed
 the lives of so many here in Branson as they have ours.

May your hearts be filled with love and gratitude and may you 
remember to never take anyone or anything for granted.  

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life 
is thank you, it will be enough...