It had about $59 in it and it meant the world to me

Everything started around the middle of November 2020. I had to be hospitalized due to a blockage and spent about 4 days there. I got out Monday before Thanksgiving. About a week later I was back in the hospital for about 6 days.

On December 20, 2020 I was admitted again and this time was told I would have to have surgery for the blockage. Surgery was done December 22, 2020. I spent Christmas at the hospital. It was the first time I had not been with my daughters on Christmas since their birth. It was horrible. They tried so hard to lift my spirits, even putting up a small tree in my room and brought gifts to me. On December 29th I came home. 

Around the middle of January, it started all over again, back to the hospital for 7 days. It was discovered that the blockage was missed by the surgeon!

At the end of January 2021, I went to see a different surgeon. He agreed to do surgery for the blockage and it was set up for the end of February. He told me if the pain got worse he could do it earlier, but would prefer to wait due to me just having surgery 12/22.

On February 4, 2021, my youngest daughter took me to the hospital and that’s when things started to get bad quickly. On top of the pain which was causing severe vomiting, my kidneys started shutting down. I don’t remember a lot of what went on after that for many days. The next day surgery was done. Three days later the surgeon had to operate again. Three days later it was discovered there was a hole in my intestine and surgery had to be performed again. The surgeon couldn’t find the hole that time. Three days later he tried again and was successful. I was in and out of consciousness. Most days I could not have told you when it was day or night. I had a favorite nurse, Wesley, and he worked days, and that was the only time I knew it was day time. He was an actual Godsend to me. Some of the other nurses were so mean to me. I never could understand how a person could be so mean to someone who could not help what was going on with their body. To say it was a nightmare is an understatement. My youngest daughter is an RN and she truly didn’t think I was going to live during the whole ordeal, it was just that bad. But God had a plan for me!

On March 19, 2021, I came home from rehab. I had spent 26 days in ICU, 9 on the hospital floor and 10 in rehab learning how to walk because I was so weak because I had not eaten in ICU and had lost over 40 pounds. When I came home, I had to use a walker. I could not walk without it and could not go up or down any stairs without assistance. My oldest daughter had to take family medical leave to assist me during my recovery.

On April 29th, I felt like I was able to go home. It was very difficult to leave her home due to becoming so dependent on her. Through my life, I have always been very independent and during this time I had to depend on her for everything, I could not prepare meals or even drive myself to the doctor. I cried the day I left because I was scared I was not going to be able to take care of myself. I knew that I had to go home or I felt that I would never find any normalcy in my life.

Last year at Christmas, I had been working in a temporary position since August due to my recovery from the surgeries performed in February. I was working at a college and they were closing for the holidays for almost 2 weeks. Because I was temporary, I was not eligible for pay through the college or the temporary job company. All I could do was worry about how I was going to pay my bills, much less buy anything for my grandchildren for Christmas.

About a week before Christmas I was given a Christmas Jar. It had about $59 in it and it meant the world to me! It helped buy gifts for my grandchildren for Christmas. This was the neatest idea and I had never heard of it until then.

I was hired full time by the college in January 2022. I have been putting money in a jar during this year and am gifting it to someone today. My plan is to do this every year from now on. Even though it wasn’t a lot of money, it was so helpful to me! Such a wonderful caring gift! No matter how much it is, every little bit helps when you need it! 

On a side note, my youngest grandchild is 8 and I have explained the jar to him. He is going to start one next year! On Christmas Eve, my family all gets together and exchange gifts. I am giving everyone there a jar with a dollar in it along with the poem. Hopefully, they will want to pass this wonderful tradition along every year as well!

Rhonda G.