Thursday, December 24, 2009

Giving Is Awesome Winner!!!

Well i spent a tear filled day yesterday reading through all the beautiful entries that where sent in, and man oh man, the decision was HARD!!
But without further ado, the winner is....
and can i say that from the stories that where sent in about Cheryl this gift is going to someone VERY deserving! The first story i am going to share with you came in from a friend of Cheryl's daughters, Michelle McRae.....(when i called and told Michelle who won the contest, she told me that she wanted to donate her own $100.00 gift certificate that she recieved for nominating the winner, to Cheryl can you say SWEET!!!!??)
Hi Tish. I want to nominate Cheryl Riddell for your draw. Cheryl is a single mother of 4. She has struggled with money for the past probably 10 years. Working 3-4 jobs at once with one of the children being as young as 2. She has always worked hard around her home in the country. Bailing hay in the heat or stacking wood in the cold. Cheryl has recently moved to a geared-to-income house so she could afford the bills, but she just found out she is losing her job within the month. Cheryl has 4 daughters and 4 grandsons. She will go to work late in the night just to babysit one of her grandsons while the Mom is at work. She is always trying to help people. Always thinking of others. Who has food in their bellies, who needs to just sit down and talk. Just how she can cheer someone up and make them smile. I know it would mean the world to Cheryl to be able to get her families pictures done and have the memories for life!!!! I'm not looking to get a $100 for pictures for myself, if anything I would say add it on for her because her family is big. I just want you to look into her, she is a really self-less, generous, kind-hearted, awesome person ...To have in your life and be around!!!!
Thanks Tish

From Michelle McRae

And the second story comes from Crystal Staples, Her daughter......

Selfless beyond all reason

Cheryl Riddell is much more than a mother, she is my best friend. I wish more than anything that my mother didn't have to struggle, that she could finally get what she has deserved many years. So let me tell you about her and why I believe that she deserves this gift.

Every girls hero is their mother, a mother is kind, caring, gives you all the love in the world, and prepares you for what is to come in the life ahead. A mothers smile warms you and makes you feel truly safe.So I am sure there is no surprise that I am nominating my own mother. But every once in a while there is much more to a mother than her warm smile and love.This is the storey of MY mother, a storey that evolves hardships, heartbreak, letdown after let down, as well as love, perseverance, dedication, and most of a faith that gives me strength.
Single mothers, they always seem to be selfless beyond all reason.My mother is no exception, i have truly never seen someone put so much Work into putting others before themselves.She is a mother of four and a grandmother of four, two of us are moved out, but she still has her 8 year old daughter, her 16 year old daughter and her 15 month old grandson living with her.Not only does she provide for those under her roof to the best of her ability but she still helps the children who are no longer under her roof with small things like milk or bread when she can, but taking out her savings to help a daughter in need.And she truly expects or wants nothing in return.

She truly opens her heart and home to whoever is in need.Through out the years i don't think my mother was ever just responsible for just her children, we always had about 2 extra mouths to feed. If it wasn't just a friend that never left it was a friend that "really needed a place to stay mom". There were many times my mother offered food and shelter to all of our friends who were in need.There was a time when all of our close friends shared our mother in one way or another, whether it was just advice they wouldn't ask their own or if it was a call in the middle of the night for help or just a safe ride.I'm so proud of all of the love my mother shares, and no matter how many people take advantage of that love, she always seems to offer it again and again where most people would give up and walk away. she has so much love it makes me pray,pray to god that i can some day be just a fraction of the giving caring woman that she is.

Some how on her own my mother managed to give us an amazing childhood we lived on a farm, had horses, cats, dogs and all sorts of different animals at different times, my mom couldn't say no to animals.There were times when my mom was working two jobs, taking care of four young kids, as well as getting up at 6 in the morning to head to the barn to deal with the animals.Things have always been rough for my mother financially, but some how she managed to make us feel like nothing could ever go wrong. In 2001 my mom was diagnosed with fibermyalgia, its like a cousin of MS and arthritis.She tried so hard not to let it slow her down. She has always worked her body hard, and all of a sudden she couldn't any more. It didn't really slow her down for a few years, but then, as hard as she tried for us not to see how much pain she was in, it broke through the surface.

Christmas morning, it sticks out so vividly in my mind. (I had only seen my mother cry once, it was when she broke about 4 bones in her ankle). We all came down to open presents. It was the morning and it was cold, so we expected pain, as hard as it was seeing my strong mother in pain, it was something we had all come accustomed too. But when my mom came down those stairs she looked agonized.I remember she was sitting on the couch and i was on the floor, when i seen the tears.She was crying,and not out of sadness or happiness, she was crying because she was in pain.And so was I , to see the woman who was everything to me was hurting and there were no words i could use to console her.No way to tell her it would be OK, because i could hardly speak.For years i had seen her calices hands, seen her work till lesser men fell down, watched her slave at low paying, crummy jobs so that she could provide for my sisters and my self, and never had i seen her cry or even herd her complain.And there she sat in more pain than she had ever let us see her, and i know how much it must have cost her to let the pain be seen.
Over the years since then there is no way she could hide it anymore. Fibermyalgia is not widely known disease and watching my mother struggle to get up and go to the kitchen on a bad day let alone to work shows me how much it needs to be .She's not crippled don't get me wrong there are some days where you wouldn't know anything was wrong at all, but the bad days are always the ones that are remembered.

As of recently my mother is out of a job, she was laid off and will not be hired on again. She was working for good people who took care of her while she was with them, but they have hired on someone to take over more than just her work load. Her boss came to her and told her the news, they like everyone else right now had fallen on hard times, and instead of being furious or falling into self pity, like most would have, she wept. She wept for them, for the people who had become not just a boss but friends as well, because they are good people and she pitied them, felt for them. And her response when i asked how she was, was simply,"we will be okay, god will take care of us".

Through out our childhood we always seemed to have a camera, but we could never afford to have them developed.I truly wish things were different now, better but there is no way my mom could ever afford to do professional photos, and no way that us girls could pay for them.I know my mother wants to document her grand children's lives as much as she did ours, to do special things with them that she wished she had of done with us. And i worry now that she wont, i don't know where she is going to go now for a job she hurts too much for any regular job, pictures with her family will not make her life or her path any easier, but it would be something to put a smile on her face, and how i love her smile.

When i ask my mom if she is happy, she gets a genuine smile on her face, and she says "of course I'm happy" i ask her what she would change and she looks at me like i didn't speak English " i wouldn't change the way things turned out for anything". And she really does mean it, i see it in her eyes, she loves her children, her grandchildren, and all of her "extended children". and she really wouldn't change anything. Even though she is sick, struggles everyday, and has struggled for years, she still has an amazing outlook on life.She knows thing will work out, that god will take care of her, and that even if things don't get better, she has a family standing behind her that WILL not let her fall.

Thank you so much for all the time you spent reading this.

Thanks soooo much to everyone who sent in their nominations, your stories where are breathtaking.....I only wish everyone could win! This was the start of an annual contest, I will be doing this every year from now on!!


Love Tisha xo


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