Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Some people are givers and some are takers. Amongst the givers, some do so to get something back. Others just give for the sake of giving without any strings or expectations. That's Marko. He's my friend of 16+ years and he's a no-strings-attached giver. I'm not sure whether I always knew this about him but it's become all-the-more-evident of late. With his philanthropic attitude, Marko has become one of my repetitive Angels. He's consistently "there" -- or should I say here -- for us in times of need and even when nothing is needed.... he's been there/here to give freely anyway.

Like others, we've been living mostly on one income since I left my job 6 years ago (I occasionally consult to fill in the gaps). For us, this well-thought-out and conscious decision put a pretty big financial strain on our family. Truth be known, I take most of the "blame" for that since I was the catalyst, quitting my high-paying job to stay home with the kids. It was necessary on so many levels for our entire family. At this point, and in hindsight, I'm sure my husband agrees it was the right thing for us to do. Still, living on 16% of our former income was not easy. That said, our finances have continuously improved as we knew they would (given our decisions) and we're doing all right these days. Truly.

However, when Christmas-time comes around, every body's belt gets tighter, bank accounts shrink, and everything seems more expensive. As we prepared for a very scaled-down season of giving, Marko and his motorcycle gang were gearing up on our behalf. The "Strength & Honor Motorcycle Club" is made up of active and retired police and firefighters who have dedicated their extra- and/or post-civil service activities to continue their philanthropic efforts by giving to others. Since my husband is "on the job" AND we have our very special, special-needs boys to care for, this don't-call-them-a-gang group of motorcyclists chose my family as their adopted-extended Christmas family this year. On December 12, with a truckload -- literally an SUV-full -- of gifts ranging from toys to clothes to monetary gift cards, Marko and his just-as-generous daughter, Jamie, made a 12-hour round-trip trek from Virginia to our front door. My children spent in excess of 2 hours excitedly opening early Christmas presents thanks to Marko and his non-gang.
My husband, children and I cannot even begin to thank Marko or his buddies for their generosity. What "Santa" gave my kids this year are wonderful memories and a lesson of giving that will live well beyond their youth. So, here's to http://strengthandhonormc.com/ and to Marko and Jamie for their incredible gift.... I am honored to know them and to call them my friends. Surely, they are the Angels Living Amongst Us!

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