It takes someone special...

Today is Valentine's Day, in case any of you haven't already heard. It was also group night. With a newspaper article in the local paper since our last meeting, I was feeling very optimistic that tonight, I would not be THE group.

And I wasn't disappointed. Five minutes till seven, he walked in. We'll call him Grandpa Joe. He is NOT the adult child of a hoarder. He's a hoarder, admittedly, and he is looking for help. We sat and spoke to Joe for 45 minutes. He told us about his current project, clearing out an estate. Apparently, the woman who has passed on had a strong desire for Christmas decorations. He had already moved three loads of Christmas decor from her home TODAY. The last load was still in his SUV outside.


Joe is a special man. He was a child of the Great Depression and has always worked to support himself and his family. He's almost 80, but he's still out working every day. He has battled cancer multiple times and is waiting to hear back whether he's clear after radiation for the last round. He's a walking master of local history, telling us about the history of the neighborhood and the building we meet in. He's a husband, a father, a grandfather, an employee, a friend, and a giver. He invited my husband and myself to his place repeatedly, "If you need anything, I'm sure I have it, and you can just take it."

As we wrapped up the meeting, he convinced us to see the Christmas stuff he had in his SUV. If I have a weakness, it's Christmas stuff, but I'm too uptight to let my collection get out of hand. Sure enough, the back of his SUV was filled with boxes of neatly packed Christmas wreaths, all of which still had price tags. These weren't his treasures, but he took them over because he saw potential in them. Joe insisted that I have a wreath. And something within me knew that he wanted to give to me because it's how he relates to people. He gives.

It takes someone special to see the beauty of potential...

...to give

and to receive...

Perhaps my role should be different than I've thought. Perhaps it takes the child of a hoarder to know and understand the importance of appropriate help, and to create that for a community that has nothing to offer those who know they have a problem and want to seek help.

Perhaps it takes someone special.

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