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Phyllis

March 25th, 2006 at 10:56 am

Phyllis was a single mom who lived across the street from my parents. Her daughter and I were good friends and we spent alot of time at each others homes.

When I was 26 I was going through a divorce (abusive marriage, got the heck out thank God) and had 3 children. I lived about 2 1/2 hours from my parents.

It was 1988. The night of my DD2s third birthday...my brother died in a motorcycle accident. I can not even begin to explain how painful this event was or the impact it had on us for years to come.

My ex was not too forthcoming with support and I was struggling. I went to staywith my parents for a week...and made the funeral arrangements. Although taking the time from work was not something I could afford to do, it is not something that crosses your mind at a time like this.

The day of the funeral I was in one of the bedrooms with my childhood friend recalling memories of my brother when Phyllis knocked on the door. She hugged me and handed me money...and said she wanted me to be able to spend more time with my family...it was $200 and I know this was very tough for Phyllis to come up with.

I was so grateful to her...I spent an extra week with my parents...and have NEVER forgot that gift.

In her honor, each year I find a struggling single mom and anonymously send her money...some years it is only $50, other years it is more... Phyllis's gift has turned into over $1500 now...and it is something I will do for the rest of my life.



6 Responses to “Phyllis”

  1. marilla Says:

    What a wonderful legacy! And what a special way to honor both Phyllis and your brother.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    What a wonderful thing to do. How do you find these women?

  3. Thrifty Ray Says:

    You know Marilla, I had never thought about it being a honor of my brother too...but that makes it even more special to me. Thanks you for thinking of that!!

    Ima Saver- I wished I could say it is tough to find them, but unfortunately it has been very easy.. There are so many 'working poor' out there. Some have been people I worked with, or someone my DH worked with, some my mom has met at dialysis, one time, I went to a budgeting seminar and the speaker shared her story...and the next day I mailed her a $50 money order... I've been doing it for 18 years now and I just keep my ears tuned.

  4. Ima saver Says:

    I know you are right about the working poor. Since I don't work, I don't come into contact with many people and my husband works alone. I think that is a wonderful thing you do, and i would like to do it too.
    I did find out about an elderly couple living on $212 a month and I offered to buy their groceries every week, but they would not accept anything from anyone.

  5. boomeyers Says:

    This is the best example of "pay it forward". Its ironic I was just trying to teach my daughters about that. (There is a new country song out about this, we had just heard it). I will tell them this story tomorrow. Thanks Ray!
    (Ima - you might try an anonymous donation.)

  6. jeffrey Says:

    A wonderful story and one I'm sure that others will pay forward too.

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