I know Brett would wish for everyone to take care of someone less fortunate this season. He believed so much in helping others. He never wanted his buddies to see that side of him but I saw it all the time. Shortly after he passed away I found this essay he wrote when he was 13. I don't remember it but it brought me to tears when I found it. It makes me so proud, even now, that he was so proud of me. I knew he loved me but to see this in writing, especially the last line "I'm just so glad I'm related to her." just blows me away every time I read it.
ONE THING I WILL SAY TO PARENTS EVERYWHERE: This essay shows that your children do watch exactly what you do, they do notice what you do for less fortunate, they do compare you to others. Will you come up short or will your child compare you to the Good Samaritan? Remember this, when you're complaining about not having enough time, when you're running here and there, pushing your kid's onto soccer, ballet, swim team, worrying about your next outfit, your next 4WD gas guzzler, your Starbucks $8 cup of coffee, some little boy or girl may be following your lead.
Here's my sweet Brett's essay in it's entirety:
"Although I know many people who resemble the Good Samaritan, I think my mother is the best of them all. She has helped so many people that it would be impossible to count them all. They range from every race, religion, or cultural background you could think of. Since it would be impossible to list all of her good deeds, I will list the ones that I think had the greatest influence on my life.
The greatest thing she has done lately is volunteering to teach cooking classes at a halfway house called Sojourners' Place. When I saw the looks on the peoples faces there after she had taught them how to cook, I could tell they were very grateful for the time she had taken to be with them. Last Christmas, she bought toys for the orphans at Our Lady of Grace home. The children were extremely happy when they saw their new gifts. She also regularly helps out and donates food, clothes and toys to the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House is a place where people can live while their children are being operated on at A.I DuPont Hospital. Another one of her many good deeds is volunteering at the Emmanuel Dining Room where she serves lunch to the homeless. Also, there is man in our neighborhood who is very elderly and uses a walker to get around. Since he uses a walker, it takes about 2 hours to go 1 mile. Whenever my mom sees him walking, she will always pick him up, no matter what her schedule or how late we are. He appreciates it so much. The deeds I have just listed are good deeds my mom does for less fortunate people.
Some other deeds she does are for people who are as fortunate as we are, but they just need some extra help. She has been a volunteer for the historic Chalfonte Hotel, built in 1874, in Cape May, NJ for over 20 years! She has stenciled over 50 rooms, free of charge. She spends 2 weekends a year donating her time to make the hotel a better place to visit. One of the most important things she has done is being an officer for the Wilmington Ski Club for over 7 years. Without pay, she runs ski trips out west and to Europe. She also does all the club's accounting. She always tells me that this was A LOT of work. She was a committee member for a 5K walk and she has also helped in the March of Dimes walk-a-thon 4 different years.
When my mom volunteers or helps out, I usually go with her. She thinks it is very important that I see how lucky I am. I watch the peoples' faces while she's helping them and after she has helped. Whether it's poor, homeless, or rich people, they always look extremely happy and grateful. I can never count how many times I hear "Thank you!" Whenever I see the people thanking her I get a feeling of happiness. I can tell they really like her and wish she would come back again. She usually does help them again, she doesn't know how to say no to people who need her help. My mom works full time and has 2 little part time jobs but she always finds the time to volunteer. In conclusion, I think my mom is the greatest person and she is the most like the Good Samaritan of all the people I know. And I'm just so glad I'm related to her.
... and his teacher wrote "Grade :A You have something to be proud of to have such a giving parent!"