The Miracle of Saint James Garfield

So it’s no secret that sometimes my little family struggles.
I have a double handful of difficult medical stuff wrong with me that necessitates lots of doctors and hospitals and expensive medications. Gabe our middle son has a horrifying autoimmune disease that causes brain swelling, mood swings, personality changes, pain, etc and is also really expensive to treat.

Come Christmas time we were doing ok, but there was nothing extra for much extra but we were going to be together and ok. Que 3 back surgeries and then catching the flu on a cross-country car trip the week before major double shunt placement surgery RIGHT BEFORE Christmas…. Oh my double JEEZ as my 6 year old would say.

I was overwhelmed and sad…. feeling sorry for myself and my ever stressed husband and looking at a pile of bills higher than the stack of money available. It is a story so many people know intimately. Then came Jenny.

The Bloggess is a site which most of you are familiar with, and whom I have followed for a long time. Right before Christmas she started a chain of giving that in the end probably topped over 100k in just a few weeks. People were talking about their families, and I posted a list of coats and little things for my family that I just didn’t have the budget for and we were going to visit Michigan.

Kind strangers from all over the globe bought coats and hats and things for me that I hadn’t even asked for. It was a Christmas Miracle. The outpouring of love and kindness was something I have never seen before and doubt I will again… nothing could possibly equal it. Yes, there were a few greedy scammers, but for the most part there was just a tidal wave of love.

The mascot of The Bloggess army is Saint James Garfield. A humanely taxidermied boars head and most anonymous giving was done in his name, and once Christmas had come to a close so many of us had bonded over the shared miracle we formed our own group called Saint James Garfield in his honor.

What started with simple giving has turned into, for me at least, a life changing experience. Beyond coats and Christmas, the women that stuck together and formed the group several months ago have become my family.

We are a ragtag bunch. Some professionals with huge hearts, some living hand to mouth with kind souls. We cover the globe and somehow have banded together into a tribe stronger than any family I have ever seen or been a part of. We care for each others needs… if you can’t pay a bill a collection is taken up to help you as much as we can. If you have a store we buy from it first… Need advice? 20 people are jumping to help you find an answer….. It is brilliant and wonderful and warm and perfect.

Personally I hardly have any family left, and my husband has equally little. Certainly no one we interact daily with. The SJG tribe has become not only my second family, but they have enveloped my husband and kids as well and I will be eternally grateful for the change I was given to get to know them.

Thank you Jenny ( and Saint James Garfield ) for the Christmas Miracle, and for the family you led me to.

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