Sunday, March 16, 2008

Caring Allison (My Sacred Life, Sunday)

Caring. It's one of life's great gifts, having hearts which care for others. And, typically, the caring goes on without other people necessarily knowing anything about it. That's okay--the reward one receives for caring is that sense of purpose and inner comfort we all love to feel. Even the pain we feel for others who are in difficulty is a gift, although it is not always one we appreciate in the moment. It's the way of the heart: all feelings are the gift.

Sometimes, though, caring is not done privately and without notice. Sometimes, caring happens in a way that is impossible not to notice. Here's an example.

These two young ladies had their hair cut off this week as they raised money for pediatric cancer research. The young lady on the right is my second-eldest, Allison.

Allison, a sophomore engineering major at CU in Boulder, CO, is a very caring soul. She routinely devotes large amounts of time to projects within her church including mentoring a small group of high-school girls, and she gave her entire Christmas break from college to the families in Thailand that she and 60 other college kids from the same church visited. The young men and women did all kinds of things to help the families who have yet to get their lives back to normal since the huge tsunami of several years ago. They did some construction work on one family's house, prepared a formerly unusable field for planting at another family's home, cleaned up debris which had not been cleared since the water receded, and completed a dozen other, smaller jobs.

How she is able to give so much and still do so well in school is a puzzle to me, but it's one I'm okay with when I cannot find the answer: it's a pleasant mystery to ponder. As long as she is happy with her many different pursuits, I'm happy for her. And, I'm grateful. She is living proof that the next generation has plenty of members who know that caring for others is one of the most-important jobs we are here to perform.


Angela said...

What a beautiful young woman, Rick. Hmmm, wonder where she gets that big heart?

Sylvain said...

What a wonderful young lady Rick. She is a true role model for the high schoolers she is mentoring. Something that is badly needed. I applaud her for making a difference. You should be very proud.

Sphincter said...

Whoa! Few people could make that look work, and she's clearly one of them! She sounds like a great person.

Julie said...

This brings tears to my eyes.
As you probably know, my combo platter of reality TV (watching selfish, stupid young kids) and political news shows makes me sometimes think we are all doomed. Then I read about people like your daughter and I can almost feel your pride and hope. Thank YOU guys for raising such a beautiful daughter!

Rick Hamrick said...

Thanks to you all for your encouraging, thoughtful words.

Angela--I hope we all have the same big heart Allison uses so well, and I hope we all find good purposes to put it to.

Syl--proud? You bet I am!

Sphinc--my ex, who attended the shearing, called me to tell me how much Allison looked like me, once her hair was shorn. I could not wish to have any better person bear a resemblance to me, that's for sure!

Julie--I had to cry, reading your message. So I did. Just so the story is told truthfully, my family is blessed to include four wonderfully strong, beautiful daughters. The miracles they provide as if it were just another day astound me, and I no more assume credit than I accept blame when one of them messes up. They are forces of nature, and I am the luckiest dad in the world to know them.