I am blessed.
Last evening, I mowed my lawn and then went inside and I vacuumed my new floor, in my new living room of my new house. I looked out the window at the river. It looked like glass. The sunset reflected into it casting a pink and purple glow in the sky. I never thought I’d be so happy. Really. I thought this would never happen. I am blessed.
About a year ago, as I filled out the Habitat application, I remember literally praying as I filled out every question. Ultimately, the decision was made and I was selected. Initially, I had gotten a voicemail. It was Erin Glock. She said in her sweet voice, “Hi Mandy, It’s Erin, I need you to call me because Habitat met and discussed your situation and I have some really exciting news for you.” I felt like an actress, waiting for her big break and this was finally it. I was hiding in a closet at work. As I listened to the voicemail again and then again to be sure I heard this right, I began to cry. This was it. It’s happening. They chose my family. I thought, I am blessed.
I had requirements to fill and much work to put in. Habitat is about empowering and teaching and invoking pride and autonomy so there was much to do….
I learned. The mission statement of Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity Capital District builds strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. I learned that this is true. Over the course of 2 months, I took a class called Financial Freedom- This class was great. Myself and other soon to be Habitat homeowners met with Erin and Diane and discussed how to maintain financial stability and become “financially free”. The videos we watched were not horrible. They were pertinent and honestly-inspiring.
I worked. I worked HARD. I worked beside men who did not know me yet they wanted nothing but the best for me and what touched my heart so deeply… they also wanted the best for my two boys. They wanted me to be able to live in a home that was safe and clean and one that I truly loved to be in. Which was quite the contrary to the suboptimal environment that I was living in at the time (very crowded space with poor air quality, unstable neighbors that frequently and publicly did drugs and abused alcohol). What AMAZING people…The volunteers would come several times a week working long hours, many times using their personal tools and making notes on papers of what to do next. They would stop by and check in on the house and ask me what input I had to offer. They taught me how to make small repairs and how to rip up a floor and patch holes…the list goes on and on… I remember one of them cut his finger several times while working on the framing of a window. He never frowned once. He kept making jokes and laughing with the other volunteers and me. It spoke volumes. Another designed a bathroom with a shower downstairs because having two boys…“two showers would be nice”. Boy, was he right! My boys would stop by throughout the process. The guys would give them tips on how to build something or encourage them to “help Mom” in the new house. I made muffins and brought coffee on the freezing cold mornings that they were there just to try to give back to them –just a little for what they were doing for me although I knew that this was not possible. In my mind, I could never fully repay them.
I was humbled. To learn that the money for my new furnace and hot water heater among so many other things was raised by a church filled with faith filled people who open their hearts and pockets and donated to Habitat.
I worried and asked questions and more questions and oh,” just one more question….” I was filled with questions about the house and pummeled Fred and Al with detail questions about the house and had even more questions regarding the process and the financials and this and that… Every email was answered with kindness and reassurance, most times by Erin-who was my “go-to” person. I cannot say enough about the emotional support that she provided during the process. Telling me not worry- that it’s a long road but we would get there!
In the end, after all has been said and done and as I still try to wrap my brain around the kindness of so many and the concept of Habitat… all I can think is, I am blessed. Thank you so very much, to every single one of you for blessing me and my boys.
All my love,