Dec 1, 2012

 at the 
Jersey Shore

I have spent only one Christmas at the Jersey Shore.

 We had just sold our home in Northern Jersey and were preparing to start our new life in California. Wanting one last holiday season in New Jersey before we would embark on our next chapter, the perfect present came our way.

My niece offered for us to spend our final New Jersey Christmas at her beach front condo. It took only seconds to think it over and 'down the shore' we headed. 

Sweet memories of that special Christmas are with me always. And now I have been given a new memory regarding the beautiful Jersey Shore. This one is bittersweet, but one that I wish to share in the Spirit of the Season.

I was making calls to raise funds for a non-profit animal rescue organization yesterday.

Super Storm Sandy's devastation has ravaged New Jersey and New York. Thousands of people and also their pets are still trying to put their lives back together.

My calls are computerized randomly; I never know with whom I will be speaking or where they will be from until the call comes through.

Yesterday afternoon I spoke with a man who lived at the Jersey Shore. As soon as I saw the address appear on my screen, I hesitated to speak as I knew that this community had been so terribly hit by the super storm.

My donor was very gracious. He was a true lover of animals and shared with me his own work to aid local cats.
 I asked him how badly he was affected by the horrific storm and he replied,

"The ocean took my home".

The ocean took his home. 

How do you respectfully reply to that revelation?  Dare anyone ask for help for the animals from someone who no longer has a home to go along with an address?

I profusely offered my sympathy for his loss and he  then exceeded all expectations.

"Okay, let's get this done. Let me give you a monthly contribution for the animals. They really need it".

And so, for me, I have received an early Christmas present. I once again have been reminded what makes  people from New Jersey the individuals that they are. Some may say that it's the Spirit of the Season, but I venture to say that it is the Spirit of New Jersey.

I will no longer have Christmas at the Jersey Shore to celebrate and perhaps neither will my very giving donor.

But the Spirit of the Season and the Spirit of the Jerseyan will not be lost upon either one of us anytime soon. 

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