It happened about a month ago. One of my networking partners said, “you look pale.” She meant it in the kindest of ways.

After our weekly meeting, she stayed behind to ask me how things were going. I confessed that I was struggling. My husband had had back surgery in September and then slipped and fell a month later. Which basically put him back to square one.

If you’ve ever had to watch a loved one suffer from chronic pain, then you know what a toll it can take. Worrying, sleepless nights, and fears both real and imagined start to permeate your life. It takes every ounce of energy to stay positive, and keep moving forward.

Just when I thought I’d reached the very end of my rope, my friend gave me one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. She asked me, “how can I help?” Not “let me know if I can help,” which is what most of us (myself included) usually offer.

What I needed I would never dream of asking. She insisted, so I told her. What I really needed was a yard clean up. I had already raked my front lawn twice. Don’t even get me started on the back yard. And the leaves kept falling. Her response was simple. “I’m on it.”

I had no idea what that meant, but I was soon to find out. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, 20 members of my BNI networking group and their families showed up with rakes, leaf blowers, bags and even a riding lawn mower. It took 40 minutes. It would  have taken me days to get the leaves up and ready for the town curbside pick up.

It wasn’t about the leaves. Although that was amazing. It was about Community, Compassion, and Love.

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.

Wishing you and yours a blessed, peaceful and love filled holiday season.