Monday, January 2, 2012

things that take my breath away

have you ever gotten a gift that took your breath away? it doesn't have to be for christmas or your birthday. it could be any time.

i've had a few of those in my life, but it's been a long time since the last one (which was vanny, our minivan, given to us for free by chris' brother 8 years ago).

this year, for christmas, i got two such wonderful gifts.

a couple days before christmas, i got an email from my mom telling me that she was going to tell me what my present was early because she wanted to be sensitive to my feelings and didn't know if i'd want the whole family to be there when i got it.

here's the poem she wrote for the occasion.

Zits are the pits
And bumps are for frumps.
Blemishes give you
A case of the grumps.

So run to the doctor
And get your new skin, 
Cuz this is the year 
Of the new Sherilin!

i burst out in ridiculous sobs as i read that email. the idea that they're going to pay for me to go to a dermatologist and get my awful face fixed so that i won't be a slave to the concealer anymore makes me more happy than i even realized til that moment. it's hard being too poor to go to the doctor. and too poor to dress decently. and too chubby to look good in my cheap clothes. and for me, having my skin be a wreck all the time is like having to lug around something big and heavy and rotten all the time.

that was amazing gift number one. i was sure that the amazingness was done for a few years. i was satisfied and pleased and content.

then i went to my family's house on christmas eve for all our special traditions and fun and food (ohmygosh the COOKIES!) and presents. we didn't have much to give, but i was delivering the quilt i made and some other little goodies as well as a certificate for my mom for 90 minutes of massage from my magical fingers and for my dad, a declaration that i'd clean and wash his filthy old 1993 van - twice. 

i made these out of the tips of ferns that i snipped off a big pretty plant.

my youngest sister, erica, said she had to go get the gift for me and she ran down to her room. she came partway back into the room and said, "i want everyone to know this is not a rash decision. i've been thinking about it for a while now and i'm really okay with this."

this is what she pulled from around the corner.

i think the air got sucked right out of the room. no one knew what to say, least of all me. i stared at the computer, i stared at erica. i couldn't form words, but my tear ducts were working overtime.

this is a great big, 27 inch iMAC she had bought for herself and then decided she didn't need as much as she needed the money, so she was going to resell it. only, instead of waiting for it to sell, she gave it to ME! 

i couldn't believe she did that. but then again, erica is a girl with the biggest, most generous heart of anyone i know. she is giving with everything within herself and she proved it yet again last week. 

my family amazes me. they bestow love and gifts and friendship on me, more than i could ever deserve or dream for. they remind me to be thankful even when other pieces of life feel difficult or frustrating. i'm very blessed.

here's one more picture from that day. it's my brother, parents and myself. the sisters weren't around for this one.


  1. These are both really, really good gifts and it's great you're getting to go to that dermatologist although I'm sure your face is nowhere near as bad currently as you think it is!

  2. :) Happy new year blog friend!!!

  3. You are beautiful! What sweet gifts...good family is awesome :)

  4. What a wonderful family. How blessed many of us are. Looking forward to 2012 and your blogs. xox

  5. I am so happy for you. I think what makes me so happy is the love you expressed for your family. What an incredible thing to have.

  6. What beautiful, thoughtful, loving gestures - you are all so lucky to have each other. (Any chance of before and after pics? I'm considering some dermatological treatments myself and would love to hear about your experiences if you feel like sharing). Happy New Year! Sarah xxx

  7. Sherilin

    I am so happy for you! I live here in Canada where anyone can go to the dr. have any operation we need. We pay a min of 100 a month for our family and if you cannot afford it you pay nothing.You can go to the hospital or Dr. no matter what.

    It is beyond me to understand the stress of getting sick or needing even some cosmetic help and not being able to get it due to money. We take a visit to the Dr. very glibly....and don't appreciate what we have.

    For this, gift, you are one blessed blessed girl.

    the other thing that I cannot fathom is having a family. a mother and father who love you so dearly, and a sister who clearly loves you.

    Again you are a blessed blessed girl. Sherilin you spoke well of your gratitude and I am so happy to share in your joy. May this 2012, bless you and your wonderful family in ways you could never imagine!


  8. What wonderful, sweet, amazing gifts. I'm so happy for you.

    And those fern Christmas trees are super cute. :)

  9. How loved you must be to get such thoughtful, wonderful gifts! Hugs!

  10. Those are awesome gifts!
    But, isn't the best gift an awesome family?

  11. as you guys have pointed out, i'm very blessed to belong to the family God gave me. makes me sad for those who don't have a happy wonderful family life.
    i'll do before and after pics if i can bear to take a no-makeup picture when my face is bad. makeup has been my bestie the past year.
    i would love to be able to go to the dr whenever i need to! i haven't had ins in almost 9 years, so i basically let myself get practically dead before i go because i know i can't pay for it and the collection calls afterwards are awful. a year ago i was so sick i was on the verge of death with sinus infection, double ear infection and pneumonia for 2 months before i finally went. and it's not that i'm one of those people who doesn't like going to the doctor. ick. bad subject for me.

  12. lovely pic of you and the fam, Sherilin, and lovely gestures indeed. You know, I went through a stressful time when I was 20, and had some SERIOUS acne suffering. Then I went into remission, and they popped back again after I'd had Jack (new motherhood = massively traumatic!!!). Both times I took minocyclin. Did you ever take that? Worked wonders. Knock on wood--that problem hasn't returned.

    I use proactive all the time now, but that seems to work best for maintenance rather than real improvement.

    You know, sometimes I can't believe how retarded the health care system in the U.S. is. Anybody can go to the doctors here. The difference lies in your treatment centres though: thanks to being driven by capitalism, the cancer treatment seems to be MUCH, much better. If you can afford it, the healthcare is better. Still, that's some serious retardation about not everyone having basic health care access.

  13. no, seriously: I'm still shaking my head about it. What amazes me is when I've heard Americans on TV resenting the idea of paying any taxes toward a universal health care system, because they aren't going to pay for someone who is unemployed so they can have a free ride while they're working hard! Such ignorance.

  14. Those are the Best gifts ever...some real thought put in there with a whole Pack of love.
    And YOUR gifts to your parents were perfect.
    Acts of service are the best and most remembered.
    and look beautiful, I can't imagine you have skin flaws.
    but doesn't matter..........we like ya anyway

  15. I will only echo that your family sounds presh! There is something about feeling good about yourself, eh?? You hold your head up a little highter and your chest out a little further. ---although, people may think you saw the boob doctor too! ;)


  16. oh oh oh,Karen! I know! It was really hard to read that Sherilin suffered so sounds so inhumane!

  17. I like the cards you made. They are sweet!
    The gifts are great and the thought behind them are even greater.

  18. I think that your face is beautiful, but if you aren't happy with it, then I am thrilled that you got such a fantastic gift!

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  20. What a great holiday! Your family has some really wonderful people. I also don't think anything is wrong with your skin, and I'm a guy. We know stuff.

  21. Well looking from all your photos, you wouldn't know that you needed a gift of new skin (although how lovely of your parents)... I guess all I see is the absolute beauty of what's in your heart lovely one!


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