Often I get asked where did I get the last name Packer since I am African. This name is so dear to me in more ways than I can explain. This name is from my American host/adopted family (Norine and Todd Packer). When I think of the Packer, first thing that comes to mind is Kindness or kindhearted.
Kindness ~ The quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.
When I met the Packers at church , I was so scared, uncertain and did not know how to act or accept them. First reason of me feeling that way was because I met them at one of my lowest time in my life where I was having horrific/ torture time with my siblings and the problems had gotten so extreme that we could not be in the same room and since I was new to the USA(2 months) I had no one or nowhere to turn. I needed parental guidance, and steady support and a home as a teenager (age 15). Second reason, I did not speak a word in English. But all that came to pass because they did all they could possible to comfort me, guide me in a way no one had ever done in my life (mind you, they were strangers to me as I was to them) yet they welcomed me with open arms in their lives and home.
With their love, and KINDNESS I became family. Todd taught me how to drive, Norine helped me with my English and would help with home work. They taught me how to work and be independent, and treated me just like one of their children and even at times felt like they went out of their way more than they should just to make sure I was alright and happy. They loved Jewelry and birthstones, I remember on my 18th birthday they got me a ring with my birthstone (ruby), I did not even know much about birthstones or which one was mine and I still wear that ring on my necklace up to today.
I still don’t know what I did for God to see the little orphan girl, who was lost and facing a lot of dilemmas that someone in their teens should never go through alone and blessed me with a family that knew nothing about me, did not look like me, did not speak my language, yet they had the kindest heart to accept me, to welcome me in their home and make me part of their family. I was so lost emotionally and mentally and they saved my life, I was afraid and had difficult time allowing anyone in my life let alone strangers and they were so patient with me for that I will forever be grateful. It was as if my parents came back to life in a different form or God’s parents to me. Being an orphan so young, I looked for parenting in many places and many ways and never really got it till the Packers came to my life.
I don’t think I have ever told the Packers how I feel, mainly because I don’t think I have the right words to express my gratitude. The level of KINDNESS they showed me, is something you rarely see or get to experience. That really taught me that KINDNESS is so powerful in whatever form, whether is lending a helping hand to someone in need, encouraging someone, or emotional support, or simply holding a door for someone, is so simple yet so meaningful. KINDNESS can bring a bond so strong between strangers and make them family.
To the Packers, I love you more than I can say, I will forever be grateful and I am who I am today because of your love and KINDNESS. I can only pray for more blessings your way for my words are no way near to the appreciation I feel inside. I saw my departed parents in you and I am so sure they were the angels that guided you to me. Thank you.
As Maya Angelou said ” My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean word with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”
And my favorite quote ” One of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another, If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of something in return” ~ Unknown
Stay blessed and be Kind, bisou 🙂