Last issue, I ran a letter from Olya Williams about how much she regretted letting her GREENPRINTS subscription drop when money got tight and how glad she was when she renewed and got her first issue. An anonymous subscriber was so touched by Olya’s story that she paid for us to mail her the 23 back issues she’d missed. Here is part of the letter Olya asked us to send on to the donor (printed with Olya’s permission):
Dear Sweet, Sweet Person,
When I saw the box of issues in my mail today, I thought, “OMG, there must be a mistake. We cannot afford it!” Now, two hours later, my heart rate is still up. My excitement is beyond measure. You will never know how much you did for me.
I am from Ukraine, a very poor country. I married an American and moved to the USA. He is a retired 100% disabled veteran. Things got bad. We lost our first child. My husband made a mistake in our tax form, and we were fined thousands of dollars. Blue Cross sent us a bill for over $12,000. Our car broke down, and we spent our credit card limit to fix it. My husband got severe food poisoning and almost died in ICU. When we finally did have a healthy baby boy, Jonathan, often my husband was recovering from surgeries. He couldn’t tend to a baby on his own—he needed help!
All this time I was studying to learn the English language and to go to nursing school. I gave up everything to get through nursing school and was studying like crazy.
But we made it through it all. I am graduating May 4th—at the top of my class. I already have some good job offers.
I LOVE gardening. No matter how bad life gets, I can run away to my garden. Everything is always calm and healing there. I can just sit among my plants (I call them my babies, I talk to them, they have gender and names for me) and get rejuvenated. I look at the wind playing in tree limbs and feel how all bad is flying away with it. I lie on the ground and watch tiny flowers and think, “What a wonderful world.”
I have no idea how GREENPRINTS first got in my hands, but believe God sent it to me so I can carry my escape everywhere with me. I take it to the hospital, to classes, to clinic, and I can hide in it anytime I want. This magazine is like a balm to my soul. God talked to me so many times through it. I made a little mantra to calm myself in stressful situations: “No matter what, you will always have GREENPRINTS.” When I read it, I am gone in a world of people who love me, gardeners, tomatoes, seeds, azaleas…I am just gone.
These last few months it seems like so much has gone wrong. Usually God sends me signs so I know whether I am doing good or no…but not lately. Until this. This package is a huge sign that everything is going to be OK. Almost six years of GREENPRINTS burst into my life today. Everything is going to be great!