So you can imagine how sad she became, when, after getting serious with this one man, after introducing both sides of the parents, etc., out of the blue the man broke up with her, when she was waiting for a proposal!
I cared about this friend dearly, yet I also know my limitation. I had just had a baby at that time, and had limited time nor energy to go out with her or even listen to her for hours over the phone. So I searched all over the house and bought several things from a nearby mall, wrapped it nicely, and sent it over to her office. Nothing too fancy, just some odds and ends that I thought would help to make her feel better, to make her feel special and loved, even if by a lady friend, not by a boyfriend!
She was ecstatic and thankful. "Usually you married people are so self-centered and inconsiderate to us single people. I never excepted you would make the time to do this for me. Thank you!"
Self-centered and inconsiderate married friend.
Once I watched an episode of Sex & The City, I think the title is "A Woman's Right to Shoes". Carrie was invited to a baby shower - a third child - of a lady friend, where she was required to take off her Manolo Blahnik shoes prior entering the house, because "The twins always pick up things off the floor." She did, and at the end of the night, her shoes were gone unknown, and her hostess acted like she could not care less and shamed Carrie for spending so much money on shoes. Also "We have a family now, so we have real responsibilities." To which Carrie wailed to her friend Charlotte "I did a mental calculation, and in total I have spent more than 3,000 dollars for her celebrating her choice of life in wedding shower gift, wedding gift, three baby shower gifts; and she shamed me for spending a lowly 400 dollars on myself to buy shoes? Think about it, aside from birthdays, after graduation, if you are single, you don't have any celebration dedicated for you."
All over the internet, I read posts on "The Rules to Visit a New Mother", and "How You Can Help A New Mother", and "What To Bring a Friend Who Just Had A Baby" and "Wedding Gifts Ideas". I read a lot of posts on mothers giving advise to single women how to tolerate friends who just got married or just got a baby.
So I wrote from the other side of the fence: "How it feels as a single friend, when your friend got married and had a baby." I hope it can gives a different perspective on married ladies and mothers to think about how the other party feels. You can read the post here.
Still, what my friend said stunned me. She didn't expect that after husband and children, I would be that much of a friend to her. In her state of singleness, she didn't except that I would have time to remember her in her trials. She expected that me having "real responsibilities" would take her broken heart lightly.
Now I'm the one who got brokenhearted. Who won't, if your dear friend said something like that!
I've been thinking of what I can do for others lately. We have received so much from Heavenly Father. We believe that in every gift, He slipped something extra for us to share to others. We did some charity for flood victims and we wrapped package of clothes and shipped it to a natural disaster shelter, but we want to do something more. So what to do?
Sometimes an act of kindness doesn't require you to send a check to orphans faraway overseas. You can give a smile and kind words, but if you really want to give a real something, consider to send care packages. You don't need to know the recipient personally. You can create a pretty package, and give it to someone you don't know. Perhaps a sister of a coworker just had a baby and her husband is overseas? Send her something via your coworker. You heard that an elderly aunt of a neighbor's friend who live alone is ill? Ask for her address and send her something.
Today I will talk about creating a care package for a friend who just suffered a broken heart. Here are some ideas and tips.
What a broken heart needs, here and now, is a positive distraction.
Anything that can keep her occupied, anything that can keep her mind away off loneliness, romance and tears, is good. Anything uplifting, positive, encouraging and "girl power". She can deal with growing up, "this is for the better", "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" mentality later on. What she needs right now, is keeping her mind away from anything that can remind her of her ex, and gives time a chance to heal her heart, and perhaps, her dignity. The worst time is night time, when everyone else is asleep and she is completely alone. So think of something that can keep her occupied, even when no one else is around. Even her Mom will not be able to stay up the whole night listening to her venting and wailing! There will be times when she'll be alone and needs something to do.
Think of pretty packaging
Get several lovely, girlie things and wrap each individually. Embellish with flowers, ribbons, bows, lace, colorful papers, and stickers. Can you imagine how happy she would be to open the main package and find so many beautifully wrapped gifts inside? She would wonder and curious about what each package contains, and every unwrapping will put a smile on her face! It's like opening a surprise gift, filled to the brim with small surprises! Enclose little love notes and encouraging phrases, too!
Funny and encouraging DVDs
Your friend will suffer many lonely and teary nights and Saturday nights. Be considerate and don't send her mellow, romantic comedy. Send her a movie that can make her laugh and forget about her sorrows for ninety minutes, like "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". Or send her something that can rebuild her hope and positive energy, and want to make something of herself despite her man leaving her, like "Legally Blonde" and "Door to Door". They don't even need to be new movies. You can give her yours to keep.
A lovely manicure set and colorful nail polish
If she's a beauty girl, she will have a lot of fun playing with pretty nail polishes. Send her happy, cheerful, and funky colors, even crazy ones like electric blue, add some nail stickers and nail art kit. It will cheer her up for hours when she gets busy with those. Even grown up girls still want to have fun!
A box of chocolate
Not the Valentine-y, heart-shaped chocolates! Just some old, good, delicious ones. It's not the time to count calories, girl friend! Just let it go and indulge yourself. Or you can give a big jar of Nutella. Everybody loves Nutella. Works every time.
A gift certificate to her favorite online shop
It doesn't have to be much. Even a ten dollar voucher will do so she can buy a nice toe ring with it. Why online? I remember that for brokenhearted souls, the hardest part is not when they go out eating with their friends, working out, or shopping at the mall. The darkest hour is late at night when you have nobody to talk to and no place to go. But online stores open 24/7! So instead of crying her eyes out, she can surf and buy something nice and inexpensive for herself.
Easy art and craft supplies
A mini project kit like scrapbooking, cute stickers, pretty stationeries, colorful papers, fabrics, odds and ends to make something in a quick and creative way. If she can crochet or knit, give her some beautiful yarns and patterns. She can spend hours doing it and forget about Mr. You-Know-Who.
Chicken Soup series. Shopaholic series. Debbie MacComber non-romance collection like Twenty Wishes. Mystery novels like China Bayles series. Books on travel and faraway lands like A Year in Provence or Under The Tuscan Sun. Funny comic books. Even all time classics like The Secret Garden, Pollyanna, A Little Princess and Little House series. Some might consider them children books, but they are good and comforting reading, as well as inspiring and brings back good memories of childhood, when things were much simpler and there was no complicated relationships between boys and girls!
If your friend is a Christian, give her anything that can remind her that she is a daughter of A King afterall
Some CDs of Christian music, because any pop music might remind her of her ex. A little book of prayer. A book of daily devotion.
In a state of mild or heavier sadness, she might eat less or eat more, but not very healthy. She might need additional multivitamin to keep her healthy even if she cries all the time.
Soup in a jar or cookie dough mix that she can heat and bake herself
There will times, either late at night or during the day when she is alone and has some time to kill and needs comfort food! Cooking is an excellent teraphy! Especially if what you need to do is just add some water and throw all the ingredients together in a pan. Simmering, savory, hearty soup is an all time comfort food that everyone loves.
Girlie, fun, pretty looking, sweet smelling, self pampering beauty kit
Body lotion. Body butter. Scented candle. Bath soap. Peel off face mask. Anything that can make her feel like a pampered princess, even from the solitude of her own bedroom! It needs not to be expensive products. The name of the game is fun, fun, fun.
I'm sure you can also come up with a long list of amazing ideas! Of course, you can also offer mental support with prayer, an ear to listen, some time to hang out with her, and lots and lots of love!
Note: all the pictures are not my own.