Kindness has power

My mind is rambling today – I just miss my son so much – it is hard to rein in the thoughts. So I am just going to let them run.

When my son was 11 years, he was diagnosed with a condition called mid-aortic syndrome. This is a very rare, dangerous condition that required a complicated and dangerous aortic implant. He was in surgery for over 16 hours and my husband and I spent this time on our knees or pacing about. Unfortunately, there as a problem with the implant and after only a few hours in recovery, Jay was rushed back to surgery for another 4 hours.

I wanted to call my prayer group and tell them to pray harder, but I was out of coins for the phone. Yes, this was back in 92, and I needed coins.

A custodian walked by, busy going about his duties, yet he stopped to notice my tears and care. Without a word, he stuffed a handful of quarters into my hand. I tried to thank him, but he just gave me a hug and a bright smile and strolled off. I did call my prayer team and they did pray harder and my son began to grow stronger. Today I am grateful for the 24 additional years we enjoyed together, and for the act of kindness.

I do not know the kind gentleman’s name and I did not see him again – but he is always in my heart. His small act of kindness is burned indelibly into my memory. There is power in kindness! Just like the loving woman who washed Jesus’ feet, the kindness is remembered.

Today, my husband and I are letting the grief take over – we are just letting it flow. As we do – my mind rambles about. When we first learned we would be parents, we were filled with joy. When we first held our son, we were filled with love. When we lost him, we were filled with pain and sorrow. But, broken as I am, I know I still have value. I can still serve a loving GOD by being kind. Even if it is just some small gesture, a quick smile – I know kindness has power, lifting power that touches everyone, even those who just witness the kindness.

We need the power of kindness in this world today, more than ever – more kindness to all living things.

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Disney World first impressions

I am nearly 60 years old, and I visited Disney World for the first time just a few days ago.  I must be honest, it wasn’t the experience I expected.  Maybe it is my age, or maybe it is the grief and depression clouding my perception.  The Disney “experience” was eye-popping!!   The buildings and grounds were beautiful.  The costumes and parades were phenomenal.  The prices were outrageous.  Every possible inch of space was consumed by someone.  I observed many hot, sweating, tense, tired adults and several over-stimulated, tired, squalling children.  I was just over-whelmed – crowded – almost panicky.

My heart went out to the performers who provided an awe-inspiring spectacle, despite over bearing heat.  I cannot imagine how they managed those sweet, joyful smiles while dancing in those hot costumes under a blazing sun.  I pledge my respect and admiration to their talent, professionalism, and commitment.

Our little group made our way inch-by-inch through the throng and into an eatery, already clogged with humanity, some happy and friendly, many not so much.   I studied the faces of the cafeteria employees.  Bergens.  Yep.  Bergens.  If you have seen the move, TROLLS, you know the Bergens.   Bergens are sad, unhappy souls that trudge about through their day.   These poor workers looked so hot, tired, stressed – trudging.   Without thinking, I started singing a portion of the song  when I heard from behind me  “….It’s coming on, It’s coming on….”   I suddenly realized two people in the line were singing with me!

We exchanged a quick knowing glance and giggle.  Then, I kind of felt bad – the cafeteria employees are probably really nice, hard working people just trying to get through a hot, difficult day.  Some people in the line in front of me were short, cross, and just down right rude.  Imagine a whole day of that!!  I made it a point to be kind, to smile, and to say “Thank you.  Have a great day.”  One of five smiled back, made eye contact – and I cheerily added “I appreciate you – thank you so much.”

OK, crossing Disney World off my list – for now.  Maybe I will try again in a few years.  Right now, I am so glad to be back on my farm where I belong!!

 

An Act of Silence

I remember my first few weeks back at work, after my son died.  I was little less than a walking zombie – crushed and raw.  Some well meaning people shoved inane platitudes in my ear hole.  They would smile sympathetically and say all the standard crap:  “He is in a better place.”  “God needed him more than you.”  Oh, the biggest lie of all, “Time heals all wounds.”    Time heals NOTHING!!!  Every one of these trite phrases cut me – wounded me – grieved me more deeply.

Most of the time, I just weakly smiled and walked away.  Mostly because it is illegal to slap the stupid out of some people and I lack the magical powers to explode their heads.  (Don’t think I didn’t try.)

One person, one truly kind person performed an act of silence.  He came into my office and gave me a genuine, sincere look.  He stood silently for a moment, then left my office.  He paused outside my door, then turned around and came back.  He shifted from one foot to the other.  As we made eye contact, I could see tears in his eyes.  Then, quietly, and ever so gently, he reached over and patted my head.  He turned quickly and left.

In that simple pat, I felt more compassion and understanding and genuine empathy from one kind gentleman – than from all the yap flapping well-meaning noise makers.  His silence was genuine and deep.   His small act, comfort from GOD.   I am truly grateful.

Rays of light

Today was one of those “DARK” days – deep in grief, shrouded in devastating loneliness and sorrow.  I miss my son so much.  When the dark days come, and they always do, I find myself teetering between sobbing and raging.  Crying for my baby, and angry at the whole world for continuing to exist.

The dogs starting barking and wagging.  Someone was at the door.  Someone they knew.  When I opened the door, the light came into my world.  There stood my Spirit Sister, big smile and sunshine over her shoulder – she had a arm load of rocks for me!

A short visit – but enough to beat back the dark day and let in the light.

I think I will go paint rocks.

Everybody is Carrying Something

Walking into Burger King, I had a sour face, red, crying eyes.  I barely looked up when the cashier said Good morning.  Without a reply, I ordered my coffee.  In a glance, I could see the young cashier wasn’t looking much better than me.  I handed her some cash and picked up my coffee to walk out, barely uttering “Thanks”.

Once I stepped outside, I felt the warm morning sun on my face and stood for just a minute watching a little yellow butterfly.  Suddenly, I felt a twinge of guilty conscience.  Just a few days ago, I claimed a revelation of “It’s not about me” and yet I just behaved “very ME”.  So, I turned around and walked back inside.  The young cashier asked if something was wrong.  I said, “Yes, I wanted to apologize.  You greeted me with good morning and I did not reply.  I just came back to wish you a good morning and thank you for your kindness.  I hope you have a great day.”  A warm smile broke across her face and she waived as I walked back outside.

Conscience cleared.

When the weight of grief consumes me, sometimes it is difficult to remember others may be carrying weight as well.  Stress, financial worries, relationship woes, loss, fear, chronic pain – everybody is carrying something.  Isn’t it amazing how one kind word can lighten the load a bit?  I think we both feel better.

Take Two Steps Today

Take two steps everyday, please.  First, every morning, as you look in the mirror, say something kind to you.  Compliment you.  That can be challenging.  When I look in the mirror, I just think – YUCK.  This morning, all I could muster is “Hello me, I like your ear rings.”  That’s OK, because I made the ear rings, so it was something and I do like them.

Second, every day, make it a point to compliment someone else.  Make it a genuine, sincere compliment.  Remember, we are all carrying something, some pain, sorrow, hurt, worry  – something.  Your kind word may be the bright spot of that person’s day.

Maybe, their happy smile will be the bright part of yours.

So take two steps everyday, and a multi-vitamin.  You should probably take one of those too.  Oh, and pet a crittter.  Yep.  That’s healthy.