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Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. ~Scott Adams

December 23, 2012

I was pondering my life one day while taking stock of my blessings as I often do.  I was reminiscing about some of  acts of kindness people have done for me in my life  and wondering just how to write about it.   Then just  last week  the horrible, incomprehensible  tragedy of the murders of innocent school children  and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut took place.  My heart and head feel sick with grief even though I personally don’t know anyone involved when I see the news of the lives of the children and adults , the horror of it, and see  the grief of the families.   The helpless, hopeless feeling swamps me.    Ann Curry, the  TV journalist suggested that anyone who wants to help does 26 random acts of kindness in tribute to the 26 who  died.   Its even  on twitter and Facebook – http://www.facebook.co/26acts.  In our hearts and heads we all know that we should practice acts of kindness as a part of our daily life.

As  Leo Buscaglia said – “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

My mother Virginia was a very kind, caring and thoughtful person.  It was just who she was.   She baked cookies at all of the holidays,  especially Christmas,  as did my grandmother Estelle, in huge quantities that were to be given away.     She always remembered an occasion in someone’s life with a card or gift note and NEVER forgot to say thank you with a hand written note.  She was free with her hugs and kisses and it was commonplace and expected to say please and thank you to everyone.    I miss her very much.

My mom Virginia

My mom Virginia

Through out my life there have probably been more people who have been kind to me than I had registered in my mind.  Which is the best part I suppose of kindness, it is done without the expectation on the part of the recipient.  And the “doer” does it just because.  I believe due partly to my Catholic upbringing of -“its better to give than to receive”   I have more often been uncomfortable being the “receiver” of an act of kindness.   But there are times, more often than we realize that a simple “gift” – albeit a hug or a persons kind word is much more to the receiver than the can fathom.

I am blessed.  I have said that many times and will continue to do so in the future.  My children are amazing people.  If I was not related to them  already,  I would be honored to be their friend.  They are kind, loving, generous and thoughtful people.   ( And intelligent and funny  and beautiful as well of course).  One of the many attributes I admire about them is their kindness.   It is just a part of the whole of who they are.   They each call their grandfather ( aka grandpa god) regularly and engage him in conversation because they care.   My daughter Becca likes to call him so he helps her find a parking space in Boston – which is merely an excuse to chat with him and let him know how special he is to her.   Kristen is known as the baker at her office as she is constantly remembering a birthday or event with a home-made treat.  Dan often thinks out of the box to find that perfect gift for someone to let them know that he was thinking about them and how they matter to him.   I have received countless notes, and card and bouquets of flowers from my children  – “just because they were thinking about me”.  My children are kind human beings.   It is just who they are.

Kristen, Dan and Becca

Kristen, Dan and Becca

When my mom was sick I was sometimes overwhelmed between caring for her and my dad.   Having been the stay at home mom in the neighborhood I often was the one who was on hand to take care of a neighbors child yet was reluctant to ask anyone to help.  My neighbor would often drive to school or pick up my daughter when I just could not make it in time no questions asked – no big deal.   My cousin Sherie was like a guardian angel,  she always seemed to pop up with her smiling angel face unexpectedly when I needed her.   On one particular day my doorbell rang and it was a friend who showed up with an enormous 10 pound Hershey bar.   She said I needed to start on one end whenever I felt I needed a little extra chocolate help.  Needless to say – somehow I finished it .   The gift brought more than the obvious sugar rush to keep me going through the day – it brought me a smile through my tears so thank you Suzy!!

My husband is a very special man and I don’t always remember to let him know how much I appreciate him.  He traveled for business and on one trip when he had already boarded a plane for a trip to Italy, we spoke as I was in the emergency room with my mom and told him we would talk when he landed.  Two hours later he showed up in the emergency room.   He said he felt it was more important for him to be there with me than for him to be in Italy.   He was right.

Skip  ( he often poses like this )

Skip ( he often poses like this )

My sister-in-law Marybeth sat and prayed with my mom when she was in the hospital one day for the few hours I could not be there – with out me asking.   When I could not find someone to sit with my mom when I had to run to the hospital to get my father Marybeth gave up her day off for Christmas shopping, no questions asked and washed the dishes when she was there.

Marybeth and Me

Marybeth and Me

When my mom passed away the dog sitter tore up my check and left me flowers and a card after she took care of my dog.

Teddy - best dog ever

Teddy – best dog ever

As I have mentioned I am fortunate to have the best of friends.   I have known my friend  Grace forever and her kindness and thoughtfulness to everyone, often times to the sacrifice of her self,  are often.

Grace and Me

Grace and Me

My friend Barbara has never come to my home “with her arms dangling” and pitches in to help me out whenever needed often.

Barbara and Me

Barbara and Me

My friend Edie is generous and thoughtful to my children and myself – she is always thinking and doing for others, treating me to Starbucks or a manicure or an escape to watch the ducky’s at the pond.

Edie and Mr Vincy

Edie and Mr Vincy

Ann Curry had the right idea,  its unfortunate however that we as people are not always kind.    If we can become inspired to be kinder as the result of a tragedy then so be it.   Let’s make kindness contagious as a tribute to – Charlotte, Daniel, Rachel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Dawn, Madeline, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Anne, Emile, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Avielle, Lauren, Mary, Victoria, Benjamin and Allison.

When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. ~Dalai Lama

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From → Acts of kindness

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