God knew what He was doing
when He sent a gentle breeze
and brought a lovely butterfly
to set my heart at ease.
The happiness of your friendship
and the gentleness of your words
have touched my life in special ways
and now I feel assured.
Thank you for your loyalty
and for reading everyday.
I only hope you find things
to make a happy day.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Simple Acts of Kindness
I recently heard about a man who was giving out $100 bills to people he felt needed some help. No one knows this man...if he is found out...he will stop.As I watched the faces of the recipients I could hardly keep from crying. Just $100 would help them through the Christmas season. Every year some gold coins are deposited in the Salvation Army buckets. No one knows who leaves them. So many volunteers will man the buckets this year...some standing in the cold for an hour or two just to help out. At Mass last night, an Eagle scout told of his project...gathering toiletries and non perishable foods for the troops serving our country. I watched this boy and thought how he was learning kindness through his project taking time away from his life to help others. These are simple acts of kindness. There are so many things we can do to help out this Christmas...cookies for a neighbor, leave bouquet at the hospital (they know who needs it the most) pay the quarter at Aldi's for the next person, let someone have the closer parking space, leave a generous tip, take trash out for elderly neighbor, carry someone's groceries, send a dessert to a nearby table, visit a nursing home and play cards or read to someone...I can think of so many other things.
I think I may have told this story before...it is something that I remember every year at this time.
The year my first husband died.. in August...I was feeling really sorry for myself. This would be my first Christmas without him, how could I enjoy myself and be pleasant company for the rest of the family? How could I get through that first Christmas? There was an old couple who lived nearby. I was invited there for tea so many times. The lady was a seamstress and always had special Christmas curtains, covers for her chairs, tablecloths, and napkins. Things to sell, like dolls at Christmas time, to supplement their meager income. Her home was a page out of a Christmas magazine. She was in her late 80's and was very spry...always interested in my art projects. She kept young by being positive and listening to younger folks. Her brother, who she lived with, was probably as old as she was. He volunteered his time, by playing music for nursing homes in the area. He had a little band of old guys, who loved to keep playing music and entertaining. Well ...anyway on to the story....I got a phone call to come to tea.,She had just baked some shortbread cookies and wanted me to come to enjoy a visit. When I got there, I was surprised to see that they hadn't put up their tree yet. It was always a beauty...and must have taken them hours to decorate with many handmade ornaments. As we sat in her tiny kitchen, with her brother serving us tea, she said that this year would have to be different. Just a few decorations and no big tree. I thought of my tree at home and felt sort of guilty. I asked if they had an artificial tree...they answered that they did...in the attic. I got an idea...I asked if they would like me to get the tree down and decorate it for them. I saw a little bright light come into their eyes. "Oh, you don't have time for that...do you?" I answered, "Sure...it would be fun." So, after convincing them...I went up into their attic and brought down the tree and decorations. I spent the rest of the day there...decorating the tree, listening to his music, and watching her watching me while her old fingers were doing some mending for a neighbor. Finally the tree was done and we turned the lights on. The look of joy in their old faces is one that I'll never forget. They had their special tree....and someone to visit with at the same time. I told them that I would be back after Christmas... to take it down for them. I left there...feeling wonderful. I was finally not feeling sorry for myself...I had made two people happy. The rest of that Christmas was so nice for me...and my family benefited too. I think we all were tip toeing around and being so careful not to say anything upsetting to each other. Now we could talk about their Dad without hesitation and tell about our memories and laugh and enjoy the season together.
I am telling this story not to get pats on the back...I have enough good feelings about this to last the rest of my life. I'm trying to get across the idea of doing something for others, that we don't benefit from...only the good feelings that come from it. I've been looking for some simple ways to help someone else this year. It's so easy...you just have to keep your eyes and ears open.