Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, 'Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.' I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead 'I will come next Tuesday', I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren. 'Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!' My daughter smiled calmly and said, 'We drive in this all the time, Mother.' 'Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, ... Read Full Story >>
Technically speaking, my Mom is old -- she is in her 70s now. She once used to be a woman full of life and laughter. All of that changed after my Dad passed away about ten years ago. Although they were not what you would call a "lovey dovey" couple, Mom did take his sudden death quite badly. She became a bit of a recluse and more of a worrier. To make matters worse, my brother decided to relocate to another city. Mom decided to stay behind with her sister. Whenever my Mom comes over to stay with me for some time (I live with my husband and his parents), she always demands constant attention from me. She generally gets nostalgic of the good old times we used to spend together discussing books, cooking, or life in general. Sometimes it turned into a cribbing session. "You never spare time for ... Read Full Story >>
This might not seem like such a big deal to someone who doesn't know me or my "story", but for my husband and I and our family it is huge. After nearly ten years of ongoing emotional battles with my husband's ex-wife, we had determined over the last year that we were finished and ready to move on. Over the past year, in most instances we have simply made concessions to her and my step-son regarding visitation changes and the like, to promote harmony and to stay focused on the positive as we try to raise our two biological children as well. Although this was "our" year to have my step-son for Thanksgiving his mother asked if he could come to her mother's home to have dessert after finishing his meal with our family. After asking him if it was what he desired, my husband agreed to this. Although it ... Read Full Story >>
I met my husband (my 2nd) back in 1997 at a colleague's wedding. We immediately hit it off and saw each other regularly. I told him all about my having IIH, and what it involved as well as the worst case scenario, which is blindness. I was also at the time a single parent to an 8 year old daughter. Although in some ways we were total opposites, we shared the same humour, values and ideas, and within a year we were married. It was the most fantastic day, and I don't know who cried more, myself or my husband. He became a fantastic husband, and father to my daughter (the only one she's ever known), and life was good to us. Two years on, due to my IH I lost my peripheral vision and depth perception. After having an Lp shunt to prevent total blindness, my mobility was severely affected, as the ... Read Full Story >>
I'm a bit of a family historian (not that we have much of a history outside coal mining in Scotland and farming in Ireland.) One of my most precious possessions, which probably dates from about 1915, is a family portrait. My great grandmother sits on a chair all stiff and formal with her brood of babies around her feet and on her knees. My great grandfather stands behind her the picture of authorirty, but he is actually standing on "tin" legs after an accident with a railway truck. One-by-one the people in the picture left this world. My gran died aged 82, but in this picture she is about 3 forever. One of her sisters, Lena, outlived all her siblings by quite some way. Going to visit Lena not long before she died it occurred to me that she might not have seen this picture for many decades. So I made a copy, framed ... Read Full Story >>
I believe in kindness. But it's hard to be kind. We're not trained for it. Kindness is for sissies; we learn that early. "Nice guys finish last." If they even get invited to the race. Kindness is taken for weakness, rube-ishness, stupidity. No one seems to respect the kind. They respect the killer. We're taught to value competitiveness, strength, cunning, Darwin. I work in the entertainment business, where kindness just never seems to be "in." It's not macho. It doesn't sell tickets. In the movies, the hero never kills the bad guy with kindness. But I believe Economics 101 is right. The value of a thing is determined by its scarcity. Which makes kindness spiritual gold. I am writing these words a few weeks after my father's death. He was a fervent Republican. He preached an eye for an eye. He was a hawk. But he practiced ... Read Full Story >>
For my daughter's 19th birthday in December, we bought her tickets to go and see Linkin Park, as they were playing in our city in the UK. We didn't really have the money but we knew how much this band meant to her, and she'd seen them years earlier with her Dad. The night before she was like a kid at Christmas, all pink cheeked, shiny eyed and giddy with aniticipation. Every so often she got up and came to sit with us, because she couldn't sleep. On the night of the concert it was good to see her so happy and excited, as she and her boyfriend set off. Needless to say when they returned after midnight , with t-shirts, a programme and lots of video and pictures of the band, listening to her gushing about how fantastic they had been, we knew that the money had been well spent. This will ... Read Full Story >>
While shopping at my local Walmart I noticed a young girl ahead of me. She had with her what looked like a newborn infant in the cart along with diapers, formula, and other food items. This young mother wasn't the average mom shopping at Walmart. The pierced nose and tongue might have discouraged others from helping her. The cashier rung up her items and the girl gave the cashier her credit card. The credit card was declined and the girl looked at the cashier embarassed and horrified. The cashier gave the girl the option of keeping her items in the cart while the girl went to get the necessary money. I wasn't sure if this was the person I was supposed to help, after all there seemed to be a lot of stuff in her cart, and I am a single parent myself. The girl left, supposedly to go get ... Read Full Story >>
I have been doing what I can to look out for someone who lives close inside my heart though the daily lives we experience are quite far apart . In my home, I wake up to a fresh morning, experiencing the luxury and warmth of the comfort of my own bed laden with a floral quilt that my grandmother once made for me. On the opposite coast of the country, within the confines of the lonely hospital walls, my sister rests often unpeacefully and in pain on a cold and firm plaster white sterilized bed. A cancer inside her is spreading despite a recent mastectomy and three months of intense chemotherapy. Radiation was not a possibility for her and now this condition has seeped into her skull and spine. The comforter which I grip so tightly begins to unravel in my hand and the texture of the fabric begins to soil, as I feel a piece of me lying there with her in the hospital room. In order to keep myself from crumbling, I began to send blessing blankets, little toy angels, and a book of ... Read Full Story >>
I was strolling by some lavender colored lilacs which were clustered alongside the sidewalk yesterday on the way to catch a ride with my neighbor who was joining me for a community dinner gathering. The quiet and soft movement of the little flowers as they danced in the breeze just made me pause for a moment. I looked at them swaying in the breeze as if they were alive and happy. I thought about how it would feel to make another human being alive and happy like those lilacs... It was Mother's Day and although I was many continents away from my mother, I thought about my neighbor, who is a mother too. In fact, a mother of two. In addition to wanting to express my thanks to her for giving me a ride to the upcoming evening gathering, I scrambled back home with my new idea unfolding in my ... Read Full Story >>
The late evening train from Glasgow was battling the worst of the winter weather and the driver was proceeding more on hope than anything. Weeks of rain had meant the line might or might not be flooded - and he wouldn't know until he got there! Well, it was flooded. So he backed up to the nearest station where we sat and waited for about half an hour with no one knowing what was going on. I didn't mind. I wasn't going home to anyone, I had music to listen to and it wouldn't be the first night I had slept on a train. But not everyone would be in that position. Then the lights went out. Still there was no announcement. We sat another half an hour then the driver announced he was taking the train back to Glasgow and anyone who didn't want to come with it should get out now. ... Read Full Story >>
I went to visit my parents this past holiday weekend. During the trip, we went to visit my ailing uncle. He was in the hospital due to a heart attack. It was the second heart attack he had in the last four months and this time the doctors said it is really quite serious. The whole family has been wishing him thoughts and blessings of healing since he is the eldest one in our family and particularly because we hope he can live to see his son's upcoming wedding which is scheduled for next month. As I looked at the situation with all of its uncertainty, I began to think about the life this man lead. He is 60 years old. He has spent his whole life teaching low-income inner city school children whose families are primarily broken, that these youngsters have hope, because hope is priceless. When I went to see him one last time before I left to head back to my home, I brought my uncle a fruit basket with ... Read Full Story >>
Last Sunday I visited my parents as I do every Sunday. My 84 year old Dad seemed unusually worried, so I asked him if anything was the matter. He silently gave me a letter from his motor insurance company to read. In two sentences they informed him that they would no longer be able to insure his small truck and that he can call the undersigned for further clarification. I told him not to worry and that I would take care of the matter. The next day I called the undersigned to get clarification. To sum it up, it did not matter to the insurance company that my Dad spent 50 years paying the premium, but what mattered was that in his first accident (last August) the company had to fork out € 8,942. From then on for three days I visited or phoned almost every broker or insurance company to try and ... Read Full Story >>
Anonymous giving and acts of kindness can lead the giver to a very lonely place in the universe. Like the Lone Ranger or some other disguised hero, we do kind things all the time and so often the people on the receiving end don’t see it or don’t recognize it. Living a life of altruism, in its most ideal form, means setting the ego aside and not doing what we do for credit. Usually, I have no problem with this at all. But there are those days, perhaps when I’m feeling a little weak or drained, where I find myself feeling lonely with it all, feeling like I’m giving, giving, giving, to a world that is in super receiving mode and asleep to what’s being done for them. I get a little discouraged. Even idealized heroes had their inner circle of friends who knew who they really were and what their life ... Read Full Story >>
Let Me Be A Little Kinder Glen Campbell Let me be a little kinder Let me be a little blinder To the faults of those about me Let me praise a little more Let me be when I am weary Just a little bit more cheery Think a little more of others And a little less of me Let me be a little braver When temptation bids me waver Let me strive a little harder To be all that I should be Let me be a little meeker With the brother that is weaker Let me think more of my neighbor And a little less of me Let me be when I am weary Just a little bit more cheery Let me serve a little better Those that I am strivin' for Let me be a little meeker With the brother that is weaker Think a little more of others And a little less of me We attend a funeral service planned for Danny at 2pm on Friday. ~ModestoBob Last week, two days before Father’s Day, a close personal ... Read Full Story >>
On Sunday while I was having my own Father’s day celebration, I thought about my dad a lot. By the time I called to tell him that I loved him, he had already gone to bed. I was bumbed out a bit because of missing him so I thought I would write a little post about what my dad means to me. My dad is that absolute most kindest man in the world. He would never hurt anyone intentionally and would give the shirt off his back in an instant. This made me reflect on a story about 28 years ago. My dad was a used car salesman and owned his own car lot and body shop on several occasions. Every Thursday night, he would head off to Shreveport, LA to the auction. Most of the time, I drove a car over there for him so he could sell it at ... Read Full Story >>
As I entered womanhood, Mom sat me down and told me that no matter what happened and no matter what I did, I could always come home. Because of what those words meant to me, I said the same thing to my sons. My childhood was filled with affection—lots of kisses, lots of hugs, lots of spoken I love yous. I never wanted for physical affection, and because of what that affection meant to me, I gave the same thing to my sons. I grew up in a home where love was openly talked about and warmly expressed. I can still picture myself in my attic bedroom, sitting on my bed and fuming at my parents. They had been mean to me and were totally unreasonable—at least that was my evaluation of the situation. They hadn't understood that I was a teenager and should be allowed certain freedoms. With eyes closed, lips ... Read Full Story >>
"Some people!" snorted a man standing behind me in the long line at the grocery store. "You would think the manager would pay attention and open another line," said a woman. I looked to the front of the line to see what the hold up was and saw a well dressed, young woman, trying to get the machine to accept her credit card. No matter how many times she swiped it, the machine kept rejecting it. "It's one of them welfare card things. Damn people need to get a job like everyone else," said the man standing behind me. The young woman turned around to see who had made the comment. 'It was me,' he said, pointing to himself. The young lady's face began to change expression. Almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card onto the counter and quickly walked out of the store. Everyone in the checkout line ... Read Full Story >>
As a child, I had a lot of pent-up anger and was not good at communicating constructively. Once, as I was getting ready for school, my mother accidentally handed me my father's vest instead of mine. This was around the time that I was getting to be larger in size than my father, and so as I put the vest, I felt like I was being choked in it! I realized that it was a small oversight on my mother's part, but somehow the feeling of being choked overwhelmed me and filled me with anger. Without thinking much, I took out my anger on my mother. I was so upset that she had handed me the wrong vest, that I responded by violently ripping it apart from my chest! Later, my mother shared her own frustration with my father: "See what your son has done." Instead of scolding or abusing me, my father calmly ... Read Full Story >>
I was shopping at the local department store and noticed this young man in his late 20's looking carefully for children's clothing and putting together really cute outfits to buy. This is a small store and when I went to the checkout counters, they were closed and the courtesy desk called me over there to check out. Wouldn't you know the young man was checking out there too. We were Side by Side and I could see and hear his conversation with the cashier. When the total appeared on the cash register he looked down and said I don't have enough money. He put back a shirt, and he was still short for money. Now, I myself, am not overflowing with money because my hubby is unemployed, but when I saw this guy putting back underwear and socks, I was heartbroken. Here he was trying to buy some nice clothing and needed items for ... Read Full Story >>
I have been blessed with opportunity in my life, and it took the near-death of my dad to make me realize that my purpose in life is to help others. My dad was diagnosed with leukemia in 1998 and watching the pain and treatment that he endured inspired me to be a more kind and giving person. It was like a smack in the face as I woke up one morning and realized life is just too short and it was time for me to make some changes – do the things in life that I wanted to do without making excuses why I couldn’t do them, or telling myself that I had plenty of time to do things. Well, you never know when your hourglass will run out of sand. The time was now. My dad needed a bone marrow transplant. He was given a procedure in which he was able to reuse ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a lovely little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare life threatening disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had somehow survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?".
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
I was staying with a friend of mine recently because my parents where out of town. On one of the days, my friend and I went out on an activity day, which was lots of fun and I had the chance to meet a bunch of new people. I was talking with a few guys, and during the course of the conversation, it came up that they where from a town that I was going to move to in just one week. One of the guys was very interested in when my family and I where moving and asked if we where going to have any help moving in. He insisted on getting my information so he could help out. I thought that was quite funny but didn’t really give it much thought. Well, sure enough, he called me the day we were moving in, and when my family arrived, there was a big group of people outside our new house. These people didn’t even know us and ... Read Full Story >>
There was once a skinny young boy who loved football. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the other boys, all his heart and effort couldn't make up for his physical shortcomings. At every game, this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever got to play. However, the determined young man decided to hang in there. He hoped that maybe his body would grow to match his heart and dedication. All through high school, he never missed a practice nor game, but he remined a bench a bench warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him . When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a " walk on.". Everyone doubted that he would make the team, but he did. The coach ... Read Full Story >>
Something happened today to make me realise just how much love I have in my house and I am so thankful for that. My husband used to work in a bank but during the credit crunch he lost his job. The economy wasn't looking good and he didn't have too many options to get another bank job. It was incredibly difficult to see him go to the warehouse to look for work, hoping and praying that he would be offered a position (where he would be paid even less than his own teenage children were making). Someone dear to me encouraged him to keep on "keeping on" and I was right behind them. I told him to just "go for it". He got the job and it brought us such a feeling of pride. With his new job we were still able to pay our mortgage and buy our groceries. But money ... Read Full Story >>
I was recently on a vacation to Disney World with some of my friends. I never expected to find a chance to exercise my kindness muscles. My friends were going on a scary water ride that I did not want to go on. I waited outside the ride with their camera so that I could take pictures. While I was doing this, I noticed two small children who were alone. It looked like the older one, about 7, seemed to be searching for something, while the younger boy, around 3, was crying uncontrollably. I waited for some time, slightly afraid to approach them in case they would be scared by a stranger. After watching this scene for about 10 minutes, I decided that I needed to find out what was the matter. The older boy explained that they were standing at the exact same spot with their parents just an hour ago and ... Read Full Story >>
I had been feeling a bit blue and alone, so I thought I'd treat myself to something I wanted. I went to the grocery store to pick up some items I needed to make some chili bean soup. I had a hankering for it and felt like I'd treat myself to something I wanted. I could almost taste the soup. I had the beans the onions, the ground beef, my mouth was watering. Then out of nowhere a thought of my sister came to mind. We had spoken via email just the day before. She told me that she and my 13-month-old nephew had been battling a virus all week and feeling pretty tired. As I thought of this, I thought that I should bring something over for dinner. She loves my Mexican meatball soup (Albondigas), but I wanted Chili soup, and so the battle within began. I already had everything for ... Read Full Story >>
Last month my kindness idea allowed me to meet some new people in my community. When I delivered their food, I also gave each my phone number so they could keep in touch if they wanted. All of them have called me since.
Having a bad spell with MS has left me pretty much in bed the last two or three weeks and feeling nearly helpless.
Yesterday, the young mother I had helped showed up at my house with a casserole. While she was here, she washed my dishes and carried out my trash. The young gentleman I had helped has been here twice, just to check on me. He has no transportation so he had to walk the several miles to where I live.
In helping others, I have made new friends . What a blessing.
I knew a friend of mine was struggling with work, adult children moving back into the home, and a health concern about his wife.
Last week I called him and left him a voicemail letting him know that I was thinking of him and focusing on a positive outcome for him.
I spoke to him today and he told me that my voicemail brought him so much comfort that he saved it and when things get rough, he listens to it and cheers up.
I'm so humbled by his words and so very grateful that I took a moment to leave him that voicemail. It got me thinking how sometimes we have impulses to reach out to another. At times we follow through, sometimes we get busy and forget.
After hearing his gratitude for my message, I realized I need to pay more attention to those impulses.
Everyday, I read the stories on this website and I am so warmed by all the generous giving and grateful receiving.
Thank you for the inspiration!