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It’s the Simplest Gestures

July 26, 2013

Flowers from a friend.

Flowers from a friend.

….the unexpected kindnesses that often mean the most.

I have been under the weather for about ten days. Inordinately frustrated with my body and its refusal to cooperate with my plans, I’ve probably spent more energy fighting it than giving it the time and attention it needs to heal. It’s an inconvenient illness in oh so many ways, most notably my nieces impending wedding.  The original plan was to drive the three hours today to my sister’s house, attend the wedding tomorrow and visit with another niece who is flying in from California, cuddle her two small children whom I have never met, and return home Sunday. Tonight, we were to attend a 60’s musical review, tickets compliment of my sister and her husband. What fun!

The new plans are, go to the doctor this afternoon and, hope upon hope, drive up tomorrow, probably missing the wedding but at least spending a little time with my California sweetie and her sweeties. Or, more likely not go at all. Disappointment personified.

Into every life a little rain must fall. Some of it we may make sense of down the road. Most of it we tuck away inside somewhere to add to the feeling memories that build our compassion muscles and help us understand another’s disappointments and sorrows.  It’s just the way life seems to go. When I woke up this morning I lay in bed trying not to feel sorry for myself and this came to mind:

I swim the ocean of my life in search of my soul. 

It is the goodness of others that keeps me going when I can’t find the shore. It’s the little kindnesses, the compassion offered, the understanding words shared, that remind me that I am not alone in my misery, even if it’s only a temporary, not-even-very-important-misery.  Being alone, for me, is always the hardest part. The helpless, hopeless place I often live in…the not even knowing how to open myself to receive the love that might come my way place.

Once in a while, a hand reaches across the ocean into the scared, scarred places and touches me. It brings tears to my eyes. This week, a woman I’ve only met once, a kind, compassionate soul, my husband’s customer,  sent flowers home with him, to me, when she heard I was sick. She touched me in my broken places. She helped me find my soul. A virtual stranger.

We never know what our little acts of kindness will do for another. We don’t need to know. We just need to open the generous kind spirit that lives within us and let it flow. Perhaps even more importantly, we need to relax and open our receiving place and allow what comes our way to heal us and love us; and tuck that little gem somewhere deep inside to remind us that we are not alone and that we are loved. We do matter.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. earthnskystudio permalink
    July 26, 2013 12:24 pm

    From our loneliest & most diasappointing places beauty comes into being. Life’s message is that we are not alone. Each of us can help lift another’s spirit by a smile, a phone call, a bundle of flowers. Be well, Dorothy! Sending healing thoughts ~ Diane

    • July 26, 2013 12:25 pm

      Thanks Diane. You’re a good friend. 🙂

      • earthnskystudio permalink
        July 26, 2013 12:30 pm

        I’m standing right there with you. Praying.

  2. July 26, 2013 1:06 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you haven’t been well, Dorothy–I was wondering why we hadn’t heard from you in a while. I hope you’ll feel up to your trip tomorrow and the day will be a fun and memorable one for you, even if it isn’t the day you’d originally planned.

    I had a personal FB message today from a friend of my mother, who passed 9 years ago, reminding me that she still misses my mom, and encouraging me to celebrate myself. As you wrote, we never know what our little acts of kindness will do for another. That FB message made my day.

  3. Laura Hedgecock permalink
    July 26, 2013 9:19 pm

    Feel better soon!

    Laura Hedgecock

  4. Luanne permalink
    July 27, 2013 10:36 am

    So true about kindness. Please get better fast!

  5. July 28, 2013 7:26 pm

    Thank you! I’m feeling better already!

    • earthnskystudio permalink
      July 29, 2013 1:08 am

      Yaaaay! Wishing you a good week, Dorothy!

  6. De De permalink
    July 29, 2013 9:03 am

    Good Morning Dorothy,
    I do hope you are feeling better today and I am so happy that the flowers from a friend brought sunshine to you! This post reminds me of a time many years ago when I was in a new town with 3 small little girls and my husband went on a business trip. I became violently ill and couldn’t even get up. I asked my oldest daughter who was 8 at the time to please watch the baby who was 1 1/2 then and I went to bed. A short time later a wonderful woman who was from a church we had visited recently was by my bedside. She offered to take me to the hospital ER and watch the girls. What an angel! I do believe God sent her to take care of me and my daughters. I still think of her and her unselfish act of compassion. I hope that she is living a wonderful life. We never know what small acts do to help others sometimes for a lifetime. Be better!
    De De

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