She stepped out of her large SUV and walked toward the house with a gentle smile. I had just pulled into the driveway from Sunday morning Mass and greeted her with open arms. “I figured you’d be home soon,” she said. “I just came by to give you these flowers. I imagined today would be difficult so I thought something pretty might cheer you up.” As I received the bouquet of flowers from her slender outstretched arm, my heart skipped a beat. I was in awe at this random act of sheer kindness and pure love. I embraced my friend warmly and offered her some sort of thanks through quiet tears. Yes, this day had been tough. It was hard to believe that mom had been gone for one full year.
This random act of incredible kindness occurred two years ago and it is still a beautiful, fresh memory that I cherish often, especially at this time of year when my mom went home to God. The most striking part of this loving gesture was that it was accomplished by a busy mom whose days are overflowing with kids, work and many other things. I can’t imagine how she found time to purchase the flowers AND drive to my home to deliver them. What I have realized in the two years since this happened is that my friend made it happen! She made a decision to do something kind for someone in need – that is how she was able to fit it into her full life.
How often do we miss the chance to do something kind for someone else? Do we make time during our busy days to think of the people in our lives who may need a friendly phone call or text? Kindness is not expensive nor is it difficult. It just takes a little effort to put others before ourselves. As someone who has been on the receiving end of several kindnesses since losing my mom and struggling with daily chronic back pain – taking time to think of someone in need really does make a huge difference!
“KIND WORDS CAN BE SHORT AND EASY TO SPEAK BUT THEIR ECHOES ARE TRULY ENDLESS.”
—Saint Mother Teresa
I have fond memories of the kindness my mom brought to everyone – friends and strangers alike. She never passed a homeless person without giving a smile and donation and she always had a kind word for anyone she met. Mom liked to use the expression “treat yourself.” She felt it was important to show kindness to others but also to ourselves. Some days I would be talking to her on my way to work and if she thought I sounded tired or down she would say “before you get to work, stop and treat yourself to a nice hot coffee.” When mom arrived at my house to help with the kids or just to visit, she always brought some type of treat. This could be a seasonal flower, a baked good, a pretty kitchen towel or some other simple item which was intended to make me smile. Everything she brought filled me with joy because her kindness was so genuine and overflowing with love.
Thinking back to my friend’s act of kindness with the flowers, I now understand how truly important it is to let others know when you are thinking of them. We don’t always have to spend money, but a simple outreach can make the world of difference to someone in need. I have tried to follow my mom’s good example but realize that I can always do better. When we give of ourselves to others in kindness, we allow God to shine His light on those who may be in darkness.
I’d like to end tonight’s blog by wishing a very Happy Birthday to my eldest Grace Mary – born 24 years ago in Fullerton, California. Grace is a soul who exudes kindness – sending beautiful cards and little treats to her mama in an effort to share love and joy. Her generosity of spirit has been a blessing to our entire family. Dad and I love you deeply Gracie.