Practice Random Acts of Kindness peeps. Here’s a couple of stories from my week –
I popped in to IGA for an early morning milk run earlier this week, and when the friendly cashier asked “What have you got planned for today? Do you work?”, I explained that I wasn’t working that day and my daughter and husband were at home sick, she sympathised about caring for sick kids and went on to mention that her daughter was sick with a rare form of cancer. I was taken back and wasn’t sure what to say (how do you respond to that?!). When I asked her how she was doing, she replied that she had passed away 2 years ago.
“I’m so sorry…how are you coping?” I said. Her response will be forever in my memory. She replied “every memory I have of her is as fresh as if it happened yesterday and I still cry every day. Even talking about her makes me emotional”. She spoke so calmly and ‘matter-of-fact’ even though I could see tears welling in her eyes. All the while, putting my groceries in a bag and processing the payment etc. At this point, the next person in line was waiting rather impatiently. So she said ‘have a nice day” and started to serve the person next in line.
I got into my car and had to process the story she had just randomly shared with me – a stranger. I could not even begin to contemplate how I would cope if something like that happened to my daughter. And I admired her strength for still going to work, and getting through each day. How do people manage to solider on after experiencing the loss of a child?
Later that day, I went back to IGA to find this woman. Fortunately, she was sitting at the nearby cafe, waiting for a friend. I went up to her and gave her a card and some flowers. “These are for you. I went through your check-out earlier today and you shared your story with me and I just wanted to say thank you for reminding me that each day with my little girl is a gift”. She burst into tears and hugged me and thanked me over and over again…and then we said goodbye and went on with our days…
Yesterday, however, I was the lucky recipient of a ‘RAK’.
After my card was declined whilst attempting to buy my lunch (I didn’t realise it was the 1st of December and my card had expired the day before!), a stranger overheard my conversation with the cashier and said “I’ll pay for it!” and handed $10 to the cashier. When I asked her for her address so I could drop the money off to her later that day, she said “no, no, no don’t worry about it, just do something nice for someone else”, and looked at me with a big smile on her face. “I will certainly do that!” I replied, thanked her and went on my way inspired by her kindness and on the lookout for who I could return the favour to.
So this week I have been on both sides of a RAK and it’s been a humbling experience. I truly believe that if there were more RAKs occurring, the world would be a warmer place.
And, in conclusion, ’tis a special time of year as Christmas approaches but it is a difficult time for many people – people who are reminded of loved ones who are no longer there to join in the celebrations OR families who are living below the poverty line. All the more reason for RAKs in the coming weeks. I hope that by sharing my little stories (albeit rather lengthy for a FB post!), you’re inspired to practice Random Acts of Kindness :). Happy holidays everyone!