Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Good for the soul

In less than one week's time I have witnessed some true acts of kindness. All unexpected. None wishing to be recognized.

...Uncle Fred...
He lost his incredible wife - my aunt, my godmother - to cancer two years ago. It was devastating for him. For his family. He has been living in deep grief. Stark darkness. A week ago I told him about a little girl named Corina who is 13 and losing her battle to ovarian cancer. Her see the ocean. He rents a condo at the beach for a few months out of the year - arguably to lose himself, to find himself and to reconnect with my Aunt. He offered me his condo for a week or a month - whatever she needed and wanted. This child will likely not live through the month of April and it was questionable if she would even make it through the week at the beach as she is utilizing hospice at her vacation destination. He made her wish come true. Her family will have a final, happy memory as a family together. In the midst of darkness he provided a beacon of serenity.

My competitive first born is not easily talked off the wall when it comes to anything that she perceives as competition. Easter egg hunts are no exclusion. Sunday we were lucky enough to partake in an Easter extravaganza hosted by a Wishes Can Happen board member. This party was grand and it was a fantastic gathering of board members, volunteers and wish families. Wish families is the key term here. We aren't talking about a host of healthy, fully functional children. We are talking about kids who have been to hell and back at a minimum of one time - if they are lucky. A child who I had the great privilege of granting a wish for was present with her mom and siblings at this event. Sidney immediately took a liking to her. Little Brooke is such a sweet child. Looks fragile, but is obviously quite tenacious to battle Chiari Malformation. She is suited up with a neck brace. Forbidden to run. Bounce. Jump. Jostle. She's 6 and restricted for her own health and safety. Sidney took Brooke by the hand in the midst of 100 children and started exploring the 5 acre property in search of eggs. Her first concern was that Brooke's bag was filled. That she got what she needed. That she had a friend to do it with. Sidney loved this experience - she felt purpose and it filled her heart. Certainly mine.

...Random Stranger...
I forgot my lunch today so I trekked down the street to Subway. I was in line behind a couple of guys - one looked pretty worn, but I thought nothing of it. I was becoming frustrated, however, because I just wanted my six inch turkey and to get out the door and it seemed as if the man in front of me had never visited a restaurant before. He had no idea how to order. How the line worked. What to ask for. I kept thinking to myself, "this isn't hard...just pick your toppings and go." The man in front of him tried to guide him through the process, but didn't seem to full grasp that this man really had no idea. After I quit thinking about time and processed the situation it was clear. This worn & torn man was homeless. He had a tattered bag that I typically see tossed over the shoulder of the homeless at the Haven. The man in front of him was buying him lunch. He picked up the tab and handed the homeless man his bag and we all walked out the door. The business man went one direction. The homeless man the other. And, I stood in awe completely sobered.

These things have done wonders for my soul and for my spirit. I hope you experience even a shred of it.

Sidney + Brooke