Two Hours of Caring Lifts Spirits

It must be my week to get amazing stories of kindness and love from friends and family. I got this story yesterday from a friend who knows I look for these stories and it is “all about me” (grin) when I do! It raises my energy soooooooooo much when I hear about them or read about them. It is so easy to forget how much responding to that “inner voice” means when we’re in a rush to get things done or make a living. And it is my belief that when we slow down and listen, we can make this kind of difference in one person’s life…and in the lives of millions, maybe even billions!

The Cab Ride

I arrived a few minutes early and honked the horn. There was no response at the address, so I walked to the door and knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, and then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated’.

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy’, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice’.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued. ‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ she asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said. You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

You have such a great heart and I know, I truly KNOW, you’re making a difference in at least one life today. Thank you and keep up the great work. Each of us taking 1 moment to be kindness, to ourselves or others, lifts the energy and spirit of the entire world.

Love and light, hugs and blessings
Jerilynne

A Gift of a Sack Lunch

A friend of mine sent this to me today and I loved it…so I thought I would share it here.

When I see or hear of something like this it makes my heart sing…and I know there are millions of acts of kindness (small and large) happening every moment of every day all around the world. Don’t forget to focus on those, especially when the news is spewing a lot of scary stuff! The more you focus on the kindnesses, generosity and love, the more of it you’ll see!

Promise!

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. ‘I’m glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,’ I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

‘Where are you headed?’ I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. ‘Chicago – to Great Lakes Base. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Iraq ‘

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. ‘No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks. I’ll wait till we get to Chicago ‘ His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. ‘Take a lunch to all those soldiers.’ She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. ‘My son was a soldier in Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.’

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, ‘Which do you like best – beef or chicken?’

‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. ‘This is your thanks.’

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. ‘I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.’ He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, ‘I want to shake your hand.’

Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand. With a booming voice he said, ‘I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.’ I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. ‘It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.’

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little…

War sucks eggs, big time and I also know soldiers pay a heavy price for their involvement…all around the world. Won’t it be a grand world to live in when there are more reports of kindnesses and peace, than hatred and war. Whoo Hoo!!!!!!!!! Oh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love and light, hugs and blessings
Jerilynne

A Simple “Ask” and Help with the Dishes

You know what, when you start focusing on kindness, you really do start seeing it in a lot more places! For example, I decided to make a nice lunch for my hubby and youngest son (21) who lives with us. As is is my norm, I’ve got lots of dishes and utensils and stuff laying out all of the kitchen and I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get the nummy “breakfast type” lunch to come together at the same time.

Hubby and son are in other rooms doing their thing. Suddenly, my hubbie says “can I do anything to help?”. Wow, how kewl! And even tho’ I had things pretty much under control (although it may not have looked it!), the very fact he noticed and asked was so kewl…

Both of them helped with the cleanup and it only took a few minutes to eliminate any evidence of what was a truly yummy breakfast.

See…kindness can be as simple as an ask and a helping hand!

The Power of Two Simple Words

We often forget that kindness doesn’t need to be hard or expensive or time consuming. It can be as simple as two words “Thank You”. The simple act of appreciation, of acknowledging another in our world, can be as healing as any drug, any supplement, or therapy program. Said with sincerity and true appreciation, those simple words pack a powerful punch.

We all need to know we matter because we forget we do. So grab any chance you have to appreciate others…it is healing, it is a way to bring peace, it is powerful. And, most of all, it is simple. No matter the language!

And for those on the receiving end, remember it is a gift to you…and a gift to the giver when you accept it!

Thank you to each of you for reading, for being, for loving, for caring. You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love and light, hugs and blessings
Jerilynne “MamaRed”

Even in the midst of pain, there is kindness

I don’t condone violence, I don’t condone racism, I don’t condone treating people with disdain or unkindness. And I forget, and I do these things, and I judge and, well, I’m human, like all 6 billion plus folks on this planet.

And Monday was one of those days when my judgment and anger came out, big time. A friend of mine sent me a link to a story that really got me going, really got me pissed off…and that is as kind a way as I can write about how I felt.

What was it that got me so fired up? Had me thinking thoughts I would prefer not to think? It was a story of someone inflicting pain on a group of people (they happened to be Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan) in Dayton, Ohio. You can see what I was reading about here. I wondered if this was the result of The Obsession DVD. Who knows? And I know it didn’t help matters, whether there was a scientifically provable connection or not.

And I screamed in my soul at the unkindness and prejudice that abounds. And I stormed around my office and home, yelling about unjustice and fear mongering. I stewed and steamed and judged and railed against this type of behavior and anger and hatred. Then I remembered…I am adding to that kind of behavior and negative energy by my own behavior. And the ONLY person’s behavior I can change is mine, as much as I would like, no prefer, to change others (it is so much easier to look outside and means I don’t have to be accountable for my own crap).

So I went back and read the original story several times and read the comments many times (something I don’t usually do by the way…sometimes I’m like the proverbial ostrich with my head in the sand). I read the story in the Dayton paper (and seriously did not feel it was written with any emotion…crud, there comes my voice of judgment again).

I decided I was going to find a kindness in the situation and turn my own nasty attitude around, come hell or high water. And I did, although it took a bit of time and thought, and it is there.

  • The woman who wrote the email to the site owner took action on her thoughts and feelings about the situation…she could have stewed privately instead of taking a stand
  • The woman who wrote the email took the time to be with her friends and provide comfort and caring words…she could have gone home and left her friends without support
  • The site owner published the story…he could have ignored it
  • The mothers in the mosque took care of the terrified children
  • The paramedic who gave oxygen to the child who couldn’t breathe
  • The many people took the time to write about their thoughts and feelings, letting others know that this behavior is not acceptable to them, letting others know this isn’t the way all Americans feel
  • The individual efforts to get this news out to mainstream media, let The Clarion Foundation know they disapprove of the DVD campaign
  • The individuals who added these precious Light Beings to their prayers
  • …and I’m sure there are many more to be found…these are the beginning and I will continue to look for ways to raise, rather than lower, the world’s positive energy.

Will you join me? Will you throw away the DVD if you get it? Will you focus on kindness? Say prayers? Look to your own being and do all you know how to do to raise the Kindness Quotient?

Yes? Thank you. With all my heart, thank you.

Whether there is a connection between the mailing of the DVD to this incident or not is irrelevant, in my opinion..it is hatefilled and no doubt inflammatory, which does nothing but add that type of hatred to the pool…and methinks that pool is quite large enough already!

Love and light, hugs and blessings
Jerilynne “MamaRed”