I remember it was very early one morning and the sun was not even up yet. My Dad had been battling an extremely high fever most of the night and a relative had driven me over two hours to the hospital because the doctors weren't sure if he was going to make it. Since I was only 14 years old, I understood what was going on but I was not patient enough to just sit in his room and be by his side. Instead, I made my way down the corridor of the hospital and into the darkened ICU waiting room. My Mom called this waiting room home for nearly two months, and I was quite at ease sitting in the silence and darkness that cold February morning.
I thought I was totally alone with my thoughts when I suddenly realized there was an elderly man sitting across from me. His face was dimly lit from nearby vending machines and once he realized I had seen him, he got up from his chair and slowly made his way towards me. I was a shy teenager and was not really in the mood to talk, but I didn't make a move to leave. He approached me and began to quietly tell me that his wife was not doing well and he thought she was going to pass soon. Then, a smile spread across his face and he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small silver cross. He handed it to me, said a prayer for my family, and walked away.
I never told anyone about the man and the cross he gave to me, but I kept it in my pocket every single day while my Dad was in the hospital. In the following months and years, I kept it tucked safely away in my jewelry box, but when things got tough, I always took it back out and placed it into my pocket. Thankfully, the cross was never misplaced throughout all of my high school and college years and even through all of my adult moves.
When we started going through all of our difficulties with this pregnancy, I pulled out my cross again. I slept with it in my hand during the early nights and began tucking it into my pocket whenever I had a doctors appointment. Several weeks ago, I was sitting at a red light getting ready to pull into my next appointment when I decided I wanted to hold the cross. I pulled it out of my pocket and it slipped through my fingers and into a crack between my seat and the console. It hasn't been seen since. Part of me wants to believe that maybe the cross found its way out of the car and into the hands of someone that needs it way more than I do and part of me hopes that it just magically reappears the next time I search for it in the car (which will probably be after I finish typing this!).
|The Babe's hand along with mine and our borrowed cross from Mr. Man.|
He actually pulled this out of his drawer when I lost mine; I had no idea
he even had one!
The point of that long story is that even though I no longer have the physical reminder of the generosity the kind, elderly gentleman showed to me that early morning nearly seventeen years ago, I still know God is with me. His kindness also serves as a reminder that even the smallest deeds can make a huge difference to someone.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia
In the last few weeks, my family has been on the receiving end of many acts of kindness and we appreciate every single one. I have talked to people I haven't spoken to in years and I've received messages from people I have never met. I am beyond touched by the power of sharing...the power of small acts of kindness...the difference a touch and reassuring words can make. We appreciate it all so very much.
The challenge now is paying it forward. Selfishly, I blog because it helps me to write it all out. I also hold out hope that maybe...just maybe...someone will find my blog when they need it. Outside of just sharing my thoughts, fears and words with you, I know I need to do a better job of sharing kindness to others. You just never know when a small act of kindness can make a difference. I am going to do my best to pass it on!
Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
Pass it on.