Inspiration

Random Act of Kindness

Have you ever sat down in tears, and thought, “I feel so blessed!”  Well, today that was me.  For a moment there were no words. No strife, no anger, no pain, no concern, and no worry.  There was only immense gratefulness.  A moment of humility unlike any other I’ve ever felt. I have always been a hopeful person, but I have never maintained a level of faith in another human being. From time to time they disappoint me. Some leave me devastated in their selfish wake. Today, when kindness brought me to the point of tears, I sat down and let them fall. All I felt was the love from the people who show me kindness.

It was then that I replayed the past year over in my head. A few incredible women popped out and as my tears fell, my heart warmed.  If I have ever lost faith in kindness, that would be all but proven lately that more people are kind than they are not.  For this girl, who has lived through the worst things imaginable; believing in the kindness of others has been my challenge.  I’ve remained transparent even in the wake of pain that followed; all with the belief that is what God has called me to do.  Believing in my own faith that if I did the right thing time and time again, despite that the outcome has not always matched in justice; things would work out in the end. Not that my choices have anything to do with other’s kindness, or that any of this is my doing; it’s just that it lend credibility to the astounding sense of overwhelming love I felt and why.

A woman named Kim Whiting organized several families to help us with Christmas this year.  Well, with grandma’s and aunts, and uncles, and extended family here in Dallas; I just didn’t know how I was going to be able to do Christmas.  The three new kids’ and both of mine in NOLA in college, meant for a difficult budget.  Jennifer, the mom of the three kids sick, and money running out due to in home 24/7 care so she doesn’t have to be at a senior facility and you have one stressed out Rebecca.  Kim came to the rescue and sent a lovely family to us bearing a ton of Christmas gifts for the kids.  They’re a lifesaver!  Sent from God above!  Thank you Kim for reaching out to your network to help us! You have a huge loving heart.

That’s when it reminded me of a wonderful woman named Lynn Ellis who organized food deliveries when I was so overwhelmed with new after school activities and couldn’t afford the dinners or time to cook my own.  It takes everything I have to put my pride aside and accept help. I usually the one who gives it. I was so humbled by Lynn’s generosity though and found her willingness to support Jennifer’s family and my efforts inspiring. She listed the family on a website that organized a community of wonderful moms who brought amazing dinners.  I cannot express in enough words how incredibly helpful she’s been to my family and how profoundly proud I am to know her.  Thank you Lynn for giving us such a precious gift of life; food. Your grace inspires me.

Kim Whitehead heard that we were in desperate need of school clothes and rallied together all the grade and middle school parents who donated an entire wardrobe for all three kids.  She’s a precious inspiration who continues to awe and shock me with how much she is able to accomplish. C.E.O.’s should take notice!  Her heart of gold helped me at a time when again I was overwhelmed with medical costs and strategic planning of my own.  I cannot thank you enough for adding me to your already extensive to do list, just to bless this family with your kindness. You are truly inspirational.

Shannon Quick and Gina McCoy who are amazing women, helped Jennifer clean and organize her home this past year. They packed, and served whenever called.  They love her with unconditional non judgement truthfulness and for that I am profoundly grateful. I love you ladies, and I treasure your help.

The Moms of Plano and the Moms of Murphy who continue to support Jen. Special Delivery where Dwight used to work who provide the insurance so she can continue treatment, The Karate Place where Dwight used to take the kids who continue to raise money each year. Those funds go directly to her medical and daily living expenses. Every dollar has been used to keep this family together.  We’re so thankful that you rallied around this family. Thank you for being so incredible selfless and kind.

To my girlfriends Gail Marks, Dawn Smith, Mary Jarcy, Leanna Cannon, Debbie Smith, my daughter Elizabeth and the girls from social media who are too many to list who support me through Facebook; I get so much from you. You listen to me rant and keep the grace I know you have.  Thank you for being there for me.

I wish I could thank each one of the GOFUNDME people who support Jen and her family this past year. We could NOT have done any of this had it not been for you. I wish I could thank the individuals to brought dinners, or gave gift cards or cash or helped or supported, or drove, or listened when it was all too overwhelming for me.  How can I possibly tell you that if it weren’t for you this past year, I don’t know what I would have done? Thank you everyone for the smaller donation to the biggest. Your kindness continues to raise this family up.

Now you know why it all just hit me and I couldn’t stand.  I felt God today. I feel him more lately than I have ever felt him.  I feel so humbled, so thankful, so incredibly inspired to be the best human being I can be because of these amazing women. I want to say that I am truly thankful for you. I am honored that you wanted to help, and I treasure you more than rubies and gold.  You are everything this world needs. I wish everyone knew how incredibly wonderful each and every one of you are; from the woman who brought me food, to the girl who cleaned the house, to the leaders who rallied a community to support us. You are everything a woman should be, and all that I hope one day a woman says about me.  Thank you, from the bottom of my warmest humbled heart for your selfless acts of kindness. I truly mean it when I say that I pray generously that God blesses you in the very same kind manner that you have blessed this family.  Thank you for being the light of God and shining that light where there was darkness and now there is hope and faith.  Merry Christmas!

Inspiration, Uncategorized

Being Kind Should Be Easy

Today I told someone I am about as transparent as I can be. I thought I was!

I tell people about my life-my circumstances-my choices all the time. What was pointed out to me, was that it seemed, “unbelievable.”  The person to whom I was vocalizing my past in an almost chronological newsworthy kind of way, revealed that to them my words seemed shallow.  As I listened further, I learned that she felt I was lying due to the limited emotional attachment to some pretty heavy circumstances. I thought, You know what? She may be right?

I am a survivor. That is undeniable. I lived through a ton of crap, all to become this tough passionatly tenacious cookie everyone sees.  Whatever happened to the girl inside? What happened the young woman that actually felt all that pain? Had I learned so well to forgive, that I no longer have emotional attachment to the pain? Or have I just entered a PTSD scenario, where I push all my feeling inward? That’s my modus operandi, so when she informed me of her perceptions I had to pause. I asked myself one seriously mind-boggling question. Am I still able to feel after all this time? After all that’s happened? Can I allow myself to let the pain in?

My internal dialog seemed to continue without my permission in an almost audacious fashion. I wondered, Do I allow others to see me feel pain? When was the last time I could remember feeling emotions of empathy or sorrow? The outer shell that I strategically placed around my feelings all those years ago cracked, and for one moment insecurity swept through me, just as if I had full-body entered a cool-pool of water. My brain betrayed me.

I spent the afternoon postulating that I had opened some form of flood gate.  My emotions all over the place reeked havoc. I decided the only place I was safe from altering my perspective was solitude. I went home. Retreated. Left in a massive hurry to collect my thoughts. To do something to get my rejection compartmentalized, and then it hit me.  I am doing exactly what I feared. I suppressed the pain of rejection so that I can move forward. She was right. I had no feeling in my story when I spoke to her. It was if it happened to someone else the way I told it.  Who wouldn’t feel like I was lying?

Survivors deal with things in a whole different way than people who have never had darkness in their life.  People who have life challenges like separating parents, or divorce, or financial difficulties, have tough circumstances they have to go through. I don’t want to make light of that pain. What I have learned is it’s a whole different thing to be a victim of something you didn’t do, and couldn’t control. It changes everything. It’s altering, to some life shattering, and at best burdensome to endure. Add several life circumstances back to back and you should have one blazing nut job!  (I may seem a little nutty but I assure you I am sane.)

If I am as transparent as I tout, shouldn’t I be willing to put some humanness in my story? Shouldn’t that include a touch of sentiment? Inflection in my voice? Some sense of burden I carry? So that maybe when anyone should hear of my successes, they will comprehend the great courage that it took to get there? If you were listening would it matter to you?

I sit here this evening compartmentalizing all that I have felt today so that I can make sense of the things that I recall. I have to go through forgiveness drills so that I can wake in the morning with a new perspective to touch another with hope. I really pray that my message is heard. That message being that there is someone who was strong enough to overcome much of the same circumstances causing them pain. There is someone who believes that if you want to change who you are, to become who you think you should be, you can.  Life can be filled with joy!

If I can share this with you, I hope that when you see someone who seemingly has no emotion, who is just as rigid in stance or maybe composed as I was earlier, you will know that there is a flood of something going on down deep. There is a story there. Everyone has an untold story. Everyone is a real person with real feelings, who has triggers that will set them off.  Everyone has a sense of being uncomfortable in a very unforgiving world.  Show love. Show compassion.

I put my ego back in check. I chalked the experience up to a lesson learned. Each one of us is different in how we process our pain. I will inject some kind of personal emotion when I tell my stories now. I have to. I want to include others when I engage in conversation. I want people to know I am sincere when I type what has happened. I want to connect on a personal level.

The last thing I want someone to feel about me is that I am attempting to remain shallow. So while her rejection prompted a childlike reflex, and subsequent retraction from people, I am glad that she spoke to me with truth. I am not afraid of introspection. It’s part of my growth process, and I hope and pray that you too find it part of your growth too. We cannot change what we need to without knowing what it is that we need to change.