The day started at 3:00am with a tap on my shoulder and a weepy “Mom, my tummy hurts.” The dreaded wake-up call came from our eldest child, who we thought might escape the terrible stomach bug that has plagued our family the whole week. Unfortunately, she didn’t escape it, and the rest of the morning was a somewhat chaotic blur of tears, towels, blankets, dry heaves (me), ginger ale, laundry and “the bucket”.
It was a difficult way to start the day.
And then a little bit later this morning, I received this Facebook message:
“Yesterday, I went to POSH nail salon in Southport, CT. It is my place for pedicures! I asked if they could possibly make a donation to Donate Life CT – Gala as a silent auction item. They generously gave me 4 gift certificates and an added bonus for a total of 5 gift certificates. They said a kind person had given this extra and it was from Noochieraks!!! I am a huge pay it forward kind of gal and actually belong to a Random Acts of Mail Kindness, letter writing group. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Know that your gesture is making a difference and the world is a better place because of your kindness!”
Terrie, the thoughtful woman who posted this message didn’t know that I went to the nail salon a couple of weeks ago and intentionally chose a person to receive the gift card after I left. She also didn’t know that that same woman must have paid it forward or donated the gift card back to the salon. In addition, Terrie had no idea that I went into the nail salon on that day, my mom’s birthday, because I wanted honor my mom (and Noochie and the 365 acts of kindness challenge). Lastly, she didn’t know that I woke up this morning with a sick child and felt tired, sad and defeated.
So, without any knowledge of the above, Terrie simply posted a comment. And…with her kind words, she completely turned my day around and my daughters who were not feeling well at all, also smiled when I read the message to them.
I know this may sound like a stretch, but in many ways, it felt like a gift from my mom, like she was telling me, “Stay strong, you’ll get through this, I’m always here.”
You just never know the ripple effects of one simple act of kindness.
…And speaking of acts of kindness, I’ve completed THIRTY so far. Here’s what I’ve been up to since “The First Fifteen”:
#30. Sent a cookie bouquet to friends who just lost their beloved pup of 15 1/2 years.
#29. Brought dinner to a special family.
#28. Waved at a stranger who was waiting on the corner for a bus. Thought he’d think either:
a. This woman is hitting on me, or
b. This woman is crazy, or
c. This crazy woman is hitting on me.
Regardless, he smiled and waved back. :o)(correct answer: B)
#27. Left a couple snow brushes/ice scrapers next to snow-covered cars during the blizzard.
#26. Made a small donation to the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation. When I said I would donate, the gentleman sounded so relieved/surprised/appreciative and said, “Are you sure?!”…wish I could have donated more.
#25. Donated gently used coats and snow pants that I was holding onto for sentimental reason to Goodwill.
#24. Made a small donation to an important cause for my cousin’s daughter.
#23. Became an Eucharistic Minister at our Parish.
#22. Ding Dong Donut: Dropped off a box on donuts at my neighbors and ran. :o) (Full disclosure: it was buy one get one free offer from Entenmann’s)
#21. Put post-it notes with inspirational messages on random cars outside the Melting Pot in Darien. Brian helped too!
#20. Mailed a card to a friend I haven’t seen in a while.
#19. Sent a funny picture to a friend.
#18. Bought a manicure for someone (on my mom’s birthday).
#17. Sent an encouraging note to someone.
#16. Didn’t honk (or swear!) when someone cut me off in traffic. Sometimes silence is the best act of kindness. :o)