Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers



They say what goes around, comes around, and I believe that. I believe that all of your deeds, good and bad, will eventually find their way back to you. Call it Karma, call it fate, call it bat-shit-crazy, whatever you want, but that feels true to me.

I like to think of myself as a kind person. I gladly do favors for friends and loved ones. It makes my heart feel good to do nice things for the people I care about, and I like to see them happy. I feel the need to show my love through gestures because words never seem to convey the love I have.

But I can’t remember a time when I did a nice thing for a total stranger. Ever. So I don’t know what I did to deserve this act of kindness from one.

A few weeks ago, after I wrote this post about what I’m worrying about these days, I got a surprising email from a woman named Jen. She works with a friend of mine from high school, and that friend sent her a link to my blog. Jen said she had been lurking around my blog for a while, and when she read about my anxiety over my upcoming trip to Michigan with Q, she thought she might be able to help.

Jen has a pack-n-play and feeding chair that she is willing to let me borrow during my stay in Michigan. This was a big worry for me since trying to pack those items would be cumbersome and I’m traveling with Q alone, and shipping them ahead of time would be expensive. As luck would have it, Jen passes right through my mom’s neck of the woods on her way to work every day, so my mom is going to meet her prior to my arrival to pick up the goods.  

Wow, can you believe it? She doesn’t even know me and she’s going out of her way to do such a wonderful thing for me.

It might have something to do with our similarities. Jen says she’s the Midwest version of me and I’m the West Coast version of her. We’re both in the five-feet height range, yet both of our husbands are over six-feet. Her darling little boy is the same age as Quinn. She and I are from Michigan, and our husbands are from California.

The only difference is that Jen, her hubby and her son are all redheads, whereas my Hubs is the only redhead in our crew. (My Hubs has always wanted a “ginger army,” but alas, my dirty-blonde genes have prevented this from happening.) But Jen says Quinn’s hair looks a little “strawberry” in some of his photos, and I agree.

I’ve never met Jen, but I already adore her. Anyone willing to do something this nice for a complete stranger must have a heart of gold. She told me where she works and invited me to stop by and say hello if we have time. Of course, I’m going to make the time. I’m going to give her a big hug and a kiss on the face! (Look out, Jen! Here it comes!) And I’ll get to see my high school friend, too, so YAY for reunions!

Jen, I hope you know how much I appreciate this, and I just know that this beautiful act of kindness will come back to you in a good way. 


10 comments:

  1. This is a great post. I volunteer a lot for Susan G. Komen and other organizations. One thing that seems to be contagious is the concept of paying it forward. It doesn't just apply to when we are on event, but in life in general. I do remember one time on event, about 23 of us were crowded into a bagel shop getting breakfast before we started our duties that morning. As the captain, I had to make sure that everyone was fed and paid for. You can imagine that with 23 people to order food for, a line started to build. This woman behind my team was by herself and I realized that she had been waiting a long time. So when the last person on my team ordered, I asked her to choose what she wanted and it was on me. You can see it really made her moment and for a second she really didn't know how to respond. She got her breakfast and thanked me and as she walked out the door my only hope was that she would repay a random act of kindness with one of her own.

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    1. Aw, what a great story! Thanks for sharing that. It's so great when you can make someone's day like that. Plus, how awesome are YOU for volunteering your time for such a great cause. Mad props to you!

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  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Can't wait to hear about the Michigan trip! XOXO Hi to mom for me!

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    1. Thanks, Stace! I'll tell Mom you say hi. Let's definitely catch up when I get back.

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  3. shalonda griffinJune 14, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Melissa! I love, love, love this post! I'm excited for you and Jenn to meet and become friends! She's an awesome person and mommy and I totally believe she's the midwest version of you and the west coast version of her! Can't wait to see you and hopefully meet Mr. Quinn!

    ~Shalonda

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    1. Thanks so much for bringing Jenn and I together, Shalonda. I'm really looking forward to see you! *hugs*

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  4. That is so sweet. Three years to your new friend Jen! I have no doubt you'll pay her kindness forward!
    Take care,
    Lisa

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    1. I'm definitely inspired to pay it forward! Thanks, Lisa!

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  5. That is so awesome!!!! What a nice gesture. Where are you going in Michigan? We went last year...check out my posts!!! ;) Or email me...

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    1. We leave on Saturday, and are staying for a week. I would love to read your posts, but I don't see a search box on your site. Will you send me a link?

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