Monday, July 20, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

I am amazed by the kindness of people, sometimes. It's not encountered enough (hence the amazement).

I have a friend, we'll call her L. (I'm not sure if she'd mind me speaking of her publicly, so first initial will be used). L. is 26 and has cancer; its a rare form and will eventually kill her. It's a sad fact and sadder still that she's so young. I wanted to send L. a package of...something. Something to let her know she's thought of, cared for, regardless of our distance (she's MST and I'm EST). She doesn't get a lot of support from her immediate family/friends, so I've assigned myself her personal cheerleading coach. Why? Why not? No, it's not something I have to do, but I know I've 'met' her for a reason and I've assigned a purpose for myself in our friendship. Everyone needs a cheerleader in their corner, especially when they're dealing with a mortal illness. Anyways, she started chemo (again) today and I wanted to send her something to make her smile.

While downtown running errands, I pick up a sort of motivational card. Hopefully it'll make her smile. Then I ran into the chocolate store and looked for chocolates for her (milk chocolate, mint, was her favourite from a discussion one night). While the lady behind the counter was helping me look for milk mint chocolates, I was telling her L.'s story. We found the perfect mint chocolates (shapes of daisies), she was wrapping them up and she turned around to hand them to me and said, "These are on the house". *gasp* I was speechless and very touched. It seems she dealt with cancer with her 16yr old cousin ("Why do they keep getting younger?" I said) and she was moved by L.'s story and she understood how difficult it was to watch someone go through chemo. We were both almost in tears by the end of our talk. So I thanked her profusely and went on my way.

I went to the post office to mail said card and chocolates and they weren't quite fitting right in the padded envelope to fit as a 'letter' (would then have to mail as a parcel, which would be $8 if not more). After some discussion, we un-did the envelope, re-arranged the chocolates flat and she cut up a file folder to fit, wrapped it around the chocolates so they'd stay flat, and it all fit perfectly, and as a size of a 'letter'. A dollar and change. Fantastic. It should be there by Friday.

L.'s strength amazes me on a daily basis, even when she's feeling weak. It makes me feel bad gripin' about my own stuff, when someone younger than me has to go through something 10 times as hard. She's started chemo today and will get analyzed weekly to see if its stopping or spreading. She feels like hell already and I wish I could be there for her, but my card will have to do.

Let's think positive thoughts for L. this week, k? She needs all the help she can get.

11 comments:

Bix said...

I love these kind of stories, where one act of kindness begets another, and another. And the kindness runs on with a life of its own. It's like you plant a kindness seed and step back and watch it grow.

It's nice that L. has you.

Perovskia said...

Thanks, Bix :)

I believe very much in "paying it forward". I just hope I'm of some help for her. I can't even imagine, as hard as I try, what she's going through. I just try to be the kind of friend I'd want in that situation.

bambi said...

I've struggled with the concept of prayer for a good year now. I've finally learned that when we pray, we are almost always asking for a miracle, or a certain outcome to a problem. We forget that Christ gave us a prayer that says, "Your will be done".

Now my prayer is that He give us the strength and courage to accept whatever His will be. We may, or may not ever know what possible good comes out of so many situations, but trusting in Him will bring us peace, deep down.

I've learned to recognize that every trial I go through, makes me a great deal more compassionate when I meet others experiencing the same issues. In L.'s case, and your loving effort to bring a smile to her face, you, and hopefully L. will be touched by the kindness shown on her behalf by total strangers. There is good "out there", sometimes it takes a tragedy to see it.

If she feels up to it, she might find that sharing her journey via blogging can reach so many others. She can help us to know how to help others, and help others share what they are going through. If she is stuck at home or the hospital and wants company, even though it is via email, I would love to write to her, get to know her.

Thanks for caring about her and doing something so special to make her feel loved and cared about. The world needs more like you.

CaitieCat said...

Don't ever minimize your own pain because of someone else's, J. That game leads to no one ever getting help for their pain, because there's always someone hurting worse.

What hurts you, hurts. It doesn't matter that in someone else's life, it would seem trivial: it's not *in* their life, it's in yours, and it feels the way it feels.

You're a good friend, this just confirms it.

Angela said...

How wonderful it is to see human beings being genuinely human to each other. Effort often counts for everything.

Perovskia said...

Bambi - I've told her she should blog about her experience. If it's touched me and touched you guys, it's unlimited who she can touch who's in her shoes and just as scared. Hopefully she'll see this and it'll encourage her.

CatieCat - You speak truth. I'm not trying to say my hurt is unjustified, or not real or not important to me; I guess I'm saying my hurt seems 'smaller' in the grande scheme of things. And why I feel a need to compare, I have no idea....which goes back to what you said (not mattering that in someone else's life it would seem trivial). And now I'm just babbling and I'm not sure what to say; but you are right and I just have to... take some time to realize it in my head.

Ange - I agree. "Being human" doesn't happen as much anymore, the busier we get, so it was nice to have that interaction yesterday.

*sigh* I have to say (and I don't want to appear rude or ungrateful because I feel completely opposite but want to share my thoughts) I didn't want this post to be about me. I wanted it to be about her. Life has somehow taught me to be a very compassionate person with strong skills to empathize with people. But that's natural to me and who I am. I realize I often go the distance not a lot of others would, but that's what feels right to me. I feel God's put me on this earth to serve others, so if I can help alleviate someone's pain, then I try my damnedest. Sorry for the ramble.

Anrosh said...

talk about cheerleaders - some have peeled me out of a well of despair. sometimes even a random act of kindness brings hope in life - let your friend whatever she needs - because she needs it. Bless you for blessing her

Anrosh said...

correction: "let your friend have and get and receive whatever she needs - because ...."

Perovskia said...

*smile* Thanks, Anrosh.

Christian Frost said...

Life is such a precious thing, and so many take it for granted every single day. Like myself... watching the clock on my cell phone tick minutes away that I'm "killing time" before I get to go home and relax from being at work all day. Then it makes me think about people like "L" that could be running out of time. It's sad to me to know that someone out there can't just... take time from someone else and use it to extend their own for a greater good.

But it's nice to know that there are people out there that care enough like you that can be there for someone. Thank you for being you. Thank you for showing someone that that they are cared about and loved when possibly no one else does or will.

Perovskia said...

Thanks, Christian. I agree.. it's unfortunate we can't extend one persons time for someone else, especially in situations like this.

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