Thursday, 29 May 2014

Kindness All Around Me

I have a lot of kindness in my life. It is something that I am completely grateful for every day. There is not an hour that goes by when I am not reminded of the kindnesses given to me, or not receiving one right at that moment. These kind acts come in all sizes, from those that take but a moment and make such a difference, to those gestures that will stay with me for years, or for as many as I have, helping me in my daily life.

Each morning I awaken to see my floor, my walls, my bathroom. I switch on my lights, roll up to my sink, take a shower. Each of these reminds me of the kindness of my brother Jim, who did so much work here, my friend Mike who did the same, and so many of my other friends who pitched in when I desperately needed them, who stepped up to paint and clean and help. These kindnesses I treasure each moment, I am reminded of them each day.

There are the smaller kindnesses, the ones that are not so obvious, things like friends lifting me up and down the stairs each Tuesday night at our Trivia event, or when a friend drops by "just for a visit" but does a little shopping along the way, or when someone comes for dinner even though it isn't really convenient just because they know how much I love to cook and want their company. I am the fortunate receiver of these kindnesses almost daily, and they too mean so much to me.

Then there are the random, unexpected kindnesses of strangers. One day last winter I was in my power wheelchair, trying to cross the street. I was stuck in the snow, leaning on a dangerous angle, when two young men came across the street in the opposite direction. I asked them for help. Not only did they virtually lift my power wheelchair down the sidewalk slope to the road, but they walked me across the street to ensure I didn't get stuck on the snow in the middle or on the other side. While doing renovations, the mailman saw that my shower seat had arrived and saw how big it was, and how heavy. He took his personal time to go across the street to the Canada Post outlet in the mall where it had been delivered, picked it up and brought it right to my door. And there was the woman at Safeway who offered to bring my groceries home for me since I just live across the street.

Kindness is not always from those you know, not always from family or friends. Kindness is all around me. I am not sure if I would have learned this quite so strongly had I not been in this wheelchair, fighting with ALS. I am not asking for this disease; I don't want it. I want a cure. In the meantime, I really appreciate the kindness I have been given. Thank you all.

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