Oh how I am inspired by stories of great kindness. This one makes me so proud of the town and the people I grew up with. The younger brother of a friend and classmate was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago. He is a young man, married just a few years with a four year old son. I was fortunate two summers ago to visit home and participate in a walk to raise money for this amazing and inspiring family. Recently I heard of a high school friend who was selling his motorcycle for the sole purpose to buy this couple a bike with a motor so they could still ride together. They are the outdoor type and have always been very active. This one thing, this bike could be a life changer for them. Freedom is a stretch but I think the word fits nicely considering it would give Todd the opportunity to do something that used to seem impossible. The things we take for granted on a daily basis, huh? When is the last time you complained that your feet hurt from walking too far or your legs hurt from biking around a small lake? This bike was a miracle to this family and one kind person, one compassionate man made this happen. This story is tragic and beautiful as I have watched a community and old friends come together to do amazing things for this well deserving family. Isn’t that our purpose in life? I would like to think it is. To be be kind and help others and always find a way to give even when you are sure you have nothing to offer. Offer yourself, your kindness, an encouraging word and be an inspiration to everyone around you. My heart if so full today.
I was able to attend a fundraiser for the brother of a friend in the town I grew up in today. Last night, as I lay in bed, I was bombarded by memories and the shadow of my life that existed here so many years ago. I couldn’t help but wonder what it might be like to still live here, the place that engulfed me and nourished me as I grew from a young child exploring the world, to a young woman setting out to make a life of my own. What would it be like to raise my kids in a place that was familiar to me as a kid? To send them to school with kids of people I once went to school with? It’s nice to feel part of a community and see faces that were once part of my everyday life. Looking back, I was so excited to graduate and move on in the world. Truth is, I had no idea how large the hole would be when life as I had known it would be no more. Faces I once saw everyday would be gone. Some forever, and a few I might catch up with occasionally on Facebook or briefly at a reunion. There’s something special, a bond perhaps that is formed when a group of people share so many years of their lives together, regardless whether any relationship ever existed. There a comfort in a familiar face. It’s like a gentle hug from our safest place. I always start to dream whenever I come to visit, of people and times that had once meant so much to me. Sometimes, people from my past make time in their busy day to catch up. There is no greater gift than someone validating my life and my existence by making sure our paths cross if fate allows whenever I visit. People are so busy these days. They will cook a meal or fit you in while they are busy going on about their everyday drama, but to stop what they are doing and sit down to take a moment to look into my eyes while making conversation, that is a gift.
I felt really blessed to be part of that event today. Sometimes, problems are so big, but with the love and concern of enough people, that burden can be shared. I wish everyone in the town could have been there to support that young man with ALS. To show that man that his life is important, and his struggle is important, that people care. I hope I gave him and his family that gift today. It is a memory that will always remain in my mind. Being home at the right time to share a life changing event with so many that at one time meant so much is a blessing. Take this lesson with you today. Are you still to busy to take the time to make someone feel important? There is no guarantee that you will have that opportunity another day. Time is precious. It is one thing we can never get back but something we often wish we spent a different way. Next time you cross paths with someone you know, pause, take those few minutes to make them feel their existence is important. A few minutes can make all the difference.