Monday, December 17, 2012

Random Acts Of Kindness Or Whatever I Find Myself Writing About

Amazing isn't it?  I just looked and my last post was on September 8, 2012.  That means in October, November and this many days in December I have not posted.

I know why.

I have been living, and, as funny as it sounds, that has taken a certain amount of absence, reflection and finding the words to say what it is like to "dare" to live and leave cancer behind, leave "waiting" behind...

What does that mean?  Leave "waiting" behind?

I knew my dad was going to die.  I just didn't know when.  He was 99 years old in September of 2011.  I could tell he was getting more frail.  I could tell he was different.  The biggest indicator was something simple.  He didn't order pancakes at Perkins Restaurant anymore. 

He had eaten pancakes from the time he was a little boy on the family farm.  Everytime we went to Perkins he ordered pancakes.  It was an event just to watch him eat.  He had the buttermilk three.  There was one big ball of butter that he saved for the last pancake.  He had four, not three, pieces of bacon, syrup and decaf coffee.  He had a hard time lifting the coffee pot to pour his coffee.  He had bursitis in his shoulder.  When he lifted his fork to his mouth he held his arm with his other hand.  I would pour his coffee and remember all the times we would be on vacation and eat breakfast out.  It was always a favorite time for me to eat breakfast in a restaurant with my dad.

So, that is what I have been busy with.  I have been busy in my mind.  Sarah's cancer is past.  She is good.  She does her, now six month, blood draws and is busy with her life.  My dad......and I sigh....died December 10, 2011 at 99 years old.  Am I over it?  No....I can say that with a resignation that I feel in my heart.

I have dreamt about him the last two nights.  He loved coming to my house for Christmas.  He loved my tree and my decorations and being with family.  I missed him last Christmas, but this year, for some reason, feels like the first Christmas he is not with us. 

I am making my way through Christmas this year.  I am trying to find the magic I like to bring to the season and to my family.  Christmas is my favorite season of the whole year. 

Today, I was driving home from the post office.  I had packages to mail and the line was long.  I told myself I would give myself an hour to mail two packages.  The fellow behind me said to his daughter...."This could take up to a half hour."  I said, "That is long enough to make a new friend."  I told them I had given up to an hour to be in line.  They said, "Wow."  I said, "Well, if it takes less than an hour I would be happy and lucky, and if it takes an hour, I would be right."  I ended up having a lovely conversation with the fellow behind me and I was the better for it.  I left the post office with a smile and a wish for a Merry Christmas!

Now, for the random act of kindness part. 

I was driving home from the post office and I saw a woman pushing a grocery cart with bags of groceries on the path along the lake.  I drove on past and then turned around.  I drove back to where she was and stopped across the road from her and asked if she needed help.  She paused and then said, "Yes."  I pulled my car into a driveway and went over to her.  I asked where she was going.  She told me and it was still another mile or so.  I told her I couldn't get the grocery cart in my car but I could get her groceries in and could drive her to her apartment.  She didn't have mittens on or a scarf or hat.  She looked near frozen. 

Once we got in my car, I turned the heat up and could see her shaking from the cold.  I drove her to her apartment complex, got her groceries out of my car, carried them to the elevator and watched them while she went up to get her own cart and bring it down so we could load them and get them up to her apartment. 

Her name was Cheryl and she was legally blind.  She had tried calling someone to help her and noone was home, so she headed out walking.  She must have walked close to six miles before I came across her and stopped.  I am glad I stopped.  I know the human spirit is able to do things, but I am glad I stopped.  I am glad I trusted my intuition and turned around. 

In March of 2013 I will turn 70 years old.  My daughter, Sarah, shared a blog with me recently that talked about doing one random act of kindness for each year you are alive.

Well, I can't do 70 random acts of kindness in one day, or even in one week.  So, I am going to start my journey of doing 70 random acts of kindness today.  Each day between now and March 16, 2013 I will be doing random acts of kindness and will work at meeting my goal of 70 by the end of March 16, 2013.

Therein, lies my story for is past, present and future.

I miss you dad...more than you could ever know.

I am grateful for your good health Sarah and that cancer is in the past.

I am grateful for my life and the ability I have to still be the Christmas magic for my family.

I am thankful for all I have, and whatever I can give, in whatever ways, to be a kind person each and every day.

This was a long post but that is okay. 

I will post my random acts of kindness as I go.  They may require some creativity but I like that.

Merry Christmas everybody.  May your days be blessed in ways you couldn't even guess.