Got a minute?
If I read my newspapers accurately
and listen to the stories of the people who have stepped into my life, I’d guess that you are either sitting near someone who is carrying a helluva load, or that person is you.
If it is you, I am cheering you on.
If you notice someone to your left or right that is weighed down…I’m cheering you on.
Once you notice, you cannot “un-notice” – much like many of the pictures on social media when you want to scream “IT BURNS” – you cannot un-see what you have seen. Amnesia is not an option.
I don’t know your capacity and resources.
Hell, I don’t even fully know my own, yet.
(I’m still learning and growing.)
But I do know that you have your “thing” that you are good at doing and offering up to the better of your family and friends, to the growth of community in your neighborhood, school, grocery store, or place of worship (sometimes, this is legitimately the coffee shop.)
Do it. Please.
Whatever it is that you “rock” at doing – listening, baking, hugging (go easy into this one with some of us), running (Katie, I’m looking at you), sweeping, reading aloud, editing, baking cookies, speaking up, sitting down, showing up, encouraging (Jules), writing notes, creating beauty…it’s endless – please do it.
Now that you have caught a glimpse or recollection that someone nearby has a need (even for a kleenex), you cannot claim “plausible deniability.”
You have a choice.
As you never anticipated the hard swipes at your humanity, surely there have been moments when you did not foresee great kindness extended toward you. You can be that person to someone else.
Can you offer that extra bed to someone for a few weeks?
Know someone who needs a ride to the store?
Does your neighbor need a kind word or smile that you can offer up?
In my life and in the midst of weighty grief, my friend Shannon offered her mom’s tuna fish and it made my day. Not only was it tasty, but Shannon shared a kindness of her mom with me.
Today (as in many days past), my aMayesing pals share their wifi with me and availability to scratch the fluffy ears of the giant dog, Frances Bacon. My sweet pals, Trish and Gil, welcome me to their table each Monday night for laughter, shared food, and shenanigans…and much patience on their part. M3 checks in and asks to park on my couch for a few minutes – reminding that I have something to offer.
Friends ask me for help, help me do my medical reimbursements (which qualifies this friend for combat pay), tromp along the Konza with me, call me from Georgia, and offer to serve as a reference or conduit towards another job. They drive WAY out of their way to drop in.
Sometimes they text or email. If these remarkable friends are my kids, they travel great distances to sit around the table because they know that is my heart – people around a table.
I know that friends are praying even as my prayers are more grumpy-cat-abominations-of-surliness-directed-towards-the-unknown/unseen.
One friend, brought along her boyfriend’s homemade ginger ale.
One friend hand delivered the best basil in the midwest.
Several friends offered to send along job opportunities.
Another bought coffee and reminded me of who I was today.
So many minutes of kindness.
I am so fortunate. I am a lucky woman.
They noticed and acted. Most kindnesses just took a few minutes; some less so.
These people who see and act make me want to be better.
I can brew coffee, tea, and – of late – make a sloppy Lemon Drop martini (thanks Lou!)
I’ll gladly sit with your grandma because you mean so much to me.
I’ll give you my crooked goofy smile at Dillons.
I’ll ask the unseen/unknown to visit you kindly and hold your heart gently.
I’ll ask the unseen/unknown to help me see and do as the stories say he saw and did.
If we can just take a minute most days to notice and do one thing within our power to do, who knows? Wars just may die off rather than the people of a place. Anger and bitterness may be lessened. PTSD may become a thing of the past.
And your kindness would have played a part in turning the tide. It often just takes a minute.
Got a minute?
Searching for the north star.
Do You Hear the People Sing?/Epilogue