Friday, April 18, 2014

A Random Act of Kindness in the most random place

Spring Break has sprung upon us in Northern Virginia. Of course, Spring did not arrive with it so outdoor activities are not happening much this week. My Lyme disease flare up has also decided to coincide with the one week that the kids are home from school. And I am supposed to be their activity director. Well, that is not really happening. I'll be honest, my Mom guilt is in high gear but then I am a witness to my happy kids playing and entertaining themselves. I managed to get dressed at a decent time on Wednesday and we saw Rio2. And yesterday was a fun morning...I can imagine their Spring Break essay's..."and then our Mommy took us to get blood tests." Yes, I win the most mean Mommy award for Spring Break activities!

I have had Doctor's orders for over two months to get my kids tested for Lyme disease. This was at my request since I've recently learned that Lyme disease can be passed in utero and my kids have displayed symptoms, such as joint pain, fatigue, headaches, ect. So yesterday was the day that I decided we would get the blood tests done. The twins were also getting their cholesterol checked so they had to fast. This is a test that they recommend when your child turns ten so I was delinquent on this test by over a year. Oops...

By the time I got myself dressed and the kids dressed, we arrived just before 11am. Of course, the waiting room was packed and there was a wait. I had the kids leave their electronic toys at home and no one brought a book to read. But no worries. My kids entertained the entire waiting room because that is what they do best. We were finally able to grab a bench which was hot real estate. I managed to find a notepad and pen at the bottom of my purse and my kids became engrossed in a game of hangman.

And then the woman walked in. I liked her right away. There was a pregnant lady that had walked through the door right before her and this woman was eyeing the waiting room to see who could stand up to give the very pregnant lady a seat. She spied a young man and walked up to him and said "uh-hem" and pointed to the pregnant lady. I told her I was thinking the same thing. After the pregnant lady sat down, the woman plopped herself on the floor and started frantically going through her purse. She was very frazzled. As an observer of human behavior, I was trying my best at deductive reasoning to figure out what had her so distressed. She would find white envelopes and open them and then throw them back in her purse. A chair became available and after surveying the room, she announced out loud that she was going to sit there, if no one else wanted the seat. This was one very polite woman. My kids continued to be engrossed in hangman and I decided to check the notifications on my phone.

Then I heard her voice again and looked up and she was on the phone. And then the waterworks began. I quickly realized she was speaking to her car insurance agent and was in an accident on her way to get blood drawn. And I thought my kids were having a bad morning. I heard her explain to the agent that she was driving her father's 1965 cherry red mustang and it was the car she used to learn how to drive. This woman was so distraught and you could tell by her responses that the car agent kept saying to her "it is just a car and be thankful you are not hurt." The car insurance representative most likely did not have a degree in psychology and was trying to be consoling while also trying to get this lady off the phone with her. Finally they said good-bye.

I was feeling empathetic and wanted to help this complete stranger but wasn't sure what to do. Or say. And then suddenly, I was pulled back in time, re-living my days as a trauma social worker, when I would sit with distraught families in hospital waiting rooms. And offer them tissues to dry their tears. That's what I could do. I had tissues! I could offer her a tissue. And say that I was sorry.

So I pulled out the packet of tissues from my purse and offered her one and she acted like I just told her she had won the lottery. She was so grateful. I helped her process what had happened and provided consolation, as this was clearly a traumatic event in her life. The tears gently flowed as she told me the story of when she first learned to drive and her father was in the passenger seat. I shared with her that my dad also helped me learn how to drive and we survived me driving the wrong way down a street! When my oldest daughter's name was finally called, the kids and I got up from our hot real estate bench and headed towards the dreaded door that would lead the kids to get their blood tests done. She said" thank you" to me and told my kids "your Mom is very kind."

I wanted to share this story about a random act of kindness because I realized it doesn't take much for us to show that we care. We are so busy going about our lives that you never know when one small gesture might make a world of difference in someone's day. Such as a gentle gesture of offering a complete stranger a listening ear and a tissue to dry their tears.

My kids survived their blood tests and only the littlest cried a few tears. But her oldest sister began to sing "Let it Go" to her and the littlest became calm. Perhaps the oldest felt the call in her heart to help her little sister get through a difficult time by sharing her gift of singing with her? 

As promised, I took my brave babies to Mickey D's for lunch which is a rare treat!

Wishing you and your families a blessed Good Friday and Easter weekend! What random act of kindness have you shared with someone? I would love to hear your Random Act of Kindness story!

Peace, Love and Easter Blessings,
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