Random Act of Kindness

In my previous post, I had asked each of you to do something for another person that could make their day a little brighter. I had a little doubt because it is the new year and so many people are busy enough with their daily schedules to even stop and think for a moment, but I was surprised to see on Facebook the other day that my nephew took part in a very giving act of kindness.

My sister and her boyfriend Tony have three beautiful kids together. Seeing that yesterday they had off of school because of snow, they had the boys go outside and sled in the neighborhood. Right across the street, there is this awesome hill that all the kids accumulate at for a fun filled day in the snow. Nicole stayed back at the house to make some hot chocolate for the boys, but still was able to keep her eyes on them. Gage (my nephew) and Austin and Noah were out minding their own business, when a kid in his late teens, maybe early 20’s came out to see what they were up to. He had a snowboard with him and asked if the boys wanted to make a ramp with him, so that they could have some more fun. They each did their part in making this extravagent jump on the hill, and they all went flying off of it. Only a couple minutes went by, but the kids had so much fun with this older kid. He ended up having to leave for a busy night of work right down the road, but before he left, he pulled Gage to the side for a quick second. I guess he could notice Gage eyeing his snow board, so he asked him if he liked to board and if he was “regular of goofy-footed”. Gage told him what foot he led with and the kid ran inside for a quick second. When he came out he was holding this snowboard with stickers all over it. It looked pretty worn out, but it was such a cool board, with such an awesome personality. The kid came right over to Gage and said, “It’s yours now, bud!”

Gage has been begging my sister for a board for the longest time now, but they never go enough. Plus, snowboards aren’t so cheap. Needless to say, this was such a wonderful act of kindness, and Gage has been carrying the board around with him every day since then. He makes frequent trips up to his room to check if it actually happened and the board is still there.

The kid never told my sister or Gage his name, but what a great guy he was.

Gage will always remember how a random stranger gave him his first snowboard!

GoForIt<3

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It seems as though at many points in one’s life, there is always that time where they feel like doing something different. Something out of the ordinary. Something you aren’t quite used to, but so need to get it out of your system.

I say, do it. Why overthink every possible thing in your life? This new year, I feel like I am biting off more than I can swallow, but there are so many things that I want so badly to achieve. But above all the getting into shape, trying new things, and jumping out of an airplane, I want to become a better version of myself. I know I am always one for staying true to yourself, and never changing, no matter what anybody says, but there are some things I need to do to become the best version of myself possible. I want to worry less. I want to speak my mind more. I want to walk a mile in another’s shoes before I pass judgements. Ultimately, I want to become someone that I would want to be friends with. Someone who I can trust to talk to, and always seek them out for better understand. I want to be the person that people like to be around, and honestly..I know I can do it.

Like I said, I am not trying to become a beauty queen, or a rockstar. I am not trying to become a skinnier version of myself, or alter myself physically. I just want to care less and love more.

I am by no means saying that I am a bad person, and I truly believe that I have done a lot of wonderful things in my short lived life. All I know is that I can become better. This year, and all the years to come, I am making changes, for myself, and for the people around me.

I can never change what has happened in the past. I have had friendships gone down the drain, and frankly, there is not much I can do about them at this point. You can only try so hard, and second guess yourself so much, until you do not really care anymore. I believe that everyone can change, and people can become better, and having said that, things will get better. But for now, I will continue trying to be the best person I can possibly be, continuing to focus on myself and the people who mean the most to me.

I will work harder to be successful, take chances, and continue to listen to my instincts.

I will go for it.

30th Act of Kindness

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I understand that this is the last day of our 30 days of kindness. I also understand that this is not where the kindness ends. We did this challenge not only to help people, but to inspire those around us to do something nice as well.

Kindness truly is contagious. It is obvious that from day one in our challenge, people were moved by our kind acts, and passed it on to others. I have to say that one of my favorite acts throughout this whole process was the “Chick FIl A” drive through act.

Not sure if many of you kept up with this challenge from the start, but the Chick Fil A act was where we payed for the next three cars behind us. We started a trend where every car paid for the car behind them. As we sat there, creeping from our car, we could tell how surprised and happy people were to have received a free meal.

This process has been so rewarding in itself. Yes, we did this to help other people. To make their days better someway or somehow. But, having said that…I feel that it was very rewarding for us. We walked away, every day, with huge smiles on our face. Knowing that we impacted peoples days, whether it was a free meal or a simple hello, was fantastic.

Not only that, but friendships were made. I have met so many new people throughout this process. The older couple at the diner? Plan on meeting them for lunch sometime soon..The girl I paid for at Rifkin? She wants to buy me lunch. Every time we did something for something, we didn’t expect anything in return. We just walked away smiling, knowing that we helped in some way.

So here is our final act of kindness.

Today I texted the people who mean to most to me. I texted them telling them how important they were to me. I have found that life is too short not to tell the people you love how much you love them. So many times we get caught up in life, and our own problems, that we are too busy to be there for the people who care about us the most.

So I want you to just take a minute and text, call, or tell these people in person how important they are to you. What makes them important to you. Why do you love them? It’s so simple, but it sticks.

This final act of kindness is the most simple. But it is the most  thoughtful.

Have a good day, everybody.

29th Act of Kindness

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I noticed that my roommates have been super stressed out lately, with soccer and school and everything in between. They come home from classes and go straight to soccer, leaving no time for relaxation. 

This morning was the first morning where we could all hang out with each other, so my boyfriend and I decided that we would make breakfast for all of them. I know that if I were them I would love to wake up to the smell of bacon and pancakes. 

Sooooo, we went to the nearest grocery store and got all the ingredients for a perfect breakfast. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, orange juice! So many yummy things. 

We came home and got right to work. He made the eggs and pancakes while I focused on my favorite part…. THE BACON!! 

My roommates obviously started smelling the heavenly smell coming from downstairs, so they came running….with big smiles on their faces! 

We definitely feasted, and they enjoyed every minute of it. 

They thanked my boyfriend and I as they rushed out the door for, shockingly, another soccer game. But they sure were pumped with their bellies full of yummy foods!

I just wanted to do something simple and easy for them. They deserved it. 🙂

28th Random Act

28th act ronaldRonald DeBernard was diagnosed with PNET brain cancer Easter Sunday of 2013.   PNET stands for a Primitive neuroectodermal tumor. It is a very rare tumor that is typically found in children and young adults under the age of 25. Ronald was 25 years old when he was diagnosed, and 26 when he passed away on the 5th of June.

Right from the start, the cancer was very aggressive and hard on Ronald, as well as his family. Doctors didn’t really have an idea on how to treat it because it has rarely been seen in someone at Ronalds age. Treating the brain at his age was completely different than treating a 5 year old child with the same cancer.

Originally, the doctors told Ronald and his family that he would only have 2-3 months to live, due to how aggressive the cancer was and how little they could treat it. This didn’t prevent Ronald or his family from doing anything and everything to fix it. He was always up for a cure. He was willing to fight for his life. Those short 3 months turned into 14 months of a strong fight.

It was December when the tumor started developing more in Ronalds brain. With a 3rd of his brain already removed, the doctors couldn’t operate again. He started to grow very weak. In the morning he would struggle to get out of the bed. He also had a lot of trouble walking around. Slowly, his body started shutting down. He couldn’t talk well at all, and was tired all the time.

As things started to get harder and harder for Ronald, days became shorter and shorter for him. All he wanted to do was rest his eyes because he was too tired to do anything. Its at times like these that true family and friends are recognized. Siblings, cousins, niece’s and nephews all stepped up to help out with things. His family was there for him every step of the way, even when they needed others to be there for them. They stayed strong even though they were hurting on the inside as well.

My best friend and roommate Priscilla, is Ronald’s niece. Her mom is Ronald’s sister. Her grandmother is his mother. So many people who were so close to him were in a lot of pain, and thats when the community stepped up and wanted to help.

Its the little things that people did that really stood out to Ronald’s family. His friends would come and sit at his bedside while he slept, and would speak of all the memories they shared. There was laughing, there was crying, and along the way, friendships were made that were very unexpected. People traveled all the way from California and even Costa Rica to see Ronald in his last few days.

Nobody wanted to grieve his sickness and instead they celebrated the wonderful life that he had. He brightened so many people’s days, and made a mark on this world that we live in. You could say he was quite the intellectual human being.

I sit here smiling writing about this because I know how important Ronald was to his family, his friends, and frankly, everyone around him. Even though I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him as well as everyone else, I feel that his story should not go unnoticed.

After Ronald passed, the surrounding community sent flowers, dinners, cards, and just stopped by to keep Ronalds family some company.

Ronald’s sister, after everything happened, shared a pretty meaningful quote with her daughter, and my best friend, Priscilla.

She said, “True friends are recognized in some of the darkest moments, in prison, and in a hospital”

So many people were there for them when they needed it the most, and that never went unnoticed.

Priscilla was talking to me the other day and she said, “Its really a shock that something so beautiful, like the friendships I have made, have come from something so terrible. “

Ronald was able to bring so many people together through such a dark time for him, and that, in my opinion, is one heck of a random act of kindness.

 

27th Act of Kindness

23ee306628ee075e97d319fe0e6292abAt my school we have this cafe’ called Rifkin. Everyone makes frequent stops there in between classes to grab something quick to eat before their next class is scheduled. It is a pretty popular spot because the food ranges anywhere from sandwiches to burgers to salads. There are also chips and drinks and candy and what not. 

I like to stay on campus for most of the day because I have a little bit of a walk to get back to my house. I would rather just stay on campus, sit at the cafe’, and get some work done. It seems like a lot of other people do that same thing. 

Well, I know that a lot of people have been having trouble getting “rifkin money” added to their swipes. Our swipes are what get us into buildings, events, and the cafeteria and places like that. I usually just purchase flex dollars because they work only at Rifkin, where I usually am. 

Anyway, like I said, a lot of people have been having trouble. I am not sure if the system has been down or what, but so many people haven’t been able to purchase the food they order because of this problem. 

Well, today was like any other day. I went to Rifkin to order my usual plain bagel with butter. I went and got my naked juice and waited for my bagel to get ready. There was a girl behind me in line who ordered a sub and grabbed chips and a gatorade. When I finished paying for my chips I noticed that she was having trouble paying for hers. I offered to pay for her lunch because I knew so many people were having issues lately. 

She was so appreciative and told me that she would repay me when her card started working! I could tell she was really stressed, probably with classes and her card not working, so I figured it was just a nice thing to do. I would really appreciate it if someone did that for me as well. 

I enjoyed this random act because it really was random. I didn’t have anything planned, I was just helping a stranger out. 

I hope that that led her to do something nice for someone else today, as well. 

26th Act of Kindness…WOW

8461b278f9368fdec4ba106f871cd1f6WOW our random acts of kindness are flying by, it feels like. I am so happy that we have been able to keep up with this, and make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it be a simple hello, or raising money, everything you do can impact another person. 

With that being said, I hope that these posts have not only given you some ideas on how to help people, but I also want for them to inspire you to keep the kindness going, and pay it forward. 

On Sunday, I wrote about how my friend and I paid for an older couples bill at a diner. That same day, we didn’t even realize this at the time, but we held the door open for a man in a wheelchair. He was being wheeled around by a friend or family member, and we could tell the guy was having trouble maneuvering around the restaurant. There were two doors that  led to the outside so I grabbed the one door, and Priscilla grabbed the other. We were just trying to help out, and didn’t even think twice about grabbing the door for them. 

As he was passing by he quickly whispered to the both of us… “Wow, thank you so much, you don’t understand how frustrating it is getting in and out of places. That little gesture just made my day a whole lot simpler!” 

It was such a small thing that we did, but it went a long way and brightened someones day. 

When we first started our thirty days of kindness, I thought to myself that it would be kind of hard keeping up with it all. I am back at school and Laurie is running a restaurant while launching her jewelry line. Now, I realize that we don’t have to make these extravagant gestures to get the attention of those around us. The smallest things count, and these 26 days have been a total blast. 

24th Act of Kindness

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Todays act of kindness was probably one of my favorites. It wasn’t that it was one of this extravagant acts, but the reaction that we got was amazing. 

Like I said in my other post, I just got to school on Friday. Tomorrow I start my last first day of classes, which is so weird. If i start talking about it too much I get emotional, so I need to stop. 

This morning when my roommate Priscilla and I woke up we were both craving pancakes. We did not feel like making them ourselves so we decided to go to this local diner down the road from our house. As we were sitting there, gossiping about anything and everything, we noticed the most adorable elderly couple sit in the booth behind us. 

We could tell, that even with age, they still were very much in love with each other. They sat on the same side, him with his arm around her, like they were in high school and on their first date. 

Priscilla and I were so taken back by how cute they were that we just HAD to buy their breakfast for them. 

The thing about this diner is that they give you your check and you go up and pay at a register, so we didn’t know how much their check was going to end up being. 

We still really wanted to make their day even better, so when we went up to the cashier we pulled out a twenty and told her to put it towards their check and tip! We saw them walking up behind us and made a run for it so that we could see their reactions without being too in their faces about it. 

As we were hiding in Priscilla’s car, we noticed the couple coming towards us, with the biggest smiles on their faces. 

Couple- “Are you the two girls that paid for our breakfast?”

US- YES!

Couple- “I don’t even know what to say. Who are you? Do we know you? Why did you do that?”

US- “We just wanted to do a random act of kindness for the both of you!”

Couple- “WOW! Do you want a free pizza? Will you be here next week?” 

***so many questions****

US- “Probably not! But thank you so much for the pizza gift card that is so nice!” 

Couple- “WOW I just do not know what to say, thank you so much, you girls are beautiful!”

Let me tell you….it was the sweetest reaction I have ever seen. Reactions like that are what makes it feel so good to help others. 

As we were driving away Priscilla looked over at me and said, “That just made my day!” 

AND IT DID. 

 

Kindness Confetti

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Like any other day, I was on Pinterest checking out what was new out there. New fashion, new recipe’s… anything.. you name it. I was scrolling through, not really looking for anything when this cute quote flashed across the screen. 

I thought it was fitting that I saw this because, well, our 30 days of Kindness are quickly coming to a close. 

Throw Kindness Around Like

C O N F E T T I

You think to yourself, “Oh I wish it was that easy” but it really is. 

Simple smiles, gestures, I love you’s, hugs, kisses, thank you’s, handshakes. These are all ways of spreading kindness. If we actually lived in a world where happiness could be thrown around like that of confetti, there would be no war, hatred, or disappointment. 

Do me a favor.

Sprinkle a little happiness confetti wherever you go today.

23rd Random Act of Kindness

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Oh dear, I am in trouble…

Sitting waiting, wondering what is taking so long I am thinking to myself. I see a doctor walking towards me in the waiting room and he says, “Laurie, will you come with me please”. Well, you know this is not going to be good news.

We go back into the examination room and two other people come in the room and I know, oh man, this is really bad. My heart starts to go a million beats a second and my whole body has this shaking that will not stop. The doctor proceeds to tell me they have found a calcified tumor in my breast that looks like cancer and I need to find a specialist as soon as possible.

My Mother was just diagnosed with stage three-breast cancer 3 months before so my sister and I thought it was a good idea to get checked. I had been many times before with no issues but this time was different. It was the look in their eyes. The look you know you are in deep trouble. The look that has tears in it. The look that feels sorry for what you about to go through. The look you never want to see.

I was walking out of the office in a daze, with my imaging, doctors note in hand and I entered the elevator and saw my OBGYN who had delivered all of my babies. He knew I had this appointment today and we had become very close over the years. We are about the same age and had children at the same time. He also knew I never took things very seriously. I had been in his office the day before and he found this lump and set up the appointment with the radiologist for the next day. He looked at me with the look that I knew he had heard already. Man, does bad news travel fast. I looked at him and just broke down. I do not cry EVER, so this was truly an event. We walked outside the building, I am just sobbing uncontrollably and we sat on a bench. I cried for about 10 minutes, and then I was done. I actually never cried again. We started to make a game plan.

 By the time I reached my car I had an appointment with the best surgeon at Georgetown University Hospital in two hours. Sometimes it is really nice to know people who can work that quickly. While driving from Bethesda to Washington DC I called my husband to fill him in but with an attitude I was fine and everything will be ok. I did not want to alarm anyone and I was truly very good in bad situations, I always have been.  Something comes over me and I just do not stop until everything is in place. If you are sick, I am your girl. I will do everything in my power to make you well.

So finally after a very long wait, this tall blonde beautiful women comes into the room and looks at me and says, “So I hear we have a problem!” Look at it this way; you will have great new boobs. I just started to laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. I knew she was the doctor for me. Her opinion of this awful tumor was no different then the other doctor, so I knew my life was going to change forever.

So the dreaded day comes and I am in this bubble gum pink robe with these wires poking out of my boobs. They had found more tumors that needed to come out. My sister Shelly came with me because I really never said how serious this was to my husband and my children. I needed this to be very understated so I could make it through. I had told very few friends and family about this and wanted to almost keep it a secret.

As Shelly and I were walking down this hospital hallway, we both started to laugh uncontrollable; you know the nervous laugh where you cannot stop. Literally, we were told to stop three times. We just could not, every time we looked at each other it just started again. I think it may have been the “I am gonna die” jokes they did not like. They come to get me and I was walked into this room where your robe comes off and you lie on this table with your arms out like a cross. My doctor says, “I hope you do not mind but I have some of my students that will be in here for the procedure”. I am fine with that until I see 15 doctors that looked 12,  whom all want to touch me. I just went with it, made friends with all of them before they put me out.

I wake up in recovery and find my sisters eyes. My doctor and nurses are looking at me saying how do you feel? I’m okay but why are all of you looking at me like that. I have very low blood pressure so I have a hard time with anesthesia and I was having some issues with coming out of it. Worried looks is all I see and to make things even worse she says it does not look good for me and we have to wait a few days for pathology. At this point, I am starting to prepare myself for the worst. My first thought is my hair, how will I look bald? Seeing a person go through chemo is no picnic and I wondered to myself, would I be a trooper like my Mother.

I am at home talking to some friends who are checking up on me, Shelly had left to go back to Boston and I am just recovering from the surgery. It was a snowy, gloomy day and I was in bed feeling a little sorry for myself. I get a phone call from my doctor and she says, “Are you sitting down”? I am thinking, oh man, here is comes, the dreaded words of, you have cancer. I could tell in her voice that she was holding back tears and that just really threw me off and I was just waiting, almost hurry up already. She starts off with, I had them run this twice just to make sure but you have just won “the lottery”. I have only seen this 3 times in my career and you are the luckiest girl. NO CANCER…

I jumped out of bed so fast it would make your head spin, yelling for my kids and husband, guess what NO CANCER. Are you sure Laurie, my husband says? Yes, I won the lottery. They are all hysterical and I am running around the house jumping for joy and just so elated I am not sure what to do next. I start to make some calls to my family and friends to let them in on the news so no one has to worry anymore. What all of them said to me was you have no idea how many people were praying for you. I would have been so mad at everyone if I had known anyone knew about my situation. They all know how fiercely private I am and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. Unbeknownst to me, I had been put on everyone’s prayer lists, that friends of friends were praying for me, Churches were praying for me, strangers praying for me. Even our children’s school was praying for me. I had know idea that the world could be so kind and people you do not even know have your back in the worst of times…

The power of prayer and my miracle. Thank you to all of you for your random act of kindness.