Grateful for Kindness

-Kindnessis a powerful reminder that behind all the negativity and malice, there lies goodnessthat has the powerto change the world.- (1)

This quote reminds me that there is always hope.  There’s so much unkindness and hatred in the world, and yet I still believe in our innate goodness.  Life is good and I’m grateful for kindness.  We may not always live up to that kindness – and we keep on trying.  

The poem, “Children Learn What They Live”, always makes a lasting impression on me every time I read it.  Just beginning to change with this one poem would give this old world a jump-start on the road to becoming kinder.  None of us have had a ‘perfect’ childhood, and some have even seen abuse in their lives, yet we can all find threads of kindness along the way that we can be grateful for:

Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

*From Psychology Today*

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83-Yr-Old Was Too “Terrified” To Ride Escalator, Until A Kind Young Man Took His Arm.

“A little redemption for the suffering human soul.

The older man was paused at the top of an escalator and a few people started gathering waiting to get on. It was clear he was feeling unsure and this young man offered the simplest kindness: an outreached arm and a ‘can I help you on, sir?’

He quietly started to explain to the young man that he had gotten stuck on an escalator once and was a little scared. The young man gently offered an assurance, they looked at each other eye to eye for just a moment and the older man accepted his arm. Everyone else remained patient.

So, so sweet to witness!

In about an hour, the evening news will air and we’ll be reminded of division, political mud-slinging, shootings and other heartaches. But today, violence, age, politics and other social lines were blurred and one person simply helped another. I wanted to hug both of them.

Whoever this young man is, YOUR FAMILY RAISED YOU RIGHT! THANK YOU!

So, please look for the silver linings – as I was so fortunate to witness this evening.”

Thank You Kindness

* Images by Pixabay

(This is a Reblog from https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/2017/06/23/me-in-the-middle-of-week-7-reflection-grateful-for-kindness/

Pandemic 2020-21 ~ April

~Good Friday through Easter Sunday~

Early Easter Sunday morning my loving friend, Pat, passed away. 💕 And I will miss him so much! He is the kindest, sweetest, loving man I’ve known. 💔 I’m so thankful for the beauty and goodness he brought into my life.

There are so many beautiful memories.

This last year of COVID-19 isolation was difficult for those of us above the age of 75. While he was in a long-term care facility and I was in my own apartment, we made a commitment to talk with each other on the phone every day and give each other the support and encouragement we needed to make it through. Our daily conversations helped both of us through the uncertainty of this pandemic and we grew closer. I was able to visit him over the course of the year and we were relieved to have finally gotten vaccinated. Spring was coming! Soon we’d be able to get outdoors in the sun and make more plans to be together.

The year before the pandemic hit was filled with good memories. I’d known him for quite awhile, from a distance, and finally we were brought together while in physical therapy. I was drawn to his sweet and kind ways. Our relationship grew and I believe we found each other at the right moment in time.

COVID-19 didn’t win in this case. Our worst nightmare was that one of us would wind up on a ventilator isolated from family. That didn’t happen. A stroke and pneumonia worsened in the hospital and he died peacefully with loved ones by his side. I was able to be with him and tell him how much he meant to me.

I was given this gift of having him love me and being able to love him. Because of that my heart has broken wide open with love. It hurts to have him gone and I’ll miss him yet it’s a different kind of broken heartedness. Knowing him has raised me up.

It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up —that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross~

(Now, more than ever, I’m realizing this. Now, today, I woke up to another beautiful day, realizing that, once again, you’re not in it.}

Pandemic 2020-21 ~ March

One-Year Anniversary

On March 10, 2020 I was sitting in the waiting room of Airport Auto, working on a Sudoku puzzle. People around me were coughing and sneezing. 🙁😲🙄

The White House briefings had just begun to alert us to the corona virus that was spreading from country to country. WHO (World Health Organization) declared COVID-19 a Pandemic on March 11, 2020 and the world temporarily closed. Food deliveries and tele-health calls became the new way of getting needs met. Healthcare professionals became our examples of thinking and acting under the rapidly increasing hospitalizations and dealing with a totally unknown and highly contagious killer.

Looking back over this year I can see the resilience that brought so many of us through. We’ve faced the possibility of becoming infected with this virus and met that possibility with common sense and resolve. Now that I’m fully vaccinated I’m still using that common sense and resolve to proceed carefully as I go about my day. I’m taking the attitude of pacing myself when it comes to rushing out and getting back to ‘normal’. That goes for shopping, hair cuts, travel etc.

And, of course, this happened!!

Amazon.com: Beistle Green Shamrock Cutouts 10 Piece St Patrick's Day  Decorations, Wall Silhouettes: Kitchen & Dining

The year has brought many changes into my life. Changes that also include my hair! I had a great hair stylist before the pandemic began and she did a great job with the cut and the lowlights. When COVID-19 entered our lives, I made the decision to let my hair grow. Over the year my hairstyle took many twists and turns!! I’ve found out that most of my hair is still a reddish-brown except for the top bangs which are white/grey (depending on the light). My hairstylist was beautifully covering up the white/grey with a low-lite. Now that the lowlights have grown all out of my hair, I’m faced with the question of whether to return for a new style and lowlights again. Or to just let it grow! Growing old gracefully hasn’t been easy while navigating a pandemic!!

“This will end! I promise you!” ~ Dr. Fauci

Quote of the Day: “Viruses don’t respect borders.”

Pandemic 2020-21 ~ February

Have the new jab

The roll out of vaccines continues to improve after a very fitful start! It was just by a fluke that I happened to snag my appointment early on by filling out the survey with the health department. I had no idea that I’d be one of the first 5,000 in our district to be put in the pilot program with the University of Virginia 75 plus Employee Health. As of now, I’m feeling relief that I have both #1 and #2 dose when I see so many getting frustrated with the mechanics of securing their appointments. Pat also had his #1 and #2 dose, and the long-term care facility process went very smoothly. No major side effects for either one of us.

The federal government continues to act in getting information out to all Americans. Vaccination sites now include pharmacies and hospitals, as well as the mass vaccination sites around the district. It was just announced that the federal government is sending 25 million masks to Community Health Centers, Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries across the nation!!
💚😇😷

I kept thinking about the memoir my Uncle Jack wrote about the period covering (1917-1927). I couldn’t remember if he’d written about the 1918 Flu Epidemic. I’ve been writing in his mother Anna’s, first-person voice with the information he’d provided. It was also during the time the US was at war with Germany and rationing food. (WWI)”

The number of deaths from the 2018 flu epidemic was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older.

Over the last year I’d stopped writing about his and my paternal grandmother’s experience because of COVID-19 brain fog and writer’s block. When I finally took the memoir out, I came across this section about their own experience with this deadly epidemic.

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“The worldwide flu epidemic killed many people and we had our own scare when Jack got very sick. We put his bed in the front room where we could keep the temperature cold by opening the windows because the doctor believed this killed the germs. We covered him with lots of blankets. The only foods he could eat were soft foods like soft-boiled eggs, ice cream, custard, jello and rice pudding. He really liked this because we rarely had these delicious foods during the rationing. I tried to keep him quiet by propping him up with pillows so he could look out the window and watch the men build the new school across the street. They tore down all the houses that were there, leaving only the foundations, and putting up the school in their place. It was going to be named Roosevelt School.

Jack’s fifth birthday went by without our celebrating it because he was so sick. When he was feeling better, we surprised him with a birthday cake. Ray, Henry and I, along with two of Jack’s aunts, walked into his room carrying the cake with lighted candles. We all sang ‘Happy Birthday to you” and rolled in the brand new red wagon that he’d always wanted.

Finally, the day came that we could close the windows in his room and heat up his room. We got him out of bed and up on his feet. We helped him stand up but he was too weak to walk. Each day I would help him out of bed and walk with him around the room. It wasn’t long before he was running all around the apartment. The day came that we all celebrated when Jack was able to go outside!! What a joy to see him pulling his red wagon up and down the street. The workmen building the school across the street asked him if he’d like to load some of the pieces of wood laying all over the construction site into his wagon, and bring it home for firewood for our stove. Jack was so proud when he wheeled the wagon into our apartment and put all the wood into our coal bin.”

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(c) Donna Ashworth
Worldometer dot com as of February 28th

Pandemic 2020-21 ~ January

Be Gone the Old and Begin the New

COVID-19 cases continue to grow here in the United States. This is over-shadowed by 50% of the country that continues to protest our election results. More and more voices of integrity call on the Trump to stop feeding the Stop the Steal machine. All of his efforts to overturn the election results failed and tension has been building up to the day that Congress meets to certify the electoral votes. Trump continues to organize his followers around that date and calls for a massive protest outside the Capital Building.

A sense of dread was building up in me as January 6th drew closer. The president’s rhetoric clearly was a call to his followers to ‘take back their country’ and to stop congress from taking the final step to making President-Elect Biden the 46th president of the US. When the morning arrived, it was clear that the huge crowd that gathered were determined to ‘stop the steal’.

It was also clear that most of the massive crowd weren’t wearing masks or social distancing. As the 45th president ended his speech, the mob – acting as one – stormed the capitol where congress was in progress. The assault on the Capitol left the nation stunned yet many of us were not surprised.

Meanwhile, we were getting increasingly urgent warnings that the next three months were going to be the worst in the pandemic. It was predicted that the death toll in the US by the end of March would be 500,000. We were encouraged to stay home and return to the level of precautions that we had back in the beginning of the pandemic.

Worldometer.com January 30, 2021

Our local Health Department opened up phase 1a and 1b for the first vaccination and I completed the survey for 75 and over. I was one of the 5,000 given an appointment for the pilot program through the local University Medical Center. The process ran smoothly and my second vaccine is scheduled for February 12th. I soon learned that I got in just before the vaccine shortage was announced and many are now forced to wait maybe months.

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Pat and I continue to be a daily comfort and support to each other. He’s set to have his first vaccine at his long-term-care facility next week. It’s hard to believe we’ve been living this pandemic life for almost a year now. We’ve been able to be together three times since it began and every day I feel hugged and loved when we talk on the phone.

Since the new administration has taken over there’s been intelligent and thorough briefings of where we are when it comes to this pandemic. President Biden’s first actions have been directed at the people of America who are truly suffering from loss of jobs, housing and basic needs. There’s a feeling that he gets it!

Martin Luther King Day was January 18th. This year it had even more meaning considering the unfolding of Black Lives Matter Protests along with the impact that COVID-19 has had on the African American communities. I read a few of his sermons and his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. This man was a prophet filled with truth and wisdom and continues to lead us.

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King Jr.
(1929 – 1968)

2013 – Then Vice-President Biden and my son at the Memorial for the Granite Mountain Hotshots 9 Firefighters who perished in the Arizona fires.