Growing up, one of my parents had a bumper sticker on their car that said, “practice random acts kindness and senseless acts of beauty” along with another bumper sticker that said, “I am a proud parent unconditionally.”
I have heard people talk about “random acts of kindness,” but I never knew the power such a little event could have on someone.
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In July, my mom and I were in Maui doing wedding planning things for my upcoming wedding, which will take place there. We decided to stop at a little restaurant called Leoda’s for lunch, and while we were eating there, my mom noticed a little girl, about four years old, wearing a cast on her arm and looking kind of down. My mom gave birth to seven children naturally and has dedicated her life to raising all of us in the most natural, loving, and kind environment that she and my Dad could dream up. Needless to say, my mom is very tuned in to children and very sensitive to their feelings.
When we finished lunch and were heading out, my mom stopped at the table where the little girl was eating lunch with her mom and sister and pulled out a five-dollar bill to give to the girl. My mom said to her, “I had a broken arm and remember what that was like, so I would like to give you five dollars to get some candy or something special since I know it isn’t easy to go through all of this.”
The little girl was giddy with excitement, and her mother shook my mom’s hand and said, “Thank you so much; this is really kind of you…Look how happy she is!”
We left Leoda’s and got in the car, and I remember thinking how weird that was to give someone else’s child money and how some people might not like that, but I also was really touched by it because clearly the mom was OK with it. Not to mention the little girl was so happy to be singled out and given something special! I remember thinking that I would never have thought to give a child with a cast a special gift because I have never had a cast and don’t really know what that would be like, but it was normal to see my mom do something special for a child or someone who seemed down because she always does things like that—it is just the way she is!
Anyway, last week I found a furniture rental company that I was interested in using for some rentals I needed for my wedding, so I sent the owner of the company an email and asked if she could send me the price list for the items I was interested in. The woman, Melissa, wrote back and said that she had even more items for rent on her Facebook page, so I should check that out and see if there is anything else I like that I would be interested in renting as well.
I went on her Facebook page, found a TON of things I loved that were reasonably priced, and sent her a message saying I would love to work with her for my wedding. She wrote me back and said that after my message, she looked me up on Facebook and couldn’t believe it. She asked me if I had been in Leoda’s in July when a woman I was with gave a little girl with a cast five dollars. I replied to her that yes, I was there and that woman was my mother. Melissa then wrote back to tell me that my mom gave that money to her daughter, who is three and a half and has been sick for a while and has had medical complications throughout her young life, but that she has never forgotten that “random act of kindness” that my mom did for her daughter, and that her little girl hasn’t forgotten it either! She said that they immediately went next door to get a shaved ice, and her daughter proudly handed over her five-dollar bill to pay for her special treat. Melissa also said that her little girl regularly asks now when they can go back to Leoda’s to find her “special Auntie!”
I couldn’t wait to read my mom the message from Melissa and let her know that this mother was so touched by her kindness and hasn’t forgotten what happened that day and that this woman is now going to be involved in helping me create the wedding of my dreams! My mom’s response—in her typical fashion—was to ask me to get Melissa’s address so she could send her little girl a surprise box of goodies from her “special Auntie from Leoda’s!”
I really understand the bumper sticker now. Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Thanks mom.
*Image courtesy of Courtney Dirks.