This week I was struck by kindness. Unsolicited kindness. Unconditional kindness. Now that’s the real stuff.
News in South Africa reported from government hospitals that many women are so poor they seldom have blankets in which to take their newborn babies home. Instead, they’d use newspaper or plastic bags. My Wolfsister, always one to set an example of kindness, whipped out her knitting needles and her sewing machine and went to work, wrapping one baby at a time in her love.
My friend Gary is married to the most beautiful woman, Penny. She’s an anomaly because she is equally beautiful inside as she is out. Gary, an athlete and a highly respected engineer, was struck by Parkinson’s and forced into early retirement. A horrific blow to such a vital man and a crushing new existence thrust on Penny without warning. Gary, who sleeps but two hours a night before his body starts to jump, started writing in the middle of the night to calm himself. He is soon to publish a book of amusing anecdotes about his life and his crazy illness. There is not a dot of self-pity here, just unbridled humor. This week Gary shyly sent me a copy of his birthday gift to Penny. A love letter. A gaping, raw and beautiful piece of prose, thanking his wife for her beauty, her strength, her love, and her commitment during their unexpected journey. This sublime gift of the heart trumps any diamond trinket on sale anywhere in our big world.
I am forever struck by the unconditional acts of kindness performed for my Mom, by my Wolfsisters – Kitty and Lanie. Love and care and visits and phone calls and luncheons and teas and odd jobs and banking and celebrations and commiserations and hospitals and just knowing they were close to her, every single day. They were there for her as I was meant to be. How do I ever thank my girls enough for making her feel special for SIXTEEN years? I just can’t. But every single day of my life I am humbled and incredibly thankful for unsolicited deeds so happily done.
And so, after two crappy weeks of disappointment, I think of these beautiful, brave, kind, selfless people and my faith in the human race is joyfully restored. I am upright and ready to be amazed and delighted again.
Note to Life: You just can’t keep a Wolfsister down, no matter how fierce your blows!