This is the real pink Christmas mouse I've saved since Christmas, 1992 and place on our tree every year as a reminder of all the acts of kindness toward us during that time.
I put the following post up in 2008 and 2009, although added a bit more. Dr WhiteCoat's sweet post (a couple of years ago) was the inspiration ... demonstrating the importance of caring and showing compassion to others. I was greatly moved by his thoughtfulness. Just imagine if we all did one extra act of kindness everyday.
I contacted WC about his post, "What Life is All About" because the link is inaccessible at this time, in his previous blog. He graciously e-mailed it for me to share and so I have included it further down in this post, which is then followed by my comment that I had written in response to his post.
The following is a true account of some of what happened to us at that time.
Those of you that know us, know what was going on at the time and it was a l-o-o-o-o-n-g 20 months. This post is about something that actually happened toward the end of the ordeal but there were other acts of kindness done from the beginning..right on through to the end.
Every note, card, letter, word of encouragement, all food, gifts and anonymous gifts were greatly appreciated and are still remembered even today. For as many words as you see me put down in these blogs...sometimes there are people that have moved me so deeply with the things they have done... that I feel anything I do, say or write can never truly convey the heartfelt gratitude I have felt and feel even now. This is true of things in my past and it is true with things that have been going on in the present. My entire life has been filled with people that have been blessings in various ways.
During this particular time...a judge befriended me. He had nothing to do with anything, nor did he have any future influence on the case. He was a complete stranger that overheard a conversation in a public place that I was having with someone. After introducing himself he gave me his number that I could reach him anytime anywhere in the country and this was before cell phones were readily available. I called him and we'd have long conversations and I'd sob and sometimes he'd even get me laughing and he was so kind and he gave me hope. One night he said to me, "You know...I don't know what it is about you but you make someone want to help you." I don't know why either. I am just me ...no one special and oh so flawed.
Some people said that encounter was a coincidence, a chance encounter... but I believe it it was a "divine coincidence" because his support was one of the things that gave me the strength to follow through and keep going. It helped to know he was in the background. There were other key people too. And above all... I know it was God working through these people to help sustain us in various ways through the difficult times.
The reason "It's a Wonderful Life" is my favorite movie and is also why I named my blog the same is because I love and thoroughly believe the main message of the movie, which is that we all are important. Each and everyone of us can and do make a difference in this life, affecting the present AND the future. It is an awesome thought when you take the time to really ponder it. And ...it is a responsibility... because we never know when even the simplest things to us may mean the world to someone else... or crush them like the proverbial final straw that breaks the camel's back. We don't know what is really going on in someone's heart...what burdens they carry. Are they lonely, grieving a loss or maybe they are stressed, hurt and angry ... afraid ...but they live in their worlds of quiet desperation behind masques of smiles or stoicism? I am sure WhiteCoat shoveling that driveway warmed someone's heart and who knows who else that random act of kindness will ripple outward toward?
Here is Dr WhiteCoat's post:
A couple of days ago I shoveled snow off of a neighbor’s walk for no good reason. I knew the neighbor wasn’t home so I wouldn’t get “caught.” I didn’t say a thing about it to anyone. Just did it to let the neighbors know that someone was thinking about them.
I usually don’t propagate chain e-mails, but a link was sent to me yesterday that just made me think about shoveling the snow and how dumb little acts of kindness can create a huge ripple outward like a drop in a pond.
Make a sad person smile
Make a lonely person feel less alone
Give without expecting something in return
Perform some random act of kindness
I may get cranky and fed up with people at times and complain to the world about it, but it’s still neat to think about what kindness can do.
This kid’s little acts of thoughtfulness changed the attitude of a whole community."
Our family received an anonymous act of kindness and it made me crazy wondering who had done it. It was back in the early 90s when we were going through that legal case I already mentioned a while back and we were definitely strained financially.
It was New Years eve and we had some friends and family over for dinner. My husband took a call from a man who said Santa Clause left a package in our driveway. UPS wouldn’t have been delivering at that time of night. Anyway, my husband brought in this huge box that was wrapped and addressed from Santa.
There were two other children there aside from our two boys. Well the kids tore into that box and it was the box that kept on giving. (HUGE box) It was FILLED UP with stuffed animals, games and also a cool toy gun that older son loved. The glee on the children's faces was priceless. :)
It took a couple of years for me to figure out and then our neighbor down the road was discussing something else and I put two and two together and so I asked him directly if they were the ones who did that. He tried to maneuver his way out of it, but he evidently couldn’t get past my gazing right into his eyes ...searching his spirit to see if his eyes were in agreement with his words. It was futile for him to deny the generosity of him and his family and he owned up to it. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but I just wanted to know. How sweet tho that they preferred to be anonymous.
One of the stuffed animals in the box was a small pink mouse. I immediately took the little mouse for a decoration on our Christmas tree ... a reminder of that wonderful act of kindness, which was symbolic on many levels. To this day, I still put it on our Christmas tree to remember how God brought us through a difficult time and to remind us that he sometimes works through people and that we should remember to do the same for others in need. That night after the kids opened the box I said “This is God saying…"Hold on…I'm working on this.”, and he did…he fixed it. Everything worked out in the end ...even better than we thought.
That was New Years Eve 1992. I shall always remember that act of kindness and others and have reminded our sons that just as we were helped in our time of need, to remember how good that felt and to do the same to help others when they see a need. Younger son was a baby, 2 years old when it started and he was 4 on this New Year's night... but I've told him this story often to teach him about giving. And every year, I still point out the little pink mouse, reminding our family why it is on our Christmas tree.