kindness revisted

i was going to blog about something totally different today, but then i got two of the most wonderful emails that i had to share (below). Â if you haven't read my previous blog post, a story of kindness and hope, it might help to start there. Â today, while leaving the grocery store, with the little ones, this man approached me, asking if i had any money that i could spare. Â he was obviously homeless. Â i told him that i was sorry; i didn't have any money. i got in my car, looked at my groceries and yelled to him,

but i do have some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Â

he came to my door and i gave him two frozen PBJ sandwiches. Â his face lit up and he thanked me and went on. Â we drove off and the kids and i talked about what happened, the whole way home. Â it felt good. Â it felt so good to help, even if it was only two PBJ sandwiches.


the first email:

I know I don't even know you (in person, I guess) but I've been thinking of you these last few days and sending hope and prayers your way.  I hope that you are doing well considering what's going on.

I just wanted to share a little story with you about something that happened to me today and it has to do with your chain reaction.  We made an impromptu stop at the grocery store on the way home from school because C (my oldest) got a coupon for a free pumpkin.  I didn't really want to stop, today not being one of my best days and I hadn't even showered yet.  My mood was blue.  But I didn't want that to take away from my little ones, so we ran in, grabbed a gallon of milk and a big pumpkin.
After our purchase we got everyone loaded up in the car (I have two sons and a daughter) and as I turned my car on a woman approached me. Â She had on a bright pink coat and neon orange boots and was pulling a suitcase and carrying a purple candle and some trinket Santa bags. Â I rolled my window down and she told me that she is out of work and is trying to sell some things to try to help her get along and would I buy anything from her. Â She told me that she had food stamps and uses them but they didn't pay for women's needs and right now she was trying to get enough to buy some shampoo. Â I knew I didn't have any cash except for a few coins which she said she would take. Â I think I gave her about 80 cents. Â When I did she handed me one of her bags. Â I refused. Â I know how much those little bags cost and while they are inexpensive (less than $2) what I gave her didn't pay for one. Â She insisted. Â I took the bag and pulled away.
C asked me why she was asking for money and I got all choked up as I responded that a lot of people are in need these days. Â As I explained that to him I had to stop. Â 80 cents just wasn't enough. Â I know things are pretty tight for us financially right now, but goodness gracious I have plenty of shampoo! Â I reparked my car and the four us went back into the grocery store. Â I quickly ran over to the hair products and grabbed a bottle of shampoo and a little lotion for her. Â We paid and I gave C the bag and asked him to give it to her and to tell her to have a nice day.
She was talking to another driver so while C took her her shampoo I quickly buckled up Hanna and Thomas. I kind of felt like I was doorbell ditching goodies or something. Â C made it back to our car and I hopped in, but not before she came running towards my car and yelled, "THANK YOU! Â YOU'RE A HONEY! Â YOU BE GOOD!"
My earlier heaviness melted away as I drove through the parking lot feeling like a honey. Â Isn't it something that doing for someone else always gives the giver more than the receiver. Â I needed that today.
So I just wanted to let you know how your chain reaction is going and say thank you to YOU for being a honey too. Â Thanks for your inspiration and for the goodness you spread around the world.
the second email:
Life has been full of more downs than ups for us at the moment, so I've stepped away from my usual blog readings lately.Â
 As I quickly logged on my computer yesterday, your blog came to mind, so I skimmed over all the posts I had missed. And I just have to tell you that your "story of kindness and hope" moved me in SO many ways. Thank you.  Here I am feeling sorry for myself for all that we're going through. Then I realized that the way I feel can change with my actions. That by a simple act of kindness towards someone else, I can bring happiness to myself. Â
WOW, i am so thankful for the emails i receive. emails like the ones above. i am thankful for the people, who take the time out of their day to write me. reading things like this pushes me to keep keep sharing.

but, i am exhausted. Â just another day but i am drained. Â i basically didn't stop the entire day--exercise (ran 3 miles), dropped off the volvo for service, ran back to my house (another mile), picked up sky, picked up ryder, grocery shopped, home for 30 minutes, gymnastics, dinner, laundry, baths, read to the little ones, homework with sky, homework with kiele, cleaned up kitchen, more laundry--and it's now 10:50 PM. Â yes, just another day, a day that i am grateful for--a day that brings us one day closer ;-) Â and since i can barely think anymore, or type, i will close here and say good-night.
i close with remembering--remembering hawaii. Â it was such a special time for steve and i. Â i cherish the memories so.