Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Acts of Kindness

On March 18th, my friend Holly posted a birthday wish on her blog
First of all, let me just say that Holly is amazing and fun and kind and honest (I could go on and on) and I am lucky to have met her through blogging.
Holly wanted to do something special to celebrate her birthday and asked for some help.
I'm so happy to say that her birthday wish came true.
You can read all the random acts of kindness done in honor of Holly's 29th birthday HERE.
Although I didn't get my story to Holly in time...I wanted to share it anyway.
I had just finished reading Holly's blog about her birthday early in the morning on March 18th.
Brady and I happened to be off school that day and I was in the computer room trying to
 keep quiet so Brady could sleep in.  Just minutes after reading Holly's blog, Brady yelled for me to come to his room.  I could tell by his voice something was wrong.
There was a life support truck in our driveway and an ambulance in front of our house.
A few minutes later my neighbor pulled into her driveway...rushing home from work.
Five police cars, two unmarked cars, and a forensic team were all outside the front of our house.
As we sat on Brady's bed looking out the window, the story unfolded right before our eyes.
Our neighbor's son, took his life in a tree in his mother's yard...directly across from my son's bedroom window.
(Matt was 30 yrs. old and did not live at home with his mom.)
When I realized what had happened, I made Brady stay away from all the windows in the front
of our house.  The commotion outside lasted for hours.  On this day, my young naive boy learned about suicide.  We used this terrible incident to talk to Brady about why someone would choose to end their life, how God feels about this and to always have hope for a better tomorrow.  We also talked about what drugs can do to a was the only logical thought I could conceive of...and I was right.  Brady actually handled the situation much better than I did in the days that followed.
 I have done a couple acts of kindness since March for a coworker and one random act when I was out and about one day.  I also took a meal to my neighbor and her visiting family the day before her son's funeral.  However, the random act of kindness I wanted to share comes from Brady.  He didn't know about Holly's random acts of kindness plan.  And, he did not spend a dime.  His act of kindness since our neighbor's devastating loss, has been the gift of time.  Brady went over to our neighbors house on his own and asked if he could walk her dog.   He has walked  Molly almost everyday since.  Our neighbor, Carol,  has been so thankful since she doesn't have the energy to do so herself right now.    Brady visits with Carol.  They talk about Molly and music and she shows him some of her new plants.  The other evening I didn't know where Brady was and I looked out the window and I saw the two of them chatting and walking around her yard.  Brady later told me Carol was showing him a few bushes she planted in her son's memory.

I took Carol over a bottle of wine last week and we sat at her kitchen table and visited.
Carol talked about her son, his accomplishments, his dreams, and how she wishes she could talk to him one more time.  I can't even let myself imagine what kind of loss like that feels like.
Carol also went on and on about what a neat boy Brady is and how much she enjoys him stopping over.
The interesting and sad thing is, Carol has lived across the street from us for seven years and we have never really had more than a few conversations.  The other thing I find interesting is Brady is not usually very talkative/social with people he doesn't know very well.  He is a typical 10 year old boy that is often more interested in himself than others.
I'm so proud of Brady for being kind to our neighbor.  I don't know if this was something he consciously decided to do or if the timing was just so.  I do believe God's timing is perfect...and if Brady can help to lessen even a teeny tiny bit of Carol's grief and bring a smile to her face....then he has done something amazing.
I tell this story not to brag about Brady for the zillionth time.  (One of these days I will do a post of all the things he does that drives me crazy!)  I do it because I believe kindness is one of the most important things we can do in life.  And, kindness doesn't have to cost anything.
"Wherever there is a human being....there is an opportunity for kindness"

Thank you Holly for motivating all of us to show more random acts of kindness.
I hope your birthday was extra special this year!


Nicolle said...

I got choked up reading this.
LOVE you and Holly and Brady, love kindness, love this post!

Kris said...

What a beautiful story that some from such a sad and horrific thing!
Brady truly is a very unique young man!!! He will do great things with his life!!!

Cindy said...

So sweet...and now that I know THAT dog is from that neighbor, I love that he walks him even more! I am sure you both have eased her pain and bet it means the world to your neighbor!

{cindy} said...

i'm speechless kerri!!
for all of it really.
love to you and brady and to your sweet sweet neighbor.
hopping over to holly's to read more and to follow along!

Gabe said...

He's such a good boy Kerri!

How wonderful that he did it himself!

yaya said...

I'm glad you've connected with your neighbor and you and Brady are helping her cope. Walking someone's simple and sweet and perfect. It doesn't take grand, huge scale things to make a difference in someone's life..just being there and being willing to help. Brady has learned a good life lesson...he's a good kid!

Jen said...

I remember a photo on your Instagram I think. So so sorry for your neighbor. You and Brady are showing so much love to your her. I know it must help her pain...and Brady is seeing for himself, the power that loves has to heal!

Holly said...

Well, you know me well enough to know I cried!!
Brady is such a good boy-- and God assigned you to be his mommy for a reason. You are so kind and loving and creative and selfless... and you SHOULD brag on him.
He will have an entire world to convince him that he could be better-- we get to be the one who highlights their sparkle!
Thanks for joining in...
And prayers to your neighbor.

Steelers6 said...

Oh my, how sad for Carol. Very touching story; thanks
for sharing it.

It's really great that your fam is there for her, especially Brady. Aw. So dear.

Oh my word, the dog is enormous!! Quite a difference
from Steffi!!


Val said...

Kerri - this post really touched my heart! Brady is such a wonderful boy!

jen said...

Wow, Kerri, what a beautiful post. There is so little of this genuine compassion and kindness left in the world.
People are just born with this great gift, and what a gift it is to have one of those people be your son.

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