Sunday, August 19, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness...Year 5

I'm often surprised at how real, deep and even overwhelming the grief can still be. It's been five years. Five years to get used to not calling her when silly things happen. Five years to get used to not seeing her at family gatherings. Five years to get used to not sharing my life with her. I've done a lot in the last five years, but getting used to having my sister gone is not one of them.

However, I do have a better understanding of where she is and what she's doing. A better understanding of Heavenly Father's love for all his children. A better understanding of the comfort given by the Savior's atonement. A better understanding of how all life's mess can make me a better person....and that is why I love Random Acts of Kindness.

Random Act of Kindness began as a way to remember Ruth, Nick and Audrey, because that's how they lived, because that's how we were blessed during our initial loss, and because now that's how we choose to live our lives.

Now, when I feel that gaping hole threatening to rip me clear through, I can think kindness instead of pain.  Sometimes it comes on fast, when I need a quick save....hurry, smile at the next person you see.... make eye contact....say hello...ask and listen about how they are, what they need. And sometimes it is a little more deliberate, following through on a phone call or an invitation I've put off way too long. Little by little neurons are trained to be kind instead of hurt, to look out instead of in.

As the kindness habits grow it is impossible to not see the kindness I receive. A good friend taking my kids overnight, not just feeding and housing them, but caring and comforting....even taking my son to soccer practice. Ten total kids and she still manages to take mine to soccer. She is kind, I am grateful.

I notice the kindness that comes even when there wasn't a need.  The kind that comes for no other reason but that you are loved. I was up early, so happy to be spending time with my husband, but wishing just a little I could be with my family as well. We were on a morning run in a strange and beautiful park. We ran up and around huge red rocks and reached the top in time to see the sunrise. It was red from all the smoke from summer fires, and made for an amazing view. Who knew this was what my sisters were doing at the same moment...waiting for that wasn't planned to all be there together miles apart, but there we were. Even God couldn't resist getting in on a day of Random Acts of Kindness.

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