A Kindness Past

Years ago I lived up on a hill.  In a little home that we had built on to, to more comfortably hold the growing family.

It was summer.  We had four children in our home at the time.  Mine, his and ours.

I was busy with the children.

He was busy with work.

Bills were paid.  Kids were fed.  Prayers were said every night.   There wasn’t a lot left over for much else.  But that was okay.  We were doing important things:  raising the children.  A choice had been made to do without ‘things’ so the children didn’t go ‘without’ a parent.  Me going to work would wait a couple more years.  I actually resigned from a good job when we married.  The family needed more than what that paycheck could afford us.

One day while at work one of the husband’s co-workers gave him an envelope.  In it was cash.  Husband of the Time didn’t know what it was for.  The man who gave it to him told him it was to take his family to the fair.  Husband of the Time didn’t want to take that cash but when the man insisted and told him others have done kind things for him, he wanted to do something kind for Husband of the Time and his family.  And encouraged Husband of the Time to do something kind in the future, when able.  He told Husband of the Time that he and his wife had discussed it and made the decision together.

Husband of the Time came home and told me the story.  He didn’t have a lot of experience with others being kind to him and he was just amazed that someone would do this.  I don’t remember feeling any shame at not being able to provide the ‘fair’ for the kids at the time.  Maybe I should have.  But I know that Husband of the Time and myself had our priorities straight.  We had made very clear choices because we knew what mattered most.  I do remember being very grateful because it was an unexpected joy, an unexpected fun venture.  And we took advantage of it.

We took all four of the children to the fair.  And we walked and walked, around and around the small county fair grounds.  Neither he or I wanted anything while there but to be able to take the kids.  I loved that night.  And I loved that generous man who wanted Husband of the Time to have fun.   He recognized in him, the work ethic, and the things he went without, to provide for his children.  The children got hot and sweaty and had a good time.

At that time of our lives our pockets may not have been full.   But there was nothing we did without.   And much we were blessed with through the kindness of others.

Since that time, both Husband of the Time, together and individually, have done what that kind man asked of husband.  Do something for someone else when you can.   We always did give what we could give, it didn’t always involve money.  Actually it usually involved work, effort and time.   But as our ‘lot’ improved and when we saw where kindness could be made, we did what we could.

And to this day I don’t think I have yet to begin to pay forward the amount of joy and appreciation I was given that day.  I have yet to even start paying forward all of the kindnesses of my life shown and given after that day.

That man and his wife have no idea what they gave us all that day.

This kindness past has been an on-going and solid part of my every day.   When I can share a kindness I do it, knowing what one kindness meant to me.

Kindness is not a generic term and is often unseen.   When I see it it is a beautiful vision.   When I don’t see I often suspect it and it is a beautiful view of hope and humanity.

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Thank you LexiesNana for your story and our discussion.

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37 thoughts on “A Kindness Past

  1. bikebrown says:

    Unexpected gifts are the best. Gifts of time are remembered long after physical gifts are gone. You have been practicing the pay it forward theme of kindness and it shows.

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  2. What a lovely post. I don’t do Random Acts of Kindness often enough but work them in when I can. Now you have given me the eyes to look for other opportunities!

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  3. Yaz says:

    This is a lovely story Colleen. I have a similar story and know what it feels like to receive love in this way. To pay it forward is a gift too. Thanks for sharing this. These stories always warm the heart.

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  4. i’ll bet that man really did know what it was going to do. i’ll also bet he felt as blessed as all of you. what a wonderful thing!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    What do you think about this? Today, I was at the mall and saw a woman looking through clothes. A shirt on the rack she was sifting through fell off the hanger and the woman looked at it without a second thought. While she was still nearby I put the shirt back on the hanger and placed it neatly on the rack. I was hoping my act o kindness would show her how she COULD have done something nice. That little act could lead to others and bigger acts of kindness.
    So even when we can’t spread monetary kindness, we still do our part, a little at a time.

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  6. Mustang.Koji says:

    You are good folk, Chatter Master and Husband (of today). It will be returned to you ten-fold. I am positive.

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  7. lexiesnana says:

    Oh Chatter Master what a story.It made me so happy.I love hearing stuff like that.Kindness thoughtfulness and careing is such a good feeling for the reciever and the giver when it is done from the heart.I also agree with Mustang.Koji, you are good folk.

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  8. msampson999 says:

    What a beautiful memory!

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  9. A beautiful illustration of paying it forward. It seems this man really set things in motion for you and your family. I’m not sure the amount of money he gave, but I don’t think it’s as important as what he did. His offering, his the sacrifice. Clearly, you are aware of these same sacrifices. You also give your time, your service, and share your heart with those in need. Blessings really are multiplied from one person to the next!

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  10. You’re nominated for the Super Sweet Blog Award. And I will read this post later. 🙂

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  11. normawelty says:

    What a wonderful blessing that family provided for you. We all have our times where we need a little help from others. I grew up during the Dust Bowl and my family was very poor. More well off families helped us out a lot and we also helped out people less fortunate than us when we could. My parents instilled great values in my life and I still to this very day help people in need when I can. The people that helped us during the Dust Bowl have no idea how much they impacted our lives and how much we appreciated their help! Little acts of kindness go a long way!! 🙂

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    • Hi NormaWelty, thank you so very much for stopping in for a read. AND a comment. I agree with you, fully. I wonder how many “little” acts of kindness were done by kindhearted people, because it’s what they do, and they continue on not even knowing the impact they have had on someone’s ENTIRE life. Wouldn’t that be something to try and capture in writing? We should try. I know many kind words at a very needed moment that changed my perspective and my level of hope. Words. Acts. Kindness. Great things when put together. Thank you so much. 🙂

      Like

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