Creating a World of Kindness

This past week, our family came face to face with an unexpected storm.

My mom’s husband, Don, was packed and ready for his two-week vacation with his dear friend, Bill, in Texas. The morning of his flight as he walked downstairs to the car he tripped and fell down the last stair or two, landing face down on the floor. Once he got his bearings he assessed the damage and decided that he was fine and aside from the welt on his hand from hitting something on his way down, he felt he was able to continue with his trip.

After six hours of travel, he arrived at his destination and knew he had other injuries from the fall. It wasn’t long before his two-week vacation would turn into a ten-day stay in the hospital after the doctors discovered he had ruptured an artery in his thigh from the impact of the fall, which required surgery and rehabilitation.

When the Storms Arrives

I can only imagine the emotions my sweet mother must have been going through as her husband lay 2,000 miles away from home, and she could do little to nothing as she waited day after day on when he would be cleared to travel home.

But being the empath that I am, I could feel the stress, even when her words of “we’ll just play it by ear” tried to convince me she was fine.

But Mom wasn’t ‘fine’ as she is not in great health and had to come to terms with what she knew deep down; she couldn’t make the trip to bring her husband home.

There are times in our lives where we feel like we are sailing along on the calm seas of an ocean liner, enjoying the gentle breeze and warm sunshine as they glide across our face. And then there are other times we feel we are alone in a tiny boat that is being tossed from side to side as the turbulent waves crash around us.

Those are the times we reach out for help and discover that we do not have to weather the storm by ourselves. It is the simple assurance from family, friends and even strangers, that reminds us, “I’m in your boat; you are not alone.”

“Storms draw something out of us that calm seas don’t.” ~Bill Hybels

There are wonderful, kind people in this world, who I believe are God’s Angels on earth.

They are the ones who, even though they may be weathering their own storms, don’t think twice about jumping into another boat to help bring peace and comfort to others.

Don’s friend, Bill, and his family are some of these people. Not only did Bill go to the hospital several times a day to check on his buddy, but he made sure Mom had a shoulder to lean on when she was overwhelmed and unsure of what she should do as she waited on the prognosis.

On Wednesday, the doctors felt Don was able to travel, but they strongly recommended that he not travel home alone. It was decided that I would fly down to Austin on Thursday when he was released, and together on Friday Don and I would travel back home.

Bill and his family opened up their heart and home to me, a mere stranger when I arrived to get Don and ensured that both of us had everything we needed as they dropped us off at the airport Friday morning.

And then there were the many hands that made sure our travel was as comfortable as possible. From the countless flight attendants and airport security who wheeled Don from one gate to the next, to the passengers who looked at me as I did my best to get Don from his wheelchair to his seat or his seat to wheelchair quickly jumped in and said, “I’ve got this.”

I can honestly say, I have never experienced that level of kindness from others all in one day. And with each act of kindness given to Don and me, I knew that without each of them, we would not have been able to stay afloat.

Who’s In Your Boat?

Even the strongest of us have or will face times in our life where we feel vulnerable, and like we are sinking. The clouds roll in, limiting our vision and add to the stress of an unknown outcome. It’s during those times; we need only look around us and remember we are not alone. There are people in our boat to help us find our bearings and help us maneuver through the turbulent waters towards the calm passage.

They will come in the form of family and friends, acquaintances and even strangers. They are the ones who help us survive, the ones who are with us come hell or high water, and help us reach the security of the shore.

Who’s Boat Are You In?

We will also experience times of calm; a season when we can once again, relax and enjoy the calmness of our life.

Those are times we must ‘pay it forward’ and jump into the boats of others. Giving them the reassurance that calm waters will once again come, but until they do, we have their back; we are in their boat.

It’s the beginning steps of creating a world of kindness, one boat at a time.

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