Saturday, July 30, 2011

In the hopes that I will be too busy giving birth to update for a while . . .

Since putting up the blog, I have gotten a bunch more acts of kindness sent to me.  Each one is like opening a little present.  I am loving this.

Today I got an email from one of those wonderful people I mentioned who reconnected with me after years to offer prayers and support when we lost Elliot.  In honor of Elliot, she recently undertook a volunteering project administrating a new program called National City Project which seeks to reduce juvenile crime by offering victim-offender mediation.  Reading this one made my day.

A friend of mine recently emailed me to tell me that while at the grocery store recently she was picking up flowers for her daughter's daycare teacher as a thank you, since her daughter will be moving to a room with older children.  While at the store, her four year old asked her if they could get flowers for his teacher too.  She said that she was about to explain to him that they didn't need to get her flowers since he would be with his teacher for a while yet, and then stopped, remembering Elliot.  They bought a potted plant for his teacher and included a note thanking her for taking such good care of him.  My friend said that it made the teacher's day.  She ended the email to me saying, "Thank you to your dear sweet Elliot for reminding us to cherish the special people in our lives and to remember to let them know how much we care about them."

Another friend recently shared this story with me:  A friend of hers recently went missing, and when she found out that they were holding a search for him she was compelled to help, in honor of Elliot.  She said that she was nervous about what it would be like or what she would say or do.  She said that she prayed that Elliot would accompany her on the search, and she found his presence to be comforting.  When she got to the search she got fliers detailing her missing friend and for the next four hours went door to door in farm land to share his story.  While it was hard to share his story, she was taken aback by the faith, hope, concern, and love that complete strangers had and shared.  She said that as it was nearing dusk, the sunset had a spectacular glow.  They didn't want the sun to set because of it's beauty and because they were trying to cover every address assigned before dark.  She said, "I'm convinced Elliot was with us every step and he did his random act of kindness by holding the sun up just a few extra minutes that evening."  My favorite part of this story is what my friend took away from it: "A community is an amazing thing. People truly care and are more than willing to go an extra mile even if it is for a complete stranger.  This world is filled with so much love, hope, and faith, and it is remarkable."  I am touched by what she took away from this and it also makes my heart skip a beat - in a good way - because these are exactly some of the lessons I took away from my experience of losing Elliot.

Thank you.  These messages all touch my heart.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Kindness is Starting to Flow!!

I have been enjoying reading acts of kindness so much, that I thought I would share with everyone!!

I'll start with my favorite one from yesterday:
After talking to a friend about her family who is dealing with massive flood damage in Minot, ND, I thought about how much Gavin's spirit got us through some very dark times. I asked him to paint them a picture to cheer them up, and explained that we could do something kind for someone else as a way to remember Elliot. I'm not sure that he understand how doing something nice for someone else was also doing something for Elliot, but he happily painted them a picture with lots of beautiful little houses. As soon as we dropped it in the mailbox at the post office, he said, “Are they happy now?”

Someone else, after thinking and thinking of what she could do to remember Elliot, made a donation in Elliot's name to an artist's project that he is doing in honor of his son and the child that he is expecting. 

The very first act of kindness I got in my email was from someone who made new neighbors a basket full of fruit, nuts, candy and a card to welcome them to the neighborhood.

Someone else was at a Summerfest concert and noticed a large family (grandma, grandpa, their grown children, and their grandchildren - teenagers and children) all dancing, laughing, and enjoying a concert together.  The grandma was trying to capture this moment with her camera, but was struggling and close to being knocked over by the "die-hard" fans.  Our dear friend thought, "I should go take a picture of that family for Elliot!!"  She did, and they were very grateful.

Another person thought of Elliot after getting some coupons in the mail.  She had two and took them to the store they were good at, found two young families shopping and gave them the coupons.

Someone else was driving through her neighborhood when she saw a group of young girls with a lemonade stand.  She pulled over and donated $2 for a delicious cup of lemonade.

We have a family member who is helping out with a newborn, so that they baby's mother has an easier transition back into work.

Another friend was at the laundromat doing some laundry when she noticed a woman who didn't have any laundry detergent and she was looking around like she didn't know what to do, so our friend offered her some money to buy some.

Someone else saved the day while thinking about Elliot!  She bought and installed a sump pump in a family member's home so that their house could close as they had already relocated out of state.

A dear friend of ours helped out someone who's employees didn't show up by doing their work that needed to be done.  She ended the email to me by saying, "I can't remember the others. But there are plenty.  I think of Elliot every time.  Thank you."

I love all of these!  A number of people have ended their messages to me telling me there are more to come, remarking that they love this idea, and saying thank you.  And while I love these messages, it seems like the thanks goes to Elliot, my special little boy who continues to inspire and amaze me.