On the first day of the year, I wrote that I intended to be a kinder and more patient person in 2023. It's really not an end goal resolution, but more of a journey. Ten days in and I feel that I am doing relatively well, focusing on simple and small acts. I've tried to take time out to really talk AND listen to people. I've written notes to people. Nothing major.
One of the notes I wrote was the result of a Christmas card that was addressed to my parents. My father brought it to my attention. One of my mother's college friends obviously had not heard that my mother had died. So I brought the card home and even though it was after Christmas, I sent a card back with a note. I explained that my mother had died and that my father appreciated her card. Since I had (and still have) so many senior portrait collage cards (oh those senior portrait packages; how they rope you in!), I included one of them, knowing that my mom talked about my son (a lot) to all her friends. Even if she and this woman only exchanged annual holiday cards, she would have definitely heard about and most likely have seen photos of my son.
Yesterday I received a condolence card from her. Not unusual, but the note and CHECK inside were. It wasn't a long letter, but she talked about her friendship with my mother. How they had last seen each other at their 55th reunion and that a photo of that reunion hung in her "computer room." (I call it that too; guess I'm old since I rarely refer to it as a home office.) She brought up our families' similarities. Her daughter and son-in-law, like my husband and I, had adopted and she, like my mother, adored her grandchildren.
It was the last paragraph that really got to me. "Since I am just learning of your mother's death, I would like to recognize her closeness with J. I am sending a check for J, to recognize his coming graduation and achievements. Loved his senior photos!"
The amount of the check is not remarkable, nor does it matter. What matters is her act of kindness. In recognizing my mother's love for her grandson, she has given us a gift that my son and I will carry with us. It arrived two days after my mother's birthday and it almost seems like a message from her.
Obviously, both my son and I will be writing a thank you back, but whatever words we use will not express how much her kindness means to us. A (relatively) simple act that has touched us deeply and encourages me to continue to do my own acts of kindness. I encourage you to do so too. These acts can ripple out and help heal a broken heart.