Today started like most every other – alarm at 4:45, get up, let the dog out, look at the “to do” list – where I saw “kindness”. Short reminder that I need to get into the Alliances today and share and comment on kindnesses done or witnessed. Start work at 6, get a snack at 9, back to work.
Bam.9:15 I get a message that one of my best high school friends died suddely and unexpectely last night. We played on the volleyball and softball teams together, and were always going after that big story on the school newspaper staff. She worked in the evenings at the local donut shop and I’d hang out with her when business was slow, chatting about the latest Elton John album, or which boy was the cutest, or how we were going to decorate the Homecoming float. A few years later, I attended her wedding, then she was a bridesmaid at mine.
Time and space came between us from then until now, but we kept up – Christmas cards, and occasional letters- then with social media. Our class had a big reunion this summer and although she was unable to attend, joined in connecting and reconnecting with classmates on facebook. In those posts, I noticed time and time and time again how gracious and kind she was – to everyone – at all times, in all situations. No political crapola, no “bad day” or “Yuk – it’s Monday” type of posts. All caring, all loving, all supportive. Her husband, kids, their spouses and her grandchildren meant the world to her – but so did everyone she came in contact with.
I was making tentative plans to travel to Texas in March and we were going to get together. I was going to tell her how much I still love her after all these years, and how I admire and want to emulate her grace and kindness.
Coincidental that we started ‘Kindness’ week today? No – I don’t believe in coincidence. A light has gone out here, but it is shining above. Kindness left time and space last night, and this is what she looks like.
And what did I learn today? Speak now. I should not have waited until March. Love now. Don’t worry about how you look – go see your old friends, encourage your new friends. BE KIND. Live a life of no regrets. We never know. We just don’t know.
No matter how many years I get the priviledge of working with MKMMA, “Kindness Week” is now and is forever going to be my favorite week, because I will feel Karen with me, showing me the kindness all around.
This song was big when we were in school – and was sung a lot at the end of our senior year.
And another hug from God – this is the verse I posted on facebook this morning before I got the news:
When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 118:5-6
Go hug someone – go do something kind. Do it now!