Sometimes when I start thinking about the things in life that are difficult, I'm reminded of those people in my past that have shown incredible kindness. People that I can only aspire to be like.
I think about the Hughes brothers who were "neighbors" of ours in Northern California, living several miles away in the country.
We lived deep in the woods, with no running water, electricity, or telephone and winters could be really harsh. There were times when we'd be snowed in for days, and sometimes, weeks on end. It was tough. But what I remember so clearly is that just when things were really beginning to deteriorate and I'd begin to think that we were doomed, I'd hear a rumbling in the distance. "It's the Hughes!", I'd scream and sure enough, soon after, Vern or Andy would show up on their Cat, and plow us out.
I loved them. Everything about them and their families. They were kind and generous and always there for us when we needed them.
I always looked forward to superbowl season, because I knew we'd be invited over to Vern's for the big game. We'd eat wonderful snacks and watch the game and for me, it was a view into a home and lifestyle that was so completely different than ours. I'd hang on to every word of every commercial and soak in what was to me a world that I knew absolutely nothing about.
When our home burned down, they gave us new furniture. They loaned us their Cat. And years later, after I'd moved away, I could still call Vern and ask him to check on my parents when a major storm hit.
When I think of kindness, I think of the Hughes, and all of the people who have been there for me when times were tough.
And thank goodness for that, because I think when we show someone kindness, it plants a little seed. And it makes us want to grow into better people who do good things.
Vern, Andy, and families: Today I thought of you and remembered your kindness and was reminded that I'm a better person because of you. And even though these words will never be enough....
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