Did you enjoy your week? Did you do something kind for someone? I tried, I really did, but honestly it was harder than I thought. Maybe it should have been easier than I made it but the thought of doing things like striking up a conversation with people in line at the grocery store scared me silly. So I took the cowardly way, I sent my kids to school with cookies for their teachers, I left a few bucks with a little note that said “treat yourself today” around the grocery store and I left a bigger tip for my server. I guess the point of kindness matters week was to try, to actively think about being kind. My heart jumped for joy when we were at a stop light and my kids saw a couple holding a “homeless anything helps” sign. They started looking around the car and asking if we had anything to give them. All three, without any promoting from parents, asked what we had that we could give. They weren’t any kinder to each other last week but they did recognize an opportunity to be kind to others and I am so happy for that.
Looking back over my week I think I was shown more kindness than the amount I gave. My mother and sister in law came to visit, a new friend brought me a succulent plant, my husband got up early and did the dishes. This week I was reminded of how much love and kindness and friendship their really is in this world. If I step outside of myself for a second I can see it.
Seeing kindness has made me feel very grateful. I had much to be grateful for this weekend. My family went to San Diego for my niece’s wedding. I was grateful to get away for a few days, grateful we drove safely, grateful my kids didn’t kill each other during the car drive, grateful the wedding was absolutely beautiful and perfect, grateful for my sweet niece, grateful she found someone she loves so deeply, grateful that so much if my family were there, grateful to now be home. I also found gratitude in the people who helped me when I couldn’t help myself.
The wedding was on Friday and Saturday most of my family went ocean kayaking. It was a beautiful day, there were so many of us together, it was a great experience. Until I got sick. The ocean was so, so,so rough that day. I lost it. All. Into the ocean. Again and again and again. I was so sick. I often get motion sickness but this was the worse I’ve ever had it. My dad was having a hard time sitting in the kayak, my mom and I switched so my dad and I could go back. Damon was feeling yucky so him and Lucy also went back. It took forever to get to shore. Our poor guide had to hook our kayak to his and paddle us in because we were completely worthless. The entire time I was fighting nausea and just moaning. I kept telling myself to stop that because it was probably so very annoying but I just couldn’t. We had to wait for one of the workers to swim out to us and help us to shore. It was the longest wait ever. We finally headed for shore and were so close when our kayak tipped. No big deal, just put your feet down and walk to shore. But when I hit that cold water I went into shock and started hyperventilating. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t walk, my dad practically drug me to the beach. Damon was there waiting for us. He and my dad tried to take me to sit down but I couldn’t go any further. I sank onto the sand and just laid there shaking. After a little while they tried to help me over to where we had set up our umbrellas and towels. I couldn’t sit up on my own, I couldn’t stand up on my own, I couldn’t walk. I had to lay back down. Damon brought me a towel. I laid under it so so sick, shaking uncontrollably, still hyperventilating and sobbing like crazy. I was completely out of control. I could barely talk. I finally was able to ask my husband, who was sitting with me trying to comfort me, to pray. After praying mybrother in law came to help. He felt my hands, they were freezing cold. He held my hands for warmth. He made me sit up and breath deep. He made me lay back down and elevated my feet. One of the kayaking workers came over. They took me to his truck and back to the shop so I could take a hot shower and change my clothes. My brother in law shouldered most of my weight to help me walk. He stayed with me so Damon could return our rentals and help our kids. My family stayed with my baby. The workers at the kayak rental shop kept giving me coins to take free showers. Kindness and gratitude everywhere.
I’ve been motion sick many, many, many times but never that sick. Cold water has taken my breath away and made me shiver but never like that. I was sick, I was in shock and I was scared. But I am grateful because I got better and because of the kindness of others.
I’ve realized that I not only like being kind I also like being grateful. So this week I’m going to show more gratitude. I’m going to find more to be thankful for.
For Christmas one year I was given a sign that says, “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” This week I am always going to try to find that something.
My friends you are so very loved. And I am so very grateful for you.