This Thanksgiving, I have been struck by how big small acts of kindness can be: a note from a friend with the perfect message arriving at just the right moment… silent hug when you need one… unsolicited offers of specific help when you don’t even know what you need it till it’s done… simply acknowledging the humanity in another person. I try to be a person who participates in both big and little acts of kindness. This year, I am sad to say I have received much more than I have given.
I have been touched by so many acts of kindness, both big and small, I cannot begin to name them all. I got a phone call from a friend who suggested I see her doctor for my various ailments. That turned out to be life changing. I am finally on a track to good health. Katy Kat learned my laundry system so she could help me when I was too tired to even stand up long enough to fold clothes. Baby Daddy has become the sabbatical enforcer, and he’s for real about it, which is no small task when your wife acts like a petulant child when she doesn’t get her way. Another friend took three days away from her family so I could make a road trip to Austin. Yet another shows up at my house with some regularity with food for my family. My other sweet friends often pick up the phone, write an email or send a text to tell me they are thinking of me and love me. They all make me laugh. They all fill my bucket.
Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. ~Gray’s Anatomy
Then this week, a friend who recently started to eat gluten-free, as I have, dropped off a Ziplock container of “extra” gluten-free dressing for Thanksgiving. Dressing is my absolute favorite holiday dish. If I were having Thanksgiving here, I would have reworked a family recipe to make it gluten-free. But we’re going to my in-laws, and I am not about to ask 50 people (I’m not exaggerating with that number) to adjust their Thanksgiving meal because I have an unstable digestive system. I planned to just skip it this year. I mean, it’s really not that big of a deal. As far as I know, I didn’t complain about missing out on the dressing. But I complain a lot, so it’s possible word got out.
She brought it by like it was nothing. “I had some extra; thought you might like it. Here ya go.” To me, it’s gold. Maybe it’s nothing to her to give some leftovers to me, or maybe she doesn’t want to make a big deal about a kind deed. Either way, I am so thankful.
It feels trite for me to write I am grateful for family and friends on Thanksgiving. I am, though. I am more grateful than I know how to write in this space. They are the biggest things in my life with love wider and deeper than words can hold. If you chip off a piece of that love, it fits very nicely into a Ziplock container in my fridge.