Don’t let kindness be an act of the past!

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This blog is about general humanity, I’m going to write about a couple that I met at work, they were kind and friendly and the sort of couple that you don’t see enough of these days.

I work in sales within the Bathroom, Plumbing and Heating industry and this couple came into my place of work looking for help, guidance and assistance with general plumbing and DIY. They honestly brightened up my morning with their funny humour, oober kind nature and up-beat spirit, you couldn’t help but have an instant warming towards these two individuals. Knowing nothing of this couple before, I acted as I would with anyone, always mindful of my mantra ‘treat others the way you wish to be treated’ as I continued to help them, laugh with them, and talk with them, we were soon joined by other onlookers, whether it was just curiosity or just plain and simple nosiness, I am convinced that smiling, laughing and jovial behaviours create a curiosity within us all to seek out where this  fun is coming from, because within us is the desire to laugh and be cheerful and become part of the fun that’s happening!

Whilst in the company of these two very special people I had found out without questioning or without the stereo typical ‘sales interrogation’ that this couple were married, were pensioners, lived in a lovely house in a lovely part of town, and clearly still very much in love after years and years of marriage, they have three grandchildren and a family that from the outside looked pretty perfect.

I got talking to this lady that I found myself drawn to like she was some sort of fairy godmother, and our conversation evolved and we somehow got talking about deaths of my three children, my living children, and my life, she reciprocated by offering me an insight into her life too, she has three children, and sadly one of these children was born mentally disabled, he cannot talk, he is now 37 with the mental age of a child of 6. The around the clock care began to take its toll, so they made the difficult decision to have their son cared for in a care home, he has resided there for 3 years now and he comes home every weekend, this lovely lady explains that although every part of her loves and cherishes her son and she would not be without him for a single heartbeat, there is an emotion she deals with daily, everyday she grieves, grieves for what she dreamed of, grieves for the life her son has missed out on, because when she looks at her two other children, doing everyday ‘normal’ things (there’s that god damn word again…. Like saying normal sets some sort of benchmark for us all to adhere to), having babies, getting married, loving and being loved by someone special, driving cars and holding down jobs, these are all things us ‘normal’ people take for granted and these things are the sadness behind the eyes of this lovely lady as she looks at her 37 year old son and wishes he had the same chances at full life as her other children.

I had arranged to visit them in their home to try and help them further with their cloakroom requirements it was just a few simple measurements so just part and parcel of my job role. Clearly this retired couple were budgeting and were conscious of costs. I was compelled to help this couple because they were kind and because I want to treat other people with the same kindness and for the sake of sounding repetitive ‘treat others the way you wish to be treated’. I was welcomed like a family member, asked what I wanted to eat, how I like my tea, force fed biscuits and then ushered into a corner where we spoke about sly, underhand squirrels, and noisy, unwanted, dirty pigeons. I was in the company of this kind couple again and was smiling ear to ear as they told me stories from their past and showed me photographs of the family including the ‘little man’, the sweet name they affectionately call their 37 year old disabled son.

I made a quick phonecall to my husband, he is a plumber and has copious amounts of loose copper, fittings, and random pipes lurking in the garage, along with a few bikes, buckets with holes in, chemicals and liquids stored in various jars, possibly the cure for Ebola, and 101 paintbrushes that have hardened to beyond their original purpose and could now be used as hammers!

A few pictures sent from the smart phone and a big YES from the truly talented Mr Harris, and I have arranged for the sundry items to be delivered by myself on the Sunday in an attempt to help reduce the expense to remedy their long 2 year awaited cloakroom.

The moral of the story is not everyone lives a life of perfection, from the onset, we can all look like the Von Trapps’ or The Waltons’ but behind the walls of each home is a story, some are more fortunate than others, but some live with grief, some live with debt, and some live with treacherous squirrels and demonic pigeons but we all deserve to be treated with kindness and we all need to helped by other peoples humanity sometimes.

This couple showed me courage, humour and a togetherness that you don’t often see these days, and hopefully I showed them kindness and the help they needed and deserved.

I have since met ‘little man’ and he is a character to say the least, he is clearly loved and clearly happy, and I am happy to say that I am a friend to this lovely family.

Be kind when you can because you never know when you will need the kindness returned and lets face it you make a lot more friends on the way being kind!

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End of Chapter 2014

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It has been 3406 days that have passed since the day that changed me and my life forever, 756 days since that soul destroying day when tragedy struck again. 239 days since I began to glue my life back together, 203 days since I visited the graveside of my three boys, a place I still cannot bare, nor can I take comfort from. It has been 189 days since my final counselling sessions and 127 days since my last blog.

It has also been 231 days since Stephen Sutton passed away in his sleep after battling the horrific disease, Cancer. He is an inspirational young man who spoke, lived, and sadly died by the below quote…

“I don’t see the point in measuring life in terms of time. I’d rather measure life in terms of making a difference”

Stephen Sutton – http://www.stephensstory.co.uk/

This young man, heroic without knowing, made such an impact on so many people’s lives with his amazing up beat nature and constant positive attitude, and at 19 years young he touched the hearts of thousands, and the day he died, I shed tears for a young man that I had never met.

It is a heart-breaking, life changing misfortune that my twins ‘Louis and Corey’ lived and breathed, but never got to  live a life of achievements or create a lifeline of memories, it is unbelievably cruel and punishing to think that this disastrous event would happen again 7 years later.

The time elapsing between Louis Corey and Elliot’s births, deaths and today, after a low ebb where solace could only be found in the darkest depths of alcohol and drugs, a pitiful attempt to forget and to numb the pain of guilt, but after plenty of help, plenty of healing, plenty of support from good friends and family my life has found perspective, and some of us are given far shorter lives than others.

I mean; who are we to dictate how long we get to spend walking our paths on this earth?

Who knows when your time is up?

Who gets to say how much time should be spent with our loved ones, children, parents, friends and family alike?

One truly important thing I have realised through all this pain, and one thing I will try to continue to remember, is we shouldn’t dwell, or reside in a pit of bitterness, immersed in sorrow, engulfed with guilt, or whatever emotion is controlling your mind at the time of deep unhappiness. For these emotions consume so much of our negative energy it prevents us from being truly happy and stops us from properly “living”!

It isn’t what we are born with, nor is it what happens to you in life that determines your destiny, it is the choices that we make along the way, it is not our actions that define our person, but it’s how we recover from them.

Your past is part of your present and it shapes your future, it makes you, you! Life can be cruel and I have felt its brutal force, look at it as part of your adventure, that writes the book of your life, we all have a story to be told and the pages of our futures are unwritten, so fill them with memories of happiness, fill them with your story, the good the bad and the ugly but never forgetting that with every bad thing that happens, something good can be found if you look hard enough.

RIP Stephen Sutton, May you rest with the many other young and brave, whose lives have been stolen far too soon, you taught the whole world a valuable lesson.

RIP Louis, Corey, and Elliot Harris you taught me valuable lessons, how to be strong, and never give up, you taught me love like no other love, and you taught me forgiveness. I will for eternity wish that things were different, but I will always be grateful for having had you, held you and loved you and no matter how painful this journey has been, it will be one I will remember with bittersweet memories.

2015 is nearly here and I am looking forward to the future, this is my final post of 2014 and in simple terms When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” I encourage optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity.

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Happy New Year.