I ran up a nice older gentleman and his wife the other day at the big box store. He left the counter before his wife paid telling her, "I'll go get the car and pull it up front for you." My keen ears picked this up and I was touched by his thoughtfulness. He was looking out for his wife and showing her his concern in a small but significant way. While touched, I also compared myself to this couple and felt the sting of not having had much of that thoughtfulness come my way, even in the face of grief and multiple losses.
I miss those random acts of kindness you receive unasked from a spouse. And I miss the favors given because you've requested them. I know that I relied on my husband for much of my emotional support because my family is not close. Since my Mom has died, I feel such a void in my life. As though there really isn't anyone besides my sons and recently GF who would care if something happened to me.
Those little acts of caring really add up and an absence of them over time takes its toll. It is certainly one of the reasons I am strongly considering remarriage. It is tough going on one's own for me. Maybe a more independent woman or one with very supportive family might think differently. But the way I am made up, I need to hear frequent terms of endearment and to have someone display care and concern like the nice man shopping at my store. I am sure he thought nothing of his actions - it was probably second nature to him. But I heard and saw him and put in a good word for him with the Universe.
Note to others, especially those who know someone who is dealing with grief/loss: It doesn't take much to zip off a quick email to someone telling them you're thinking of them and are concerned. Or offer to do some small chore or errand, even as simple as picking up some groceries or milk. Better yet - just do something/anything. Showing up with chocolate, soup or a seasonal pie for instance. Dropping off a coffee or walking someone to their car. Maybe next time the checker asks me if I want assistance with my grocery bags I'll say "yes" just to have someone help me, even if in this instance it is part of their job!
We all need to feel as though someone cares. We all need to have kindness shown toward us. We need to know that we matter and that once in a while someone will lighten our loads or pull the car up so we don't have to walk through a crowed parking lot. Not a whole lot - but it doesn't take a lot. Just small, frequent gestures.
Today I am grateful:
1. For the fabulous warm and sunny weather.
2. For the kindness and interest shown to us yesterday at the high school in GF's town.
3. For the kindness and support that comes my way through these posts.
4. For Mapquest.
5. For the softened hearts and moods that most people adopt through the upcoming holiday season - something to look forward to.