Monday, November 7, 2011

Acts of Love

I apologize for the late hour and shortness of today's post.  Visitation began this afternoon for Papaw Dallas so it's been a long day.  I questioned even writing but, being it's only day 7, I couldn't break the challenge so soon.  This morning, my plan was to write about being thankful for music.  Being gone and on my feet all day though, I don't really have a song on my mind.  Despite the emotions of the day, I do however have a song in my heart. 

When I left for the funeral home today, I decided that any acts of kindness would be toward my family.  While my challenge is mostly focused on "random acts of kindness" and to those I do not know, I felt my family needed a few extra doses of love. I could also feel Austin pushing me, as if this was his way of showing us he is there.

One of the most common phrases when someone passes is, "if there's anything I can do..." but seldom does anyone ask.  I sent a text to my little sister, checking on her and asked that familiar question.  To my surprise, she responded.  I then made it my mission to deliver.

As it was early, food hadn't yet begun to arrive so I stocked up on snacks and drinks, planning for a hot bucket of chicken at the end of my errands.  Next on my list was my sister's request, a small stuffed cow.  She didn't even need to explain, I knew what she wanted it for, although I'd never guessed it would be so difficult to find.  Five stores and several phone calls later, the best I could do was a small ceramic cow.  Back home to quickly print a few more needs, I rushed back.

Timing was perfect, as the family had gathered in the kitchen, looking for lunch.  KFC was just what the doctor ordered, as Dallas' wife, Pansy, smiled, nodding that was exactly what sounded good for her to eat.  Knowing I got some hot potatoes in my lil sis, and a piece of chicken in Mom, made me feel better too.  Although it broke my heart to watch Raven tuck the tiny cow into her Papaw's arm, with tears in her eyes, I also knew that the scavenger hunt I went on to find it was worth every second and mile. 

Then, copies of a poem, which I shared with Altiabelle, Dallas' first wife, in the loss of her husband over a year ago, came back to help again.  When I printed out and framed a poem that was shared with us in our loss, never did I imagine it would have such an impact on her.  She'd mentioned several times through the past year how often she read the poem and how much it comforted her.  Today, she requested a copy to share with Pansy.  That, and copies of my "Cow Tales" story from yesterday, which brought some needed laughs in the day.

Piled in the back of my truck, I wouldn't have expected a chicken meal, peppermints and moonpies, drinks, a tiny cow, or printed poems to provide much help, on their own or altogether.  Yet they did, in little ways and big, and I'm so glad I had a special angel as a co-pilot to help me deliver it today.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


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