My dear friend LeRoy is starting chemo therapy and radiation on December 3rd. It will last 7 weeks. I would like him to be able to read 3 acts of good a day in his name while he is going through this challenge. He likes to laugh — so good acts with a bit of humor will make him smile even more! Imagine those days when he isn’t feeling so great. Imagine him being able to escape the moment — if just a bit – reading about his friends and family doing good in his name.
While driving out of school early last week, I saw an ambulance in my old neighbors driveway. It broke my heart. The elderly gentleman will be ok once they get his medicines worked out, but his wife has been at home alone. LAst year when this happened I set up a system with an ice chest in their garage. I have been delivering food daily and shoveling snow/putting salt down since then. Her thank you notes left in the ice chest make me smile.
This is a good deed someone else did for me. After a tough day of moving into a new house, I was returning the UHaul truck just as the sun was setting. The sun was in my eyes, but I could see that the light in front of me was red. I stopped at the light, and since there was no other traffic anywhere nearby, I turned right on red and pulled into the UHaul lot. A motorcycle cop pulled in behind me, lights flashing. He gave me a ticket because apparently a “No Turn On Red” sign was posted. I explained that the sun in my eyes kept me from seeing the sign, but he was very cynical, gave me a big fat ticket for running a red light, and drove off. A few minutes later, I saw him pull back into the lot. He told me that he drove back to the light, and he agreed that the setting sun made it very difficult to see the No Turn sign. He took the ticket back, and offered his apologies! I just burst into tears. So… the Culver City police did an Act of Good for LeRoy. Yay!
A checkout clerk at a small, family owned store (read: no digital cash register that does the math for you) charged me way less than what she should have. I pointed out the error, but she got embarrassed and still didn’t understand. There were people waiting behind me in line. I handed her the cash I actually owed her and just walked out so she could get on with her day.
It was 1am. Baby with a 105 temp. She was shaking. Not quite convulsing, but when the phrase ‘not quite convulsing’ is used concerning my children, turns out I get a lot scared and more than a lot grumpy. To my great surprise–and I get teared up even writing this–every stinking person in that ER did about the best job they possibly could have done, in record time. From the check-in clerk to the sheet-changer to the nurses who drew blood and inserted catheter on the first try(!), to the thorough pediatrician who had a good sense of humor. Every. Last. Person. Oh, thank you, thank you. You saved our bacon. And… on our way out, I saw something that truly made me lose it, and I bawled all the way to the car. One of the nurses was huddled over a woman who looked homeless and in pain, sitting on the sidewalk just outside the hospital doors. The nurse was trying to talk her into going in to sit down inside. The woman was refusing and giving a stream of consciousness type of response. It was 4am, it was cold, but that nurse was speaking to the woman with such respect and kindness. Over and over. OMG, would I be that patient? I felt like I was walking on holy ground. Ok, so this was mainly a post about the so many acts of good by others, because my little contribution was only that I actually took the time to fill out a customer satisfaction survey–I routinely ignore them, as in never fill them out–and gave the names of the staff who were exceedingly stellar. Except that last nurse, whose name I didn’t see.
I took my dear friend Leroy to the hospital for his radiation and chemo treatment. The room was filled with vets. Some were really struggling. But everything got a little brighter when the boxer SUGAR RAY LEONARD came in and spent time with each veteran getting chemo. It felt good in a sea of not so good.
Passed by a wedding party in Quito, Ecuador. A stray white bra strap was hanging out of a dress and about to ruin a family picture. Or maybe worse. Maybe everyone in the family except the bra owner would think that the bra strap was No Big Deal, so that f#%$^ family picture would forever be displayed on fireplace mantels and photo collage walls. No, I did not feel the least bit awkward when I marched over and told the professional photographer to wait a hot second while I stuck my hand down a complete stranger’s bridesmaid dress and yanked her bra into place. She mouthed ‘gracias’ as I dashed out of the photo, while everyone else in her group looked a bit baffled. (Maybe they felt left out.) Um, later I realized that the photographer was probably planning to Photoshop out the errant strap. And probably everyone in the photo–including the bra owner–knew that and therefore they weren’t worried about it, and instead where thinking “Ah, those crazy gringos have no idea about the latest technology!”
When I was in high school I got accepted to be a Page at the Statehouse for a semester but I couldn’t afford to rent an apartment in the state’s capital city. This was before the internet and I was baffled about how to proceed. On a whim I found the phone number (after first tracking down the phone book–yes, I am that old) of a church near the building where I’d be working, to ask the staff there if they knew of affordable housing options. The woman who answered the phone politely asked a few questions, paused, then said, “You can live with me.” She housed me and she fed me for three months, and never let me pay her a dime. Only change a few light bulbs.
i asked to see a boss at a clothing store. When she came out i thanked her for hiring such a great employee. Her colleague moved mountains to make things happen during a crazy busy time. And she was beyond gracious. What a combo. the boss was so happy – she says she only ever gets to hear about bad things. The sales clerk was smiling soooo big.
As I left the store I coldly ignored the girls holding petitions trying to get signatures then as I got to my car i thought… “that is such hard work and the rejection is awful” I should know I have had to cold call a lot in my life and it’s brutal so I went back and told them I was proud of them for being so committed that they would do such a tough job then listened to their position- a very good one actually- and signed up to make monthly donations to their nonprofit.