August 7, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Sometimes life comes full circle, showing you what you need to know, and wrapping up experiences into neat little bundles. Then other times it makes no immediate sense. Being kind to someone is like that, it comes full circle. People that support each other and show each other the way through hard times, both equally benefit in the end and learn important life lessons. Paying it forward, random acts of kindness, or just giving whatever you have inside you to help a friend all counts towards major points in collecting your wings later. I was so upset and sad one day last week when I went to Target. I had to go, it was necessary but the last thing I wanted to do. I sat in the car by myself dreading it but making sure I had what I needed in my purse. While I walked up to the store I passed a woman and her kids. She had 4 kids with her and she looked exhausted. She looked at me while walking past and I smiled at her, what happened next would transform my entire day. She smiled back at me and the puffy eyes and sad look disappeared from her face. It was like magic, just what a simple smile did at that moment. I then decided that my trip into the store would be that of smiling at anyone that looked my way and I was looking theirs as well. I instantly felt better and forgot, briefly, about my own problems. Although the 70 mile trip home was a different story, I had an hour of feeling extremely great about not only myself but what the power of a simple smile and short eye contact was doing. When we look at the relationships in our lives, we try to make sure they are exactly what we want them to be. Most of the time, tending to our needs first. Struggles in my own relationships at times, looking back, were not about me…when I was younger I should have shut my mouth and listened more at times. But I learned, maybe the hard way but I learned over the years to put my needs aside. What I truly need in life is so minor to what I want to contribute to my friends and family. I do not always go full out, but that is probably my fear of rejection, even at 44 – scared of being shut down. What kids give us is unconditional love, even when we screw up. Today I learned of a friend’s son being taken to jail and accused of a crime. I tried to put myself in her place as I read over the names and accusations and saw her son’s face in my memory. What does a Mom do in that situation? So different from mine but also so painful for her. It is hard when reading the story to even believe it or know what to do. All of our kids, playing in the front yard together, up and down the street and now so much pain to the people of this familiar block. Just a few weeks ago on the other end of the block, another family going through the suicide of a family friend, a 20 year old young man. Chris and I visited with them and it was difficult to be in the neighborhood but at the same time I felt moments of absolute comfort. I could not help but to think, we should have never left. The relationships I forged on that block proved to be woven with strands of gold and the strongest steel you can find.