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. The all were at Fred’s service and it is now my turn to be there for them.
Paul Failing Nicely written , Leslie.  Glad to see you’ve decided to continue to write your feelings and thoughts on here…………
August 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm
Victoria Ryan I agree with paul failing.
August 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm
Jebbi Maguire I loved reading that you smiled at everyone you saw…I can so see you doing that…It is good to see you continuing to journal….I am glad you are doing what you need and want to do for you Leslie……when life kicks our asses, to not feel like we are able to cope in a way that helps…well…it’s just not ok…keep writing chicken..:)…Love you.
August 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm
Erin Epple I am so glad you decided to keep writing!  It is amazing what random acts of kindness can do for a person!  You are just what that mom needed to know that someone out there cared for her, that simple smile not only made your day but hers as well.  I told you, you are AWESOME!!
August 8, 2010 at 8:23 am
Kris Shutts You make me smile!
August 8, 2010 at 7:07 pm
Alicia Beery I have always found that a smile on your face brightens everything.  Even when you don’t always feel like smiling, the act brings such simple happiness to those around you, in turn bringing that happiness back to you.  It really does come full circle.  I have had it happen to me, someone you would think to judge you actually smiles at you warmly and it literally lightens your load.  Being a 21 year old mother of two I got that a lot.  I remember going to my lamaze class with my mom, I was the youngest and the only single woman there.  One of the other mothers just smiled at me, while all the others just gave me disgusted looks….it was awful until I saw that one smiling face.  I decided I could go back when I really just wanted to run home and cry….all because of one genuine smile.  I know that this new situation, with your friend’s son, is not going to be easy.  But if you can find it in you to smile for her and tell her that no matter what you love her and support her…even if you don’t condone the actions of her son, you will do wonders for her….and maybe for yourself.  Love you.
August 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm