We all know how much fun it is to give :)… and if you don’t, you are seriously missing out and should definitely give it a try sometime ;). In all seriousness though… On Monday I got to experience a reminder lesson, that even when you feel like you are unable to give, in the material or monetary sense, (perhaps because you are struggling yourself) and your health may not allow you to give because you are physically unable to help another, you’d be surprised what little things you can do that can make another persons day!
I think I can safely say it was getting a little bit “chilly” in the old Burgh, when the temperature hit -9… without windchill!!! HELLO… mid Monday night (and it didn’t stop there). It had started its fast and steady drop to Pittsburgh’s record lows earlier that day and although I may have been living here awhile, I can’t say my “island blood” has adjusted to the cold that much.
I’ve had a down coat that has been sitting unused for a number of years, the one I bought my first winter in Pittsburgh, super warm with hood attached and a faux fur trim. Only using it those first few winters and not exactly leading a wild active life, the condition was like new… but as much as I liked the coat, we hardly used it, having purchased lighter ones after transplant with all the weight loss, muscle atrophy and weakness. With the cold weather, mum and I agreed for her to take it to school on a whim and hope someone could make use of it… I didn’t expect to have much luck, instead imagining that we’d be leaving it at a donation box later on sometime, but it was at least worth a shot first.
I’m not saying it isn’t fun to give to donation boxes and such :)… you still know that you are able to help a stranger and that someone out there is possibly going to have a little bit of a better day than they might otherwise have had… but there’s something extra fun when you get to hear a sweet story like the unexpected one mum brought home.
She’s in the hall at school and see’s one young girl trying hard to zip up her coat, a coat that is not only thin and light to this icy cold, but is in no way reaching around her anymore for it to possibly zip up. No matter how obvious this is, it’s also obvious that the girl is not giving up on trying :). Mum walks over and asks her, “are you trying to zip up your coat sweetheart?”. She of course says yes and mum tells her to “wait right there”. She runs into her room, grabs my coat and brings it out… “Here, try this on :)”. The girls mother was with her and mum went on to tell her the story of me not using it and how we were hoping she could find somebody who could in this cold… and apparently she just stared back at her with wide eyed disbelief! 🙂 When mum told me the story I couldn’t stop smiling… and after my afternoon at the hospital and coming home with a migraine, one that had steadily increased as fast as the temp had dropped throughout the day, this was just the happy story I needed.
It has warmed my heart so much, when I was lucky to receive each little surprise gift, that felt like an angel in my life… or Santa’s elves helping out to make it the best Christmas I’ve had in years :)… but I have to admit, it was awesome to feel like this time I got to play one of Santa’s elves instead!
Giving is always a joy, whether you know what comes of it or not, but there’s something extra special about getting to do it when it’s a complete surprise and for someone who least expects it… and even more so, when that person ends up being so happy and appreciative that you can see and feel the love and positive energy growing and spreading on.
Even if you think you have nothing to give or that what you have may not be worth giving, the littlest things may seem like the world to someone else. Sometimes it’s not the item itself, but the act of kindness that means the most. So remember, you always have something to give, even if it is simply a kind word. One thing you can do until the day you die is LOVE and there’s no greater gift than that. 🙂 Whenever you get the chance… Pay It Forward… it’s contagious!