I have never felt as much love and support as when Joey was diagnosed with cancer. People came out of the woodwork to send support, prayers, gifts, meals, and love.
Entire communities came together - the dental community in which my husband works, the school and church communities we attend, friends of our siblings and parents, our college and high school friends, and people we had yet to meet. Clearly, some of them believe this:
"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness."
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
You don't need to know someone in order to be kind. That was shown to me over and over during Joey's illness and after his death, and I will be forever grateful for that. Truth be told, it was what kept me going and buoyed me up when I needed it most.
Recently, my family got news that one of our own (through marriage and cousins and nieces - not that it matters), Addy - a beautiful, bright and active seven-year-old precious girl - had a brain tumor.
Crying aside, because I always cry when I hear a child has cancer, I couldn't stop thinking about her mom. Thinking about the fear and the worry and the wonder and the questions and everything I felt when I found out about Joey's cancer.
And then I thought about my mom, Joey's grandmother and my dad, Joey's Papa and my sister, Joey's Godmother. And then I couldn't stop thinking about Addy's Grandma and cousins and aunts and step-dad and all of the people who love her.
Because, you see, if affects them, too. But the thing is that most of the time, people are only supporting the child's immediate family.
When really Grandma would appreciate a phone call or a card, too. And the Godmother wants you to ask how her precious godchild is doing. And the Papa would love if you take him out for a cup of coffee and let him talk about it.
These are the people who are likely providing the most support for the family in crisis - babysitting, making meals, doing laundry, trying their best to provide unwavering support, and being the shoulders that are cried upon.
And they love the person who is sick, too
But who is supporting them? Where is their break, their compassion and consideration, their card in the mail that says, "I'm thinking of you and praying for you."?
Kindness reaches far and wide. Don't ever be afraid to be kind. No one is faulted for being kind. Going forward, I'm going to try to think outside of the kindness box and consider who else might need it.
I will always support a family who has a sick child, but I think I will let that support ripple to all the people who love her.
"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."
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