Thursday, April 26, 2012

people on the street.

DISCLAIMER: i wrote this post at least a year ago. today i was cleaning up my drafts folder and came across it. i thought it was post worthy.

i like to read the obituaries. you know the old jokes your grandparents say "i start off with a cup of coffee and the obituaries. if i don't see myself in there, i know it's a good day." yea, i'm not like that. i like to read them to see what kind of life the person had. what they did, who they loved and what they're leaving behind. all too often do i find myself sad because i never got to know the person i read about. i find myself wishing i could bring them back, not only for their loved ones, but for me. so i know of their name while they're still alive.

i've recently been addicted to the blog 182 days. it's blog of a young gal my age who was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and given 182 days to live. in these days she is defining herself and coloring outside of the lines. making sure she leaves the world not only with her mark on it, but a better place than she found it. she is determined to make every second count and to inspire others to do the same. she hasn't been blogging for very long so quick! head over there, there's time to catch up.

recently a man who works in the same school district as i, passed away. it was a shock to the whole community because his face was a constant around these parts. he drove the sports and field trip bus for the district, he's been doing it since i went to school here. a friendly face and entertaining bus driver, he was the student's biggest fan. outside of work he and his family ran their own farm. pumpkins in the fall, corn, cows, fresh eggs, you name it. it was very typical to drive by his house and see him out in his field on the tractor. he left behind his high school sweetheart turned wife, kids and grand kids. he left behind a community that loved and respected his work ethic and kindness. as i read his obituary, i learned things i hadn't known about him. I knew of him, but didn't know him personally. i saw him often but never spoke more than a few sentences to him at a time. reading about his life made me wish that i had taken the time to know him more. to ask him questions about his farm and see this infamous twinkle in his eye when he spoke of his grandchildren. i passed him almost everyday at some point during my day and never asked more.

this man took his own life. it doesn't matter how or why, what matters is that behind that twinkle and warm smile, was pain. i don't know details, i don't need to. maybe people knew of his pain. maybe they didn't. i don't want to speculate or judge. i just want to throw out a blanket of comfort and warmth and gather this whole community under it.

because you never know. that person who cut you off and then you proceeded to flip off and blow your horn at for a minutes straight, maybe one of their loved ones just passed or maybe they just got fired or had a fight with their spouse. maybe they've struggled with depression for a majority of their life and sometimes simply getting out of bed takes every ounce of energy they have. maybe they are fighting a battle you know nothing about. just maybe.

and maybe you are too. but i truly believe that one simple act of kindness can spread like wildfire. one simple act of kindness probably won't give someone their job back or fix their life, but it will brighten a few seconds of their day which is a few seconds more than before.

small gestures do make huge differences. giving inspires more people to give. and shit, if being kind doesn't give you you're own boost, i don't know what will.

so, the lesson i have learned in all this rambling is that everyone is fighting some sort of battle and we're all here to hold each other up. get to know that person you see at the coffee shop everyday. give your car horn a rest today. smile. more. smile at everyone you see. all. day. long. we're all in this together.

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