Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

So, I have to tell you two stories. I have to tell you about the kindness of strangers. I have to tell you about people and a company who were wonderfully kind.

First, the company. A little background....
The boy has these books that are puzzle books. Each page is a different puzzle and each book is based on different characters like Elmo or Grover or on planes and trains. They're really cute and he's really good at them and just loves doing them! So my mom decided before his surgery that she wanted to find him a few more puzzle books to make him feel good after the surgery. She went to Borders where she bought the first ones. They didn't have any. Then she went to Barnes and Noble. They didn't have any either. She looked on Amazon.com. They didn't have any either. The books were no where to be found. She searched the internet and contacted the publisher, Phidal Publishing, and explained the situation. She told them how much my son loved these books and how they were a source of entertainment and distraction for him. She told them how he would be having surgery and she wanted to have some new books to surprise him with after he came out of the hospital. She explained everything and asked for where she might be able to purchase more books or if there was a way she could buy them off their website. Customer service emailed back pretty quickly. They explained that there was no way to purchase the books from their website yet but they were working on it. They also said that the books could be found at bn.com (barnes and noble.com- not linked with amazon). Finally, the customer service representative informed my mother that she would be sending along the 4 books my mom had wanted at no charge to her. This was on a Monday, my son was scheduled for surgery that Thursday. We assumed the books would arrive Friday or Saturday. The books were in our hands by Wednesday. The company had rushed the books overnight to make sure that our little guy had them when he was in recovery.
Who does that? When do we ever really hear about anything like that? How often do we hear about major companies being so kind and compassionate? I don't know about you but I almost never hear about it. I was beyond touched by this company. I was beyond moved by their kindness and the extent to which they went to make sure my son had the books that he loved so much. I told everyone I could about this story. I shared this company with anyone and everyone. I hope you check them out. I hope you share this with your friends and family. This is a company that I would buy from repeatedly. This is a company that I would have no problem with giving my money to for high quality products and excellent customer service. This is a company, who without even realizing it, made my life so much easier because we had these new books to surprise our sick little guy and they really made his day. The kindness of strangers is overwhelming.

Second, the people.
I work in a Catholic high school. With the exception of a small handful of people, everyone pretty much cares about everyone else and shows concern and care when something happens. When a teacher is going to be out sick we have to call F. He takes care of securing subs and making sure that classes are covered and taken care of. He's very nice, pretty funny and very kind. He also has the classroom directly across from mine so we get to chat a lot. He teaches history. He's got two little kids. His wife is super nice. He went to Harvard and is BRILLIANT! When I called him to let him know that the boy was going into the hospital he was so sympathetic. He could not even find words to try and say what he was feeling about wanting to help and let me know that he would be thinking of us and praying for us. He even offered to give me some of his personal days since I have used all of mine between the accident and this. He really just was so nice. So compassionate. So kind. So exactly what I needed at that moment. I did not give school a second thought. I knew F would take care of everything along with the other teachers who were covering for me.
We were admitted to the hospital and brought to our room. I was talking with the resident about the boy's history and what was going on when there was a knock on the door. I looked over and there was a woman standing there with two coffee cups and a bag with a pastry inside it. I had no idea who she was. I assumed she was in the wrong room. We had only been there for maybe 10 minutes. I said hello and she asked for me by name. I told her that it was me and she explained that she was F's sister. Yes, F, from my job. His sister, whom I've never met...never spoken to...never even knew existed. She explained that F told her about me and the boy and she was in the hospital teaching a class but wanted to come and find me. She wanted to make sure I was ok. She wanted to check on me. She said she couldn't imagine what we were dealing with and wanted to bring me a cup of tea and a little something to eat to make sure I took care of myself. That was it. She didn't need anything from me. She didn't want anything from me. She just wanted to check on us. She and F and their family wanted to make sure we were ok during this time. My husband was floored. The resident looked stunned. I began to cry. This woman, who I didn't know from Adam, came to make sure I was ok. F, who I've only known since August, wanted to make sure we were ok, wanted to make sure I was doing ok as I watched my son get admitted to the hospital. I thanked her profusely. I cried. She hugged me. She told me they'd be thinking of us and praying for us and we were in great hands. Clearly, someone was watching out for us. Clearly, someone knew that this was going to be hard. Clearly, there are good people out there who do for strangers just because they know it is needed and they want to help.

Even now as I type this I'm crying. I will never ever forget F's sister, or F for that matter. I will never ever forget her kindness and I will forever pass it on to others because other than a profuse thank you, a note and that hug, there is not much else I can do to show how appreciative I am. If I pass on their kindness than the potential for unending kindness is there. The potential to do unending good is there. The potential to help someone who needs kindness and compassion is there. I encourage you to pass on the kindness of strangers. It really takes very little to let someone know you are there and thinking of them, I encourage you to do that I know I will be.

12 comments:

Kelly said...

Oh sweetie. I'm crying too. Sometimes the world amd the people who populate it are just so beautiful I feel like my heart may burst. I'm so glad you had some angels looking over you on those days.
Love and peace!

OHmommy said...

That, my friend, was so beautiful. There are so many beautiful people in the world.

I am glad they found you.

Kelley said...

Oh. That is amazing. I am sitting here agape with tears in my eyes. That has floored me. So wonderful, such wonderful kind people in the world.

And my lovely, you deserve these people. You truly do.

Karen C. said...

Okay, so now you have ME crying, too!!! I'm so glad you felt cared for during the ordeal. Thanks for sharing these stories.

amanda said...

Dropping by to say hi. This was a beautiful post! :)

Sarabeth said...

Nice stories to make us all smile while the tears make tracks on our cheeks.

Blog Hopping--HP

lattemommy said...

Wow.

That is absolutely amazing. Sometimes I lose my faith in the rest of the planet. I think that common decency and goodness have been lost.

I love that you've proved me wrong.

Dana said...

Uhhh - what exactly is making all of you cry? Nice stories, but that's about it. No wonder Prozac is so popular ;)

April said...

I'm glad that people were there for you - and it's always touching when it's the unexpected. I'm most impressed by the publishing company, though. That's so wonderful!

Blog Hoppin',
Balancing Hops

LunaNik said...

That's wonderful Stella. I'm glad that you and your family were shown such incredible kindness and consideration during such a difficult time. Muah <3 You deserve every good thing that comes your way.

suchsimplepleasures said...

i've learned of the kindness of people lately, as well.
i posted, the other day, of the plight of a young woman...an ex-student of my husbands that when she came home from college, last saturday...she walked in the her home to find her mother had died in her lazy boy chair.
i posted this...and so many of my blog friends donated to her cause.
it wasn't the money that they donated that touched me...it was the fact that so many people who i've met through blogging...they cared enough to want to help!! it was amazing!!
so...i know what you mean!!

Huckdoll said...

Amazing post. It's so great to hear that there is some goodness left in mankind. Other than that, I'm speechless <3

 
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