With my utmost gratitude, thank you to everyone that participated in 10 Acts of Kindness for Lucy on July 10th. That includes all of you that I know about, and those that I don’t! I love how everyone took the time to choose who they wanted to reach out to and exactly what that kindness would look like. Both planned and spontaneous! There were many tears of joy shed in the past week. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!
And speaking of gratitude, I have never been more grateful for the family and friends that we have in our lives.
I’ve been grateful for my family and friends for some time now. I would say always, but I’m not entirely sure that was true during short and mostly harmless rebellious stints in jr. high or high school. So besides that, I’ve always valued the love, support, and work ethic of my parents and their parents. I’ve known for years that I have the best friends you can have. And my in-laws are amazing too! (Very lucky, I know!!)
However, I’m not sure that I realized the depth of that gratitude until this past year. And the person that I am now strives to acknowledge my gratitude.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t always. Especially with those closest to me, like my Mom. Or my husband. Or sometimes even closest friends. It’s not that I didn’t feel thankful for them and the things that they did for me. But I didn’t speak my appreciation for them nearly as often as I felt it.
When you go through something like we have been through this past year, you can’t stand alone. It is not possible to do everything all by yourself. And then the gratitude gets deeper and deeper.
We have family and friends that are willing to drop everything to come and help. We have family that moved, yes moved, to support us and the care of our daughters. We have family that insisted on giving to us generously so that we could focus on Lucy’s health and Violet’s well being. We have friends that helped us feel typical, by visiting the hospital and house to see our newborn. We have neighbors that made meals and volunteered to watch Violet. We have folks that reached out to say they were thinking about us and asked how we were doing and how they could help. We have loved ones that did exactly what we needed, without needing to ask what that was. Again, thank you all!
And the more I think about it, the more I realize that it wasn’t just the gratitude that I was keeping to myself at times. Lots of other things too. Like what to say when someone I care for is struggling, or doing really well, or when there is something bothering me. I think one of the reasons for this was worrying about what the right thing to say to was.
All of the kind acts that happened in the past week and that continue in memory of Lucy have me thinking about how powerful that is. All of that kindness rippling through our lives, at a time when we need it the most.
What impact then would speaking from heart have? You can‘t make someone feel grateful, or empathetic, or feel any kind of way for that matter. But I do believe you can encourage gratitude, kindness, empathy, acceptance or any other positive quality, by speaking from the heart.
Even when we need to express thoughts or feelings that might not be well received, speaking from the heart acknowledges and affirms those feelings. Which sets them free.
And now I know that when you speak from the heart, it’s always right.
My name is Lou and I am a mom of two girls living outside of Chicago. I never would have imagined this, but our oldest daughter is at home and our youngest is not. She will be in our hearts forever. Lucy was an amazing soul and we continue to learn lessons from her today.