Holly Easley began her cancer journey five years ago when she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). After two types of chemotherapy and then a stem cell transplant, she says she loves life, is improving daily and enjoys blogging about the cancer experience at http://hollyeasley.wordpress.com/.
This morning, as I was putting my grocery bags into my car, a man walked up to me and said," I just watched you walking to your car and noticed how skinny you are ... you OK?"
"I'm fine; it's the stem cell transplant/chemo diet." He was very kind and genuine, and wished me the best. I'd never seen the man before, it was just a random act of kindness.
Random acts of kindness can come from anywhere
On Halloween while at my local oncologist's office, a young girl walked up to me and gave me her favorite piece of candy from her trick-or-treat bag.
In Houston, Wade and I were trying a new Mexican restaurant for breakfast, and there was only one other English speaking couple there. The woman came up to us and recommended what we should order, which turned out to be great!
By the end of our meal she had given me her business card and offered to help in any way we needed.
I received a beautiful, handmade prayer shawl from a stranger. Then my mother-in-law's brother, whom I've never met, gave me his wife's scripture quilt (she passed away from cancer).
The greatest gift of all
I consider all of the cards, prayers, gifts, calls, food and blog comments to be random acts of kindness. But the most amazing, ultimate, random act of kindness was the person who donated the stem cells for my transplant, anonymously. Wow!
I can't put into words how this made me feel.
Thankful, grateful, loved, lucky, blessed, all seem inadequate.
It's the ultimate act of kindness to give part of yourself to save a stranger's life!
Thank you, donor. I don't know you, but I love you.
I could go on with my personal experiences with random acts of kindness, but the guy who spoke to me this morning made me think about what a huge difference the little things make to those of us with cancer.
It's easy to get into a funk when you are sick, weak and tired, and you start to feel detached.
Those side effects don't help, either! (Though I love my skinny body; crazy, fuzzy hair trying to come back; my Prednisone chipmunk cheeks; and those "peach fuzz" whiskers!)
What a difference a smile can make.
Small things lift you up and turn your whole day around.
Don't be shy or afraid. Reach out. It will warm your soul a thousand times over. As Sir Paul MCartney said, "The love you get is equal to the love you make."