The beginning of each New Year brings hopes as well as challenges…and the past two weeks have provided both. Right after we poured the last drop of champagne and cleaned confetti from the floor my beloved grandfather suffered a series of strokes.
Let me state for the record he is not your average 88 year old. Right before his stroke he’d been taking down Christmas lights and doing some handy work around the house. He’s spunky, loves a cocktail, and a good dance— in one word he’s fabulous! We had already been wheeling from his first stroke right before Thanksgiving, but come Christmas he was on the mend. Maybe a little slower than before, but getting his strength back and then BAM…he’s hit again, and this time left with the inability to walk on his own. Needless to say, his recovery this time around is going to be longer and a lot harder.
Regardless of how you feel…age sometimes gets the best of you.
While I was hanging around the hospital trying to lift his spirits there seemed to be an endless parade of people coming through his room to visit him. From cousins, to children, to friends, and church goers he hasn’t been at a loss for love and support on his journey t recovery.
While in the hospital one of my Aunt’s commented on my grandparent’s “seeds of kindness coming home to bloom”. Since my grandparents made the trek from Jamaica to the U.S. their home as far as I can remember has been like Ellis Island—greeting newcomers to the states. They have provided countless meals, shelter, clothing and the list goes on for anyone and everyone in need. Every Sunday there was an endless supply of smell-good deliciousness coming out of the kitchen and steady traffic coming through the front door.
So, it was no surprise that now in their hours of need the foot traffic has picked up. You see, they never asked for anything in return from all the people they helped…and they never expected anything. The satisfied bellies and grateful smiles were enough for them. I learned a lot over the past few days caring for my grandparents. I remembered the first lesson they ever taught me…be kind.
We operate at a pace of “full steam ahead” all the time. Plowing our way through life has become the new norm. We have a multitude of gadgets invented to make our lives more “convenient” and “easier” yet they have robbed us of our basic decency and manners. How many times do you ignore a call coming in because you’re too busy? How often are you sitting right in front of someone and simultaneously typing on your device? We may scroll through a million updates a day on Facebook “connecting” to people yet not really knowing them at all. Real relationships matter, being kind and thoughtful is important…and it goes beyond a random shout out over Twitter.
My grandparents taught me the value of closeness and true connectivity because without it we are just floating through the world without genuine roots. So, start planting your seeds of kindness now, so they take root and blossom later…when you’ll need a bouquet of hope to get you through!
Musical Inspiration after the jump! Kindness is a gift we should give to others daily. If you haven’t started to plant your seeds…it’s not too late to seek “Redemption”.