My cat died last night, and it was really quite devastating. She was old – just about 16-years-old to be exact, and she lived with us for 15 years. We have been feeling that this day was hidden somewhere in the shadows just waiting to sneak up us, but never did I think that the end would happen so suddenly with no warning. One minute she was eating her breakfast with vigor and the next she was fighting for breath. I suppose we’ll never really know what happened, but truthfully, what does it matter anyway? We’re not getting her back, and we can all find comfort in knowing that she spent her last moments feeling the love pouring out of us.
I haven’t felt inspired to write lately, and even though I am extraordinary busy with work and school, writing during my free moments just hasn’t felt natural. I hadn’t planned on writing about our cat dying either even though I have paid tribute to each of our pets as they crossed over the Rainbow Bridge over the years.
So what changed my mind you might all be wondering? Simple. It was the power of kindness.
When Nutmeg died last night, I posted a picture of her on Facebook and sent a RIP message out to the world. I am absolutely moved and kind of dumbfounded, too, by the result. Friends from all parts of my life left their beautiful remarks, but what really amazed me was the amount of strangers that wrote to me, too. One woman emoted, “I don’t even know you and I’m crying. I dread this day. Condolences.”
She summed up the sentiment. Our pets touch us in ways that people just can’t. They speak to our gentlest sides and somehow know what we are feeling and offer comfort in their loving gaze. Their stare speaks volumes – perhaps a deeper language than even the spoken word.
So with all that kindness comes inspiration. I feel so connected to my fellow pet lovers, because they get it, and that is a beautiful thing.
My song of the day is by the Pretenders. “I’ll Stand By You” is the ultimate show of support, and I am feeling it all around. Thank you friends. xo
I’ve been wanting to write about this story for a couple of days now, and it is certainly not a story that deserves to play second fiddle to any other. This is a story that should outshine anything else, because it one that is a champion for kindness.
My daughter and I were at the mall the other day and stopped to fulfill our parched weary shopper’s bodies at the pretzel stand. She had a hankering for a Sprite, and I needed my regular Diet Coke standard. When it was our turn to order, the lady in front of us, turned around with three dollar bills in her hand. “For your Sprite, sweetie.” She handed my daughter the money and walked away.
Wow! I mean really…just Wow! I’ve heard about pay it forward, but I have never been the recipient of it. My daughter and I were stunned! She paid for her drink with the money. It cost only $1.50, so she had half the money left over. “Mom, do you think I should leave this money in the tip jar. That lady was so kind to me, and maybe I should show kindness to someone else, too.” Oh, I love my little girl. She is truly the kindest of souls.
“No, honey. That lady wanted you to have that money. I’ll put my money in the tip jar.” My daughter was so excited to have $1.50 to spend. She ended up buying bracelets that “she and her teddy bears could wear.” So sweet, and she was so thrilled.
Anyhow….what a beautiful moment we experienced together. It was a real lesson in generosity and kindness, and I know we both got a lot out of it.
My song of the day is Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” because kindness is the truest color of them all. I will make it a point to show as much of it as I can, and of course, some lucky recipient will experience a pay it forward moment from me very soon. It’s my turn to spread the love.
This is birthday week for my sweet hubby! He was born on St. Patrick’s Day, and every year, my kids and I dream up big, fun plans for him. This year is no exception. I am always so impressed with my kid’s imaginations, and I wish I could share everything they’ve expressed with me. Of course, I can’t, because my husband may read this blog. We wouldn’t want to ruin anything for him, but I will tell you all this. I am jumping out of my skin with excitement. My kids and I love showering him with birthday kindness.
Birthdays are the best, and this week is all about him. I love you, honey! My song of the day is for you to start this birthday week out right. I am choosing his very favorite song today. My husband loves “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday.” Click HERE to hear the Spiral Staircase classic and think of my amazing hubby as you listen to it. It is just so him, and it’s true….I really do love him more today than yesterday. May the festivities of Birthdaypalooza 2013 commence. Happy, happy birthday week to my love! xo
There is a video floating around on Facebook that my husband posted this morning. The title of the video is : “Videos That will Change Your Life. I Have No Words Left.” I decided to check it out and was so touched by the message that people have been responding to.
The video is actually a music video from a band out of England called Noah and the Whale, and the song is called “Give a Little Love.” The concept behind the video is that we, the viewers, are peering in on acts of everyday kindness. At the end of the video, a lone boy is painting a wall that has been graffitied, and people one by one begin joining him to help clean it up. It is heart-warming, and the song is pretty cool, too.
What touches me most, however, is not the song and the video, but the idea that the song and video is moving people enough to share it. The fact is, most people in this world are inherently good and recognize that acts of everyday kindness are what makes the world big and beautiful and special.
Noah and the Whale has profoundly touched people with their art, and isn’t that really the primary goal of any artist? It’s wonderful to see someone successful in doing so, and that is why “Give a Little Love” is my song of the day. I want to support their efforts and this message. Click HERE to check out the song on Youtube. Way to go, Noah and the Whale! You’ve delivered a truly beautiful message, and this Songstress is applauding you today!
Tucson has a local treasure that continuously impresses me. Ben’s Bells is a non-profit organization founded by Jeanette Mare in 2002. The creation of the organization was in response to her son’s tragic sudden death caused by clogged airways with a case of croup cough. He was 6-years-old, and Jeanette says of that time in her life, “The depth of pain we were experiencing was beyond description…Slowly, we began incorporating coping strategies into our lives. We came up with a design for Ben’s Bells and started making them in our back yard studio with friends. The therapeutic effect of working with clay was amazing as was the power of being surrounded by people talking and working toward a common goal. We decided to make hundreds of the Bells and distribute them randomly in our community to encourage the kindness that we so depended on to get through each day.”
She has done just that and has been so successful spreading kindness throughout this community. Here is a picture of a beautiful Ben’s Bell:
Not only can a local Tucsonan possibly find one of these bells with a reminder to spread kindness, but Mare has also developed programs within local schools to encourage kindness among students and staff, and community members can nominate people who they feel deserve a bell for their extraordinary efforts of genuine kindness. It is the beautiful nonprofit with such goodness at its core. After meeting Jeanette Mare at a few events, it is easy to be drawn to her. Her passion for spreading kindness and making a difference in the community is contagious as her mission is so pure. Please check out Ben’s Bells website by clicking HERE.
Ben’s Bells has been in the news over the last several weeks. There has been a large community effort to volunteer at the Ben’s Bells’ headquarters in order to make bells for Newtown, CT. A “kindness committee” headed to Connecticut and distributed the Bells in hopes of reaching out to this hurting community. Tucson, after all, has been through our own suffering from a mass shooting, and yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of that awful day. All across Tucson, people rang bells as a message of peace and kindness and solidarity. We rang bells for Newtown, too, and Ben’s Bells helped us give them a gift from a city that feels a kinship.
Please let Ben’s Bells be a model for people everywhere. It is our duty to spread kindness in a world that sometimes needs mending but also just randomly and without being provoked.
My song of the day is 70’s disco favorite “You Can Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward as reminder to ring joyfully as much and as often as you can. Click HERE to enjoy this fun song, and please don’t forget to “be kind!”