The power of kindness.

As you know, we have been planning to do a kindness project for the last couple of weeks, this time geared towards Sam.  Our intentions have hit a rocky road here and there for a variety of reasons, but this past weekend was our time to reflect on that effort.

Although the idea is the brainchild of Amanda, I, Puffy, would like to share a short story with you.

Since the passing of my husband, it has been the kindness of friends, acquaintances, strangers, and business associates that has lifted me up through my darkest times and shown me the true goodness that exists in people.  Today, one of my business vendors, who has been extraordinarily kind to me over the last five months, went above and beyond with me, without my prompting or asking or suggesting or even thinking of it myself.  They knew my husband.  They knew him actually better than me.  In the last 5 months, they have never once missed an opportunity  to show me graciousness, compassion, good will and kindness.  When I tell you that they have made an enormous difference in the quality of my life, it is not an understatement.

It shouldn’t be that we are most aware of the humanity of people when tragedy occurs, but sadly, it is.  But now, during this traditional season of giving, it is our time to urge you all to give something of yourselves to someone else.  To pay it forward and know the joy that comes from giving of yourself.

Our kindness project is simple.  Give something of yourself.  Give it once, or give it every day. Preferably a gift of your spirit, or something that is not of great monetary value.  You can spend money, but don’t make it about money. Whether it is to give the grocery clerk an extra $10 to defray the costs of the shopper who is next in line behind you,  to lay a pointsettia on the porch of a neighbor, to hold the door open for six extra people after leaving a restaurant or to text someone to tell them one quality about them that you admire but have never shared.  The list is endless.  If you’re stumped, here are some ideas.

We guarantee you the act will come back to you tenfold.  If you are so inclined, after you have done your act of kindness, Tweet it out and tag Sam and use the hashtag #payitforward.  Let him know that his own generosity has inspired you and that we know he’s a kindhearted person who deserves kindness and respect in return, despite what has been happening on social media.  There is a goodness that is deep inside of him that should be rewarded with an acknowledgement beyond thanking him for inspiring us to climb a mountain.

You don’t have to be on Twitter or tag Sam to participate.  Some or most of you might be more comfortable with anonymous acts of kindness.  Whatever works for you.  Do it for a month.  Do it until December 31, 2016.  Let this year of sadness and disappointment and loss go out on a positive note.  Try to change the energy in your own life and the life of others.  It’s remarkable how great it feels — to both give and receive.

Cast thy bread upon the waters, for you shall find it after many days…

— Amanda and Puffy

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If the heart could speak.

If the heart could speak, it would have the purest of words and the most articulate of sentiments.  It wouldn’t fumble, delete, strike, copy or paste.  The heart would speak the truth and the essence of the heart would be clear.

Unfortunately, the heart can’t speak.  But, I can.  At least I can try.  I can try to tell you what my heart would say if it had the power of the written word.

I beg your indulgence as I thank you in the sincerest form for all of the giving on this Thanksgiving.

Like so many of you, I have lost loved ones.  People that I hold the nearest and dearest have parted from me.  Some, after long lives well lived, and others too young and too sudden. Parents, an only sibling, a beloved aunt, 5 family pets and most recently, my life love of 26 years.

This holiday season, (with the exception of my daughters, of course), I find myself alone for the first time.  No  grand gatherings, no over-the-river or any of those Norman Rockwell traditions. It’s not easy.  The first.  The first of everything you do alone, but especially the holidays. I try to save my tears for private moments.  Feeling sorry for myself isn’t something I’m prone to do.  Wallowing in pain is for the weak.  At least that’s what I tell myself.

But here’s the thing.  Here is the miracle of the human condition.  Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, despite all that I have lost, I have also gained.  I have gained a family. A different family.  A family by accident, a family not of blood, but a family of friends.

In addition to our growing, caring and empathetic blog family (you guys), I have a truly special small group of friends who, without realizing it, have become a lifeline to me.  Even before the passing of my husband, these friends were there for me with expressions of caring and tokens and gifts and words of affection.  But, when I faced real adversity last June, when I sent those DMs giving my friends the horrible news of my husband’s passing, I found out that family lives wherever the heart decides.

In addition to thanking all of you — my blog family — I need to thank my “girls”. The women who have ushered me through the last 5 months and helped keep me grounded and sane and loved when I didn’t know whether right was left or up was down. I need to honor you.  I need to publicly honor you all.

First, and foremost my caring and loving and funny and sensitive and thoughtful blog partner/friend-for-life Amanda; my darling and joyous and quirky and selfless and generous Stella; my sweet and giving and sentimental and protective Leslie; my wise and wonderful and warm and witty friend Sassy; and my caring and gracious and brave angel, Dianna.  You ladies will never, ever, ever know what you have done for me these past 5 months.  Never.

Today, these beautiful flowers arrived at my door.  Tomorrow, I know another surprise awaits me.  As someone who spent the entirety of her adult life doing for others, I find myself in the odd and yet enlightening place of now needing and receiving.  It is one thing to want friends and family; quite another to need them.

Right now I need all of you.  And, I thank all of you.  From the bottom of my heart for holding this broken blogger together through the toughest time of my life.

Love to you all this holiday season and forever.  And, as my wonderful husband would say, “May God Be With You There.”

— P.


Happy Thanksgiving

We all now the world is a little dark and rough right now, with Thanksgiving just around the corner I thought I would share this link/website I recently discovered and say that I am super thankful for the friendship of Puffy, Stella, Sassy, Dianna, Pilar and others in this fandom and you mean so much to me. You have all been kind, patient, and incredibly generous. The holidays can be a difficult and lonely time for many,  remember to always check up on those around you (you never know what anyone is facing privately), make sure the people around you know you care, and even people you don’t know can sometimes use a reminder that people care about their well-being. Practice kindness to one another as often as you can.