Monday, February 27, 2006

acts of kindness

Just feeling a little thoughtful as I silently curse the apartment for not having hot water.

The other day, I was just aimlessly thinking, filling in blanks with whatever mad-lib memory I could come up with. And it's not too difficult to eventually think of my accident, because I still think about it even though it's behind me. The hip is a reminder, as is the scar, and the limp, etc. I'm not going to rehash on that. What I remembered was this person I used to work with at Tinseltown, Josh. He was an usher and just the nicest guy. There was a southern charm to him, even though he was from PA like the rest of us I believe. You could see him holding doors and answering with "Yes mam" to women and just being that good guy that no guy disliked. I didn't know him super well, but at Tinseltown, you kind of know everyone. We weren't great friends or anything, just the occasional chat here and there when he would work his lone Sunday shift. Anyways, while I was at HealthSouth doing rehab, I got visits from my close friends and family - Becky, Hanni, Melissa and Jessica, Patton, Ian, mom, dad, etc. And a few people who I didn't quite expect, like Charlie and a few Vietnamese people, although I wasn't surprised by them either. But Josh, he visited me all by himself. No one else there to take the awkwardness out of a tough situation. It's hard to see people destroyed and damaged and undeserving of their current life state. I was so touched that he visited me, because I felt I wasn't even a blip on his friendship radar. So to see him was just shocking and touching all at once and it felt like such a big deal. Yes, you could say, "Well Vonda, you got into an almost fatal accident and most kind normal people, whether friend, family, or acquaintance would feel compelled to visit and see how you were doing." And OK, I will give you that. But Josh... he went so above and beyond that. He was so sincere and heartfelt, telling me how upset he was to hear about this and how I didn't deserve this accident. Not only that, he asked around before he came to see me and tried to figure out what he could do to make me feel better and occupy my time. Do you know what he did? He went out and bought me the Cold Mountain DVD, and... Sex and the City Season 6, part 1 - the DVD I had been looking to buy right before my accident. I was floored. These are very thoughtful (and pricey) gifts. He did so much for me, a girl he saw once a week who chatted about aimless PA life. And... not only that... he also handed me a card and warned me there would be money in it. I couldn't take that money! But he wouldn't let me give it back or open it before he left. He said, I needed the money more, and since I wasn't working anymore, he would work for me. So the Sundays were now days he worked for me. I opened the card after he left... and well... I won't say the sum that was in there, but it was definitely several Sundays worth of work. I cried. I have never ever been hit with generousity like that before, especially from someone who didn't know me that well or love me unconditionally like family and friends. I cried for a while and finally, for the first time in several hard weeks, I felt truly optimistic. That memory is one I treasure and hold dear to my heart. I wonder where Josh is now. I think I need to do investigative work and dig and send him something. I don't think he knows how much he did for me. How his extremely small, but large, kind act altered my life.

It's moments like that that remind me how GOOD people can be. How great life can be. And how one thoughtful act can go a long way. I know this sounds so simple and trivial, but... be kind to everyone and especially thoughtful of those you care for. You never know who's life you might be changing.


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