Kindness from Others

It always amazes me how kind people can be. We hear all the time how awful our fellow men or women are but I’m here to tell you there are nice people out there. One of these amazing people is my boss, Dori.

On May 17, 2012, I received a call from my sister telling me our mom had died at work, but had been revived. She was being taken by plane to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I lived in Washington State so I couldn’t leave until the next day.

When I arrived I learned Mom’s health wasn’t great…not by a long shot. When the doctors performed an angiogram they found that her heart was working at 28%. The next day she had a massive stroke. The medication she was given to break up the clot caused brain bleeding. We weren’t sure if she would make it. I made many phone calls over those 48 hours, mostly to my boss and co-workers. They were all nurses so they explained the medical terms and told me what questions I needed to ask.

Mom is a strong woman and pulled through, thank goodness! However, the doctors told us she would be disabled for the rest of her life. I had to complete the applications and make many phone calls to start the process for Mom to receive disability and Medicaid. There was also the task of finding a rehabilitation center for her and sorting out her finances. Our dad couldn’t help because he was also disabled from a massive stroke. My sister used all her sick and vacation days and had to go back to work. That left the arrangements and paperwork to me.

Dori was on the phone with me about a week and a half later. I’ll always remember talking to her that day and the kindness she showed me. I was in the waiting room of the facility where Mom had been moved. Dori reassured me that I could take as much time as I needed to get my mom situated. Not everyone has a boss that caring but that wasn’t the most amazing thing she did, although it would have been enough in my book. She asked me if I had enough money. I was shocked. Staying in South Dakota, paying for food and lodging for my sister, dad and me was burning through the little savings I had. My Uncle was kind enough to pay for the first week we stayed in the heart hospital’s hotel, but I couldn’t ask him or any other family members to help financially. They all had bills of their own.

When Dori told me she would give me $1,000 it just blew me away. Tears welled up in my eyes and still do whenever I think about her offer. She didn’t ask me to pay her back. There was only one string attached – someday, when I knew of someone having troubles, I was to give them help. Dori told me that when she was a young single mother, someone had helped her out. This was her way of repaying that kindness – by helping my family in our days of need.

Agreeing to help another person was all she asked. I thanked her for her kindness and told her I would let her know if I needed it. Knowing I had someone to go to if I required help took a large weight off my shoulders.

Even though I ended up not needing the money Dori offered me, I made a promise to myself – I would help someone in the future when they needed it and only ask them to pay the kindness forward. In this way I could honor Dori’s kindness. Even though I’ve thanked her often over the years, I think paying her kindness forward is the best way to thank her. What an amazing person and what an honor it is to know her.

This is a lesson we can all learn from. Take a moment or two to help your fellow human beings. You don’t always have to give people money to help them out. Sometimes just being willing to listen or offering a shoulder to cry on is all that is needed.

Dori, your kindness will always be remembered and will be passed on!

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