By, Suzie See- Guest Blogger
I was just shy of my 16th birthday and it was two days before Christmas, when fire raged through my family home and burned everything we owned — including the Christmas tree and gifts. Now this may seem horrible for most as far as a memory, but waking up Christmas morning to the realization that material things can be replaced, but your family cannot be, is a lesson I will treasure for eternity. We were safe and alive!
On that Christmas morning, the article of the fire ran in the local paper and the doorbell to the friends home we were staying at began to ring – NONSTOP. Complete strangers were taking time away from their own holiday to bring clothing, food and even wrapped presents to me and my sisters.
A fond memory of this time was the private joke my sisters and I shared. Even back then, fashion was important to teens and we would tease one another and ask “where’d you get that shirt. Where’d you get those darling shoes”. The pun was – we had no idea! Someone out of the goodness of their hearts gave us the clothing we wore, because we had lost everything. The fire raged in the middle of the night while we were sleeping.
My sister escaped with a blanket wrapped around her. To have someone bring a pair of shoes was beyond my imagination, but folks did! I think this is why Random Acts of Kindness are so important to me. Because of these events, I do my best to honor those who opened their hearts to my family by doing my own small, random act of kindness.
Every Thanksgiving, I buy dozens upon dozens of roses and I then drive all over my neighborhood and give a single rose to anyone who had to work the holiday as opposed to being able to spend it with family. When I first started this years ago, there weren’t that many places open. So many places are open now that my roses don’t last as long as I would like, but I give as many as I can!
Squeeze your family and friends a little tighter this year. As one of my “family” members said this year, it’s not about presents, but presence of family/friends together that counts.