Friday, December 31, 2010

Kindness: the gift that keeps on giving

2010 was a great year for me, in which I accomplished many things, thanks to the kindness of others. With the help of several friends like Anita Davison, Kristina Emmons, Mirella Patzer and Gemi Sasson, one publishing goal is complete. I have been able to give some of that good advice back to new friends, like Michelle Gregory, as she revised and published on Kindle. My co-workers have been a tremendous support, like a second family through the good and not-so-good times. And, my real family - what can I say? Several states, oceans and two continents may separate us, but when we need each other, everyone is there. It is only fitting that my year ends as it started, with acts of kindness.

This past weekend's huge blizzard dumped piles of snow on NYC, up to two feet outside my house. It also left my mom stranded at the dialysis center she attends every other day of the week. On Sunday night, while her family was at home worrying about her, she spent the night in a chair, hungry and without her medications for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Our one attempt to get her out left my brother in-law bogged down in deep snow. By Monday, my nerves were absolutely frayed, and I was determined that she was not going to spend another night away from the house. My cousin Tricia volunteered to go with me and we ventured out into the knee-deep snow on Monday afternoon. We got a bus, which crept along for a bit until it could not go any further on the road impeded with stranded cars and ambulances. Then we walked eight blocks until a cab came. We managed five blocks until the cab could not go further. It was time to hike, up a hill for 10 blocks to the train station. After two stops and three more blocks, we made it to the dialysis center. I might have turned back a couple of times during those six hours, without the kind endurance of my cousin.

Now, it was time to make it back home and I dreaded it, knowing that my mom was not at full strength. Two blocks from the dialysis center, while desperately looking for a bus, and fruitlessly trying to hail a cab, two Good Samaritans pulled up in a SUV and asked us where we were going. After a bit of hesitation, we told them and they told us to hop in. It took them two hours, in which we stopped twice, dug out and pushed the vehicle along the way, but we made it home. It was a nice reminder that strangers can be kind, too. To Marlon in New Jersey and Renee from Brooklyn, thanks for teaching me that lesson.

With all the blessings I've received this year, I bid a fond farewell to 2010 and look forward to 2011. Wishing all of you a happy and blessed New Year.

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