When Kindness Brings Tears   9 comments

In her amazing film What I Want My Words To Do To You, Eve Ensler says to one of her students at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, “Haven’t you ever been so weak that just a small act of kindness, a hand on the shoulder, can bring you to tears?”

That’s where I am at this moment in my life.  So tired, so weak, so fragile really that not even an actual kindness but just the thought of kindness can crumple my face and leave me breathless with tears. 

Today, as I was driving home from work – where I had the true privilege of cleaning windows in a gorgeous timberframe while I listened to an audio book (and I’m getting paid!) – I glanced over to see a box sitting on my passenger seat.  It was addressed to my dad and was from my sister-in-law.  She has started making beautiful pieces of jewelry, and so I expect this is some of her work.  I also expect it is my birthday present from my dad.

Just the thought of that kindness, that he had thought ahead enough to get me a present, that he had done so when, until this time last year, Mom had always gotten all the gifts, and that he had been gracious and thoughtful enough to buy from my sister-in-law at a time when her business is just starting – just the thought of that potentially being true almost doubled me over in . . . . well, what emotion was that?  – gratitude, sadness, grief, joy . . . all of those.  Kindness breaking me down.

Then, a half-hour later, a dear friend messaged me to ask if I want to get dinner, see a concert, and visit her infant grandchildren.  I was so glad she couldn’t see my tears or hear my sobs.

Sometimes, we don’t see the joy, the gratefulness that our simple acts of kindness give.  But from one sore, tired, and fragile woman to all of you, let me say those things matter – so much more than you will ever know.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by kindness? 



9 responses to “When Kindness Brings Tears

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  1. I’ve been thinking of you, knowing it’s nearing the anniversary of your mom’s death. You’re right, those small acts of consideration are sometimes overwhelming to a tender spirit.

    Wishing you peace in the days ahead.

  2. Not even sure where to begin. Sorry you are going through a rough time. Wish I could send you an act of kindness.

  3. I found your blog through a friend and it has been a blessing…thanks for always sharing your heart.

  4. Hey! Andi, There you are again, and now you’ll know I’m not doing my homework. And in answer to your question, “Yes!” Gotta go. Lovely story. -k @FitOldDog

  5. You’re right. Kindness is all that matters. Thank you for sharing a beautiful story.

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