Last week I wrote about the kindness of a stranger at Target (here). This past Friday I received in the mail a note from friends who also follow my blog. They wrote because they were moved by that post about the woman who had bought a game for my classroom. They wanted me to know that, and they also enclosed a check to use “the next time you go to Target for games” for your students. Again, I was deeply touched. I realized how easy it can be to forget how many kind people there are in this world–people who actively try to spread kindness in small but oh-so-meaningful ways.

Then, on Saturday a bulky envelope arrived in my mailbox. Within was a beautifully hand-crafted book created by my writing group, the Inklings. They had filled the pages with bookmarks, stationary, and poems to comfort me as I grieve the loss of my father. I was left teary-eyed and speechless by their creativity and thoughtfulness. As I wrote them in thanks, “…just when life sends you reeling with a blow, hands reach out to hold you up.” Again, such kindness.

In her poem, Kindness, Naomi Shihab Nye writes,
“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”

In these days as I traverse a raw grief, I feel all my prior losses reverberating in tune with this newest sadness. It can be easy to listen only to those somber notes, to sink into sorrow.

Nye’s poem goes on to say,

“Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.”

Kindness matters. From the examples above, to the outpouring of thoughtful words and gestures from oh-so-many. Though some of my days are filtered darkly through a screen of grief, kindness has clearly raised its head. I feel its presence beside me and it comforts me, alters the shape of my grief, lightens its load. Ultimately, it allows me to feel blessed as well as bereft.

Thank you, my friends.

23 thoughts on “Kindness

  1. Tim Gels says:

    Molly, going through hard times is, well, hard — sometimes unbearably so. I’m happy to see that the kindness is following on the heels of sorrow, and that you’ve got a group of writers (amongst all of us) that cares for you like it does. May you find kindness at an ever-increasing rate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on kindness, and the poetry. Those moments, experiences, people who give kindness so generously add so much meaning to our lives, perhaps now more than ever—but always, always making an important impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maryleehahn says:



  4. dmsherriff says:

    Molly, I am so sorry for your loss. It’s in the kindness that we can see the light that helps us keep on moving. Your slice reminds me of one my my favorite lines in a Christmas song by Jewel “in the end, only kindness matters”. Let the memories make you smile and kindness support you. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. margaretsmn says:

    Linda’s creativity is a gift. Kindness is easy when it’s for someone like you. I carry this poem with me often for poem in your pocket day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gailaldousmsncom says:

    Molly, I am sorry for the loss of your father. Losing a parent is difficult. I am happy for you that you received a check from thoughtful and kind friends to buy another game for your students. I also happy for you that you received writing and reading gifts from your thoughtful and kind Inkling friends. Wrap this kindness and love from friends and the lady around you, to warm you, to help you in a time of grief, and to bask in the joy you feel from these acts of kindness and love.

    Thank you for sharing the gift of your writing and photos that always bring me joy; I’m sure they bring joy to many others, also.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I send my sincere condolences and a virtual hug. Life is fragile and uncertain. You are in the middle of a grieving period so please fill your heart with the bushels of kindness that come your way from friends and family near and far. Thank you for sharing your thoughts during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tabatha says:

    One kindness leading to another…very beautiful, even in shadow. Sending you love, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lainie Levin says:

    What a beautiful post. Sometimes when things are rough, it is the smallest and most surprising acts of love and compassion that open our world back up again, even if it’s just a crack.

    You’ve also inspired me to bring that poem back to my kiddos. Not sure we can hear that one too many times…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your Target posting got us thinking of a friend who teaches Spanish at an underfunded Catholic school in the DMV (Washington, DC area). She too shared the story with her students to add more ripples to the pond that is that wonderful woman at Target.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just think how proud he must have been of his daughter in Maine. Hannah and I carry you and your family in our hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

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