"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."~Cynthia Ozick
As I was sitting on my back porch, sipping lemonade and browsing through the pages of this month's issue of "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine, I came across a kindness idea in the calendar section that read "bake cookies for your local fire department." These ideas tend to jump out at me now and I took out my pen and jotted the idea down on my "kindness list." If I recall correctly it landed somewhere around #10 as a cute idea that I would soon try. It was, however, not on my list for this week.
Then something terrible happened. By this point, we have all heard of the explosion in Montcoal, West Virginia that left 25 men dead and four others still missing. I was raised in the mountains of Virginia and coal mining is a part of everyday life there. If you do not directly have a member of your family employed in the coal industry then you at the very least have a friend who is. In fact, my father-in-law spent 20 years in the coal mining industry before leaving to pursue other career interests. There is no way to avoid that coal mining becomes embedded in your blood and when something as tragic as this occurs, you cannot help but feel as though these are members of your own family. Though we are all raised knowing the risks associated with coal mining, there is no way we can prepare ourselves for the reality of such a nightmare.
One of my closest childhood friends has a husband that devotes his life to being a rescue miner. He was called to respond to the tragedy in West Virginia and while I was lying in bed saying prayers for his safety, I couldn't stop thinking about how his selfless heroism was a true blessing to the families of the lost miners. Isn't that the ultimate act of kindness? The complete and utter giving of your self to help save someone who you may never even know.
That was it. It came rolling back to me like a flood.
The article about giving cookies to a local fire department, the one that had seemed so "cute" a week earlier, had just floored me with its gravity. How could these little acts of kindness even begin to thank the men and women who spend each day saving our lives?
As little as the act seemed, it was now #1 on my list and I have never been more excited.
For this act of kindness, I enlisted the help of my good friend Josette Cruce. She was more than glad to participate in this blog as she tends to be one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. We baked four bags of cookies. On the front, we placed a little "Thank you" note.