As I was growing up my parents taught me the importance of being kind. It wasn’t a spoken lesson, it was in their everyday actions. Still I don’t know anyone else who will say “Good morning” or “hello” to everyone they pass. They are unique in their unwavering kindness to all. It used to be more than a little embarrassing as a teenager but I see now more than ever how important it is to share a smile with people you come across.
My parents don’t stop at politeness and good manners. Their daily lives are centred around others. From the smallest of animals to the biggest of world issues. If my dad isn’t taking an injured bird to an animal sanctuary you can normally find him and my mum, placard in hand, protesting for a great many number of issues. Always standing up for those that might not have an opportunity to do so for themselves. They have both overcome many hardships in their own lives and yet through it all they have chosen kindness. Always thinking how they can help someone else.
It makes me think of the Roald Dahl quote;
“I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else.
Brian Sibley: Or brains even?
Oh gosh, yes, brains is one of the least. You can be a lovely person without brains, absolutely lovely. Kindness – that simple word. To be kind – it covers everything, to my mind.
If you’re kind that’s it.”
Kindness has been my courage, kindness my strength to keep going. Kindness I have been given in many forms from many people.
I had taken Lexi to the hospital by myself on that fateful night. Andrew staying in the house with our other children until it became clear how serious her condition was. In the moments I was first told by myself how ill Lexi was I felt so terribly alone and scared. Unable to reach anyone on their phone and unable to be with Lexi I was lost for what to do. A nurse who had found me standing alone showed me, and later on my family, such amazing kindness. She found me somewhere to sit, made me tea and held my hand. When it all became too much and I felt like running away and hiding she came with me. While we stood outside the hospital waiting for Andrew to arrive she spoke to me continually and on numerous occasions physically held me up as the world fell down around me. She was nothing short of amazing. As family rushed to be with us in the intensive care unit nothing was too much trouble for this wonderful nurse. She took phone calls for me, contacted loved ones, ferried bags around the hospital and gave amazing hugs. Sarah, is an amazing nurse and I have told her previously, but I hope she realises how much her kindness meant to me and my family that night.
The kindness we have felt since Lexi died has not stopped. We have seen the best in people in the worst of times. Something Vikki spoke about at Lexi’s funeral that means so much to me and my family.
One of my neighbours has made it her sole focus to make sure I am eating. Something I have been struggling with as I now seemingly never feel hungry. Undeterred Claire has brought meals, smoothies and even vitamins to ensure I am kept upright. Another lovely neighbour, Laura, was the first I was able to reach when I was alone in the hospital. She got her husband up to drive Andrew to the hospital while she looked after 4 children between two houses. Both these ladies message me most days to see if I’m ok and if they can walk Annabelle to school. They are amazing. The kindness of those who rallied round making meals, sending cook vouchers or filling our freezer with home cooked meals, know that we only ate for the first few weeks because of you. I thank you all with more love than words can convey.
The kindness I have felt from strangers has been again amazing. I reached out on a local Facebook group for advise. A few days before Christmas in depths of despair I needed someone to tell me how to survive the next week for my other two children. I had reached a low I didn’t know how to stand up from on my own. The response I received was so unexpected. It taught me the importance of asking for help and also accepting offers of help. I was not only allowing myself to be helped but giving people so desperate to do something a tangible thing to do.
Another two ladies who stand out in my mind as heaven sent are Kate and Jill. These two ladies along with their colleagues who work at Lukie’s preschool have offered me shelter from the storm. They have made a safe place for me away from my home where I can go sit, chat, laugh and cry. Kindness is not a good enough word to describe what they have shown. Their messages, cards and daily hugs capture all that is good in this world. I think everyone should start off life as a Tigger at their preschool, it would certainly make for a beautiful world.
In a few days time we are due to go on holiday. An attempt to escape the constant calls and letters we have been receiving and spend some much needed time together as a family. Although I’m not keen to go away the timing of the holiday is important to go now as Andrew’s kidney function has continued to decline. We have a small window of time to get away before Andrew starts a new challenge of waiting for a kidney transplant. It maybe the last opportunity we have for a long time to go away until Andrew’s health improves. We hope it will show Annabelle and Luke that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. And even in planning this trip we have again come across kindness we are truly thankful for. A lovely little girl, Maisie, has sent Annabelle beautiful Disney hair clips to make her smile. Two beautiful souls, Holly and Rachel contacted me asking if they could send Mickey ears for the children. Rachel also sent a lovely pair for me to wear with a beautiful tribute to Lexi included on them. The children have been so excited opening these packages this week and it’s been lovely to see them excited which has in turn made me excited to go. Then there is Mr Disney, Craig! Who I hear has been working away to make it a truly special holiday. We are so thankful.
The kindness we have been shown has been incredible. We will never forget the way people have helped us. We setup a just giving page to raise money in Lexi’s memory and have been blown away by the generosity shown. We are still thinking how we would like to split this money and to what charities but we feel a way to emulate the kindness we have felt would be most fitting.
So when people ask how I am still standing, my answer is I am not alone. I am being held up by everyone of you who has in anyway shown me kindness.