New year. New outlook on life. New me.
At least I hope I succeed with the last 2. This last month, specifically January 14th, would've marked my dad's 61st birthday. Did I think it would be tough? Yes. Was I afraid I would be a depressing mess? Yes. Did I let the fact that he is no longer with us bring me down? No. In fact, though I've had my share of breakdowns this month, I realized that this has been one of the most rewarding months of my life. A friend of mine did random acts of kindness this past fall in honor of her birthday and I loved reading about them, so I thought, what better way to honor my dad than to do 61 random acts of kindness in the month of January in HIS honor. Never would I have imagined how much joy this would bring to my heart by doing these things. I didn't get to see all of the acts received by others, but the good surprise that I can imagine it brought them, makes my heart smile. So, while I would've much rather had my dad celebrating here on earth and eating ice cream cake with us, I hope he was able to watch the show from heaven (while eating his ice cream cake in heaven, of course). I kept a list to keep me on track, and even took a few pictures. I'm hoping that this blog post will be a good reminder to me of how these things made me feel if I am ever have a crappy day, which I feel happens more often lately.
So, here they go:
1. Sent a good friend a text to remind her that I was thinking about her and all that she went through with breast cancer.
2. Donated to Scout's Angels (program that brought PTSD therapy dogs to Newtown, CT).
3. Sent a stuffed monkey to a friend's sweet newborn baby who was in the hospital in St. Louis.
4. Dropped off card and hot chocolate mix for one of our Pastors at church thanking him for all he does for our church.
5. Mailed a card to my dad's high school teacher who has been so kind in the last few years to mom and dad.
6. Mailed card to one of my dearest friends letting her know that I was thinking about her and praying for her.
7. Brought extra fruit and cheese to share at my volleyball tournament.
8. Paid for friends lunch,
9. Mailed a card to another one of my bestest friends just to say how much I appreciate her,
10. Donated 2 jugs of laundry detergent to HLFCS (no kill shelter where I adopted my new dog, Buddy).
11. Left box of peanut butter fudge for our mail lady (who in turn left me a sweet note about my dad).
12. Left inspirational quote in locker #61 at the gym.
13. Made a point to tell one of the SLS Saints basketball players how well he did in his game.
14. Called a friend to see how she was doing after losing her mom last month.
15. Went to lunch with a good friend I don't get to see often and paid for her lunch.
16. Bought popcorn at the movies for friends.
17. Dropped off candy during the work day for a friend.
18. Took donuts to the Alzheimers Association office in Springfield.
19. Visited SWMOA (where my dad used to work) and took them all the fixings for an ice cream social. Apparently they all joined together that afternoon, had some ice cream and shared memories of my dad...this made my heart smile.
20. Bought donuts for my sisters and mom.
21. Took a plate of cookies to Gorman Scharpf funeral home (I appreciated all they did for us when my dad passed).
22. Took Valentine art supplies to Lost & Found Grief Center.
23. Made cookies for the staff at the Arbors .
24. Paid for an elderly man's lunch at Bootleggers in Aurora (this was one of my favorite things...When he found out, he came over to say thank you. He was such a kind man.).
25. Prepared and took dinner to a friend.
26. Paid for my cousin's lunch.
27. Bought a friend breakfast.
28. Opened the door for an elderly couple.
29. Took the trash and recycling out for mom.
30. Printed a picture for 3 guys at my office of them with one of their close buddies who passed away recently.
31. Bought Valentine M&Ms for my office.
32. Mailed card to an elderly lady in our congregation at church who's health is deteriorating, letting her know that she is in my thoughts and prayers.
33. Bought a friend dinner when we met to catch up on life.
34. Surprised a family at the Lutheran school with a gas gift card. They recently adopted 2 children (siblings) from Columbia, South America.
35. Gave encouraging words to a friend when she was having a rough day.
36. Helped a lady save money at Kirklands by showing her a new app to download.
37. Bought goodies for the entire team at a volleyball tournament.
38. I was extra friendly to a difficult client.
39. Volunteered to drive everyone to Cole Camp for a tournament.
40. Bought a round of drinks for friends.
41. Made a point to talk to a young highschooler at church about her freshman year.
42. Made a special point to go over to an elderly couple that we see every week at Panera.
43. Sent an electronic Andy's gift card to a friend who was having a case of the "Mondays".
44. Bought a brownie for our receptionist at work who does so much for us all!
45. Mailed card and Andy's gift card to friend and Pastor who did my dad's graveside service.
46. Gave pedicure gift certificate to a new mom in the NICU at Cox.
47. Dropped off a gift bag of magazines, word searches, and candy for a breast cancer patient. The nurse wanted me to deliver it to her myself so I got the opportunity to meet her. She was a woman about my mom's age, and couldn't get over the fact that I had gotten her a gift. One of my favorite moments I've ever had.
48. Mailed card and Orange Leaf gift card to a lady in our church who also has a husband with the early onset of Alzheimers. I used to tell mom all of the time how strong she was and how much I looked up to her while caring for dad for those years when his health started to go downhill, so I wanted to let her know the same. Until you go through something like this personally, it's hard to understand the life these people live. It is so hard and both her and mom are so strong. I just wanted to let her know that.
49. Left 2 lottery cards on a random van at Pricecutter.
50. Dropped off flowers to a new mom at Cox that didn't have a lot of family.
51. After looking through pictures on my computer, I ran across a picture of my boss with his granddaughter and emailed it to him.
52. While in heavy traffic, I let a car sneak in on Battlefield from the parking lot.
53. Brought my mom's lunch to her after she left it at home.
54. Bought an extra frosty for the car behind me in the drive thru.
55. Bought frostys for the principal at the Lutheran school and my mom.
56. Helped the cart boys bring in the carts in the parking lot at Pricecutter.
57. Left money to pay for dad's favorite ice cream flavor on the bottom of the gallon at Pricecutter.
58. Donated to Care to Learn.
59. Left the change for a kid to ride the Flinstones car ride.
60. Bought Starbucks for a stranger.
61. Sent a card to a veteran thanking him for his service.
Here are a few pics of a few of the things I did: