Kindness Connection

Just the other day I was on LinkedIn, and a name which I had not seen for a very long time popped up under the “People You May Know” sidebar.  Back to my email, I double checked it was the same woman that I suspected and hoped that it was.  Confirmed!  I quickly sent her a note to ask her if she remembered me, to tell her how well my son was doing, and to say that I still appreciate what she did to help me so long ago.

Eight and a half years ago, my husband and I were ushered to some walled off, tiny area of the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital to sit and wait while our little boy was in surgery.  We had brought him into their emergency room less that twenty-four hours prior after his pediatrician told us he had leukemia. To say that our heads were spinning would be an understatement.  We found four seats tucked away in this hidden nook.  After I was seated, my husband briefly went outside to move our minivan to a place where it could remain long-term.  If they ticketed us already, he never mentioned it.  Small stuff at the time.  I sat there with with a dazed look on my face while trying to figure out where would we be able to go and ask how our son was doing when we wanted to, and wondered if someone had already told us and I missed the information.

While I waited for my husband to return, a woman took a seat next to me and made some polite conversation.  She mentioned that she was waiting for, and forgive me if I am not exact on this, her teenaged son to come out of surgery.  Did I mention that I was in a fog at that moment?  She asked me about my own child, and I shared the diagnosis that one of our twin boys was given.  She very kindly told me how she knew a family whose son had a leukemia diagnosis as well and how he had been in successful treatment for over a year at that time.  Then this very kind stranger asked me if I would like her to have the other child’s mom call me.

Another mom whose child was going through treatment and that I could talk to?

Nicky and Timmy 8/4/2006      One month before diagnosis

Nicky and Timmy 8/4/2006 One month before diagnosis

Amazing coincidence, right?  My experience with leukemia up until now was very limited.  I looked forward to talking to someone familiar with the diagnosis and the treatment protocol.

Think about how often we call our friends, our parents, or other family members to ask advice about what to do and what comforts to offer our child who has the flu, the croup, poison ivy, or some crazy virus that’s going around.  I had not given it any thought up until she mentioned it, but who exactly would I have called for advice and support about cancer?

In the blur of the moment, I gratefully gave her my name and telephone number.  Don’t you know that the woman she passed my number along to called not long after we arrive home from the hospital!  She was wonderful.  In fact, she then connected me with her friend whose son had leukemia as well.  Although after a few email I lost touch with the woman from the hospital, the two women that I met as a result of her reaching out to me were fabulous and incredibly supportive.  I am very grateful for having had all of these wonderful ladies in my life.

I certainly had to be a frightful sight that day in the waiting area after being awake for the last thirty-two hours and for as frazzled as I was. It is understandable that other people might have seen how “approachable” I looked and thought to themselves,”hmmm…maybe not,” to starting up a conversation with me!   I am so thankful that she was able to look beyond the bewilderment in my eyes and distracted look on my face and show kindness to me.

Saying hello or asking a person a question may lead you to an opportunity to be supportive or to connect them to someone who can be. May you have an opportunity soon yourself to reach out to someone.  And may those of you who need it be accepting of unexpected kindness.

“…Kindness will be your guide/Put a little love in your heart…”

Jackie DeShannon/Randy Myers/Jimmy Holiday Album: Put a Little Love in Your Heart Year: 1969

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Kindness Connection

  1. Karen

    I love, love, love, this blog! I am so proud of Stacey and Nicky for creating it. Your advice and words of encouragement are inspiring! To every parent that is experiencing leukemia, may they find hope and helpful ideas to help their child conquer each day of chemotherapy.


  2. Thanks, Pat!


  3. Pat

    Great advise. We all need to look for these opportunities to demonstrate compassion.


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