It would take some effort and thought to remember all the gifts I have received over the years, but I had no problem recalling other small, caring gestures that have stayed with me and I was readily able to pull them from memory.
In middle school, there was a big “party” where all the boys and girls I was friends with were invited…everyone but me that is. I was devastated. My best friend decided not to go to the party and her mom took us to dinner and a movie instead. I can vividly remember a picture her mom took of us sitting on a piano bench before we went out. I even remember what I was wearing. But more importantly, I remember how amazed I was that she would do that for me. This was THE party and she was choosing not to go because she knew my feelings were hurt and she didn’t want me to feel left out. I’m not sure I ever thanked her appropriately for that profound moment in my life, so thank you Pam!
And there are others. A sweet note from my sister after I had lost a bunch of weight telling me how proud she was of me. I still have that note because it was unusual for her to share her thoughts and feelings with me like that. The flowers I received from my other sister on my first day of school one year just saying good luck. My good friend who brought me a warm, fresh baked cookie by my office for no other reason but she thought I’d enjoy it. The co-worker who remembered me mentioning my favorite holiday cookie and when she made a batch, she made a few extra for me. A lengthy handwritten note from another friend thanking me for my support during a difficult time in her life. My college friends all making the trip for my dad’s funeral and my best friend who was with me every step of the way during that horrible time. The pimento cheese my husband once spent 20 minutes looking for in the grocery store because he remembered me saying how much I loved it. Coming home to a clean kitchen because my kids knew I had a stressful day. The list could go on and on.
As we step into November, the month where we count our blessings and speak of our gratitude, I am going to focus on these small gestures. I am going to be more intentional in my thoughtfulness towards others as well as more intentional in the acknowledgment of the thoughtfulness of others. Is there a small gesture you received from someone that meant more to you than you ever expressed? If so, I’d love to hear about it! If you don’t want to share it here, it’s never too late to say thank you to that person! And let’s never lose sight of the impact the small acts of kindness mean to those on the receiving end…it can be life-changing.