Friday, January 16, 2009

Long Story But Worth The Read

I don't know why I've been so blessed to be the recipient of so many random acts of kindness lately, but it's extremely humbling and I feel like my cup runneth over. I always seek opportunities to serve others who truly need it, hoping that I will be that person that does that one thing that really made a difference for them, that eased their burden in some way. It doesn't happen often, even when the roles are reversed. We always appreciate service, but how often does it really, truly save us? For me, not often. But yesterday's act of service really struck me, because I really think it had to have been divine inspiration.

Yesterday morning I woke up with crazy stomach pains. (Sorry to those of you who have heard about all this, but none of you have heard how it ends.) I'd had them before (it's a little thing I call trapped gas. I'm only telling you this so I don't get a million comments saying I may have this or that and need to get to a doctor right away), but this was the worst. I was doubled over in pain, and after I got Macy out the door I gave Payson free reign of the Xbox (I knew we got that thing for a reason!) and went back to bed. The pain was making me nauseous as well and I knew I had to sleep or I'd be sick.

Some time later (actual amount of time will remain undisclosed) I woke up feeling much better. The pain had localized on my right side (yes, I know, alarm, alarm, appendicitis, but like I said, I've had it before and thought appendicitis and it went away. Plus, it wouldn't have gotten better after sleeping if it was appendicitis) and was totally bearable. I just didn't move much. A few hours later it started spreading across my abdomen again and making me sick to my stomach once again. Well, most of you know what happens when I feel sick to my stomach--cold sweats and hyperventilation ensues and I'm back in bed in the fetal position, willing myself to go to sleep so it will go away. Fortunately, I did, but when I woke up I wasn't sure I felt much of a difference. The nausea was gone but the pain was still there and now my head was pounding. Lovely. I was laying in bed, wanting to die, when I heard my doorbell ring. Uuuuuhhhhh, I thought. Who's ringing my doorbell? Well, I knew I wasn't going to move and I trained my kids a long time ago that when I'm sleeping and the doorbell rings, they not only do NOT run to answer it, but they don't start yelling that someone is at the door either because then it's quite clear to the person on the other side of the door that someone is in fact home. I heard them shushing each other (so cute, I trained them well) and then Macy ran into my room and said someone was at the door. I told her to go look out her front window (our only way to see who it could be, but a nice way because no one ever sees her) to see who it was. All she could tell me was it was a "big white car. Huge." I knew no one with a huge white car and wasn't expecting anyone, and I figured if it was any kind of a friend they'd understand later when I told them why I didn't answer the door...you know, because I was dying.

The doorbell rang a second time and I panicked, but told myself they'd have to go away eventually. Of course Macy ran in to tell me they rang the doorbell again. (Thanks, Mace, it is hard to hear the ding dong aaaallllllll the way over on this side of the house.) I told her to stay quiet, they would go away. (If you're wondering, yes, at this point I was starting to have guilt.)

A minute later she ran back in and said, "They left." I said, "Well did you see the person walking to the car?" She said, "No." Then she said, "Do you want me to see if they left anything?" (That part is kind of weird, because normally I wouldn't assume something was left and I don't know why Macy did.) I said, "Yes, but only if you're sure they're gone."

I listened as I heard my kids open the door then close it a few seconds later and tried to make out what they were saying in the family room. I heard, "wow" and "carrots" and "dinner." Huh? Who would have brought us dinner? I thought back to the people I had mentioned I was sick to. I could think of 4, and only one person knew in detail what was going on. None of them drove a "huge, white car." I was stumped. The kids came running in saying, "Someone left us dinner! There's a card!" I asked to see the card and the card in and of itself warmed my insides. It was beautiful (I hadn't even opened it yet), with our name in absolutely perfect print and a sprig of lavender tied to the envelope with twine. I didn't recognize the handwriting.

I opened it up, dying to know who had done such an amazing thing for us, and when I saw the name, I slowly shook my head in awe and gratitude. I know you're all dying to know who it was, and I swear I don't do this to be mean or torture you. I would never want to embarrass someone or make public something that they intended to be private. I don't know this person extremely well, but if there's one thing I can guess about her, it would be that she would not want a ton of recognition for her kind act.

And that's what touched me so much. It was from a sister in my ward (at church) that I have never really had the chance to get to know very well but have always truly liked and thought was the sweetest person. She and her husband are two of the most genuinely nice, happy people I know. It doesn't surprise me in the least that she would do something like this, but I had to wonder what I had done to deserve such a wonderful thing. Then I wondered...could she have somehow known I was in bed, unable to get up, reeling in pain? I couldn't think of a single way she could have known. Maybe she did, and that would explain it. But from the card she wrote our family, I didn't get that impression at all. I think it was just something she wanted to do, and had no idea how badly I needed it that night. I think she was truly inspired to bring us dinner last night, and probably has no idea.

It was such a testimony to me that the Lord does inspire people to help where it is needed. It made my desire to do so grow even more. I only hope one day I can do for someone what this sister did for me last night. So, to my friend, if you are reading this, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. (It was one of the best meals I've had in a long time!)

16 comments:

debsters said...

To get the impression to help is one thing, but following through is a whole other level to me. That sister in your ward followed her promptings. You are sweet to recognize her in such a way. Hope you're feeling better today.

Aubrey said...

What a cool story! Truly the Lord does inspire. I hope that you get well soon cousin.

Poo-poo on being sick! THPPPPTTT

Ben and Alissa said...

I totally agree with debsters! I quite often get thoughts or ideas of things I could do for someone else but then I talk myself out of it. I'm so glad that whoever it was didn't just ignore the feeling they had and was able to help your family. I too hope you're doing better today!

NaDell said...

That sounds like a good goal to make. Take dinner to someone each week or month of the year that you think needs it. Maybe next year. Or maybe just cookies. That's easier, but still delicious!

lindsay>boo said...

I, too, agree with Debie. I always have great thoughts, it's the whole implementing them thing that I have trouble with. I love things like this. It always makes me feel inspired to pay it forward and make someone else's day!

tharker said...

I love this! I love to hear stories about someone who needed a little something, but never mentioned how badly they needed it only to have that need fulfilled through the kindness of another. (seriously...what is with my crazy run-on sentences?!)

I'm so glad that she followed through on her prompting, you totally deserve it!

Shayla said...

This was great to read today, thanks for sharing. I've had people like this come into my life when I truly need it and it really is such a strong testimony to me of the Savior's love and how we can act in his behalf. I'm sorry I couldn't help yesterday by taking your kids after school. I knew you needed it, but of course it was the one day I had a doctor's appointment. I hope you're feeling better today. I get those same stomach pains every once in a while and they are debilitating.

Noelle said...

this is a lovely story and an even lovlier person. it makes me always want to listen. even if it sounds hard to do or silly (especially since you too don't know each other really well) she did it anyway. thanks for sharing. makes me want to do more.

meohmyers said...

This is really great! I know how badly you needed this, especially yesterday, and I'm so glad she was able to help out without really knowing how much it would help. That's so awesome! You've got some great friends! :)

marisa said...

very cool alicia! i'm glad to hear you were taken care of. hos are you feeling now?

hatch said...

This is very cool. I love it. Thanks for sharing. I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well, I hope you feel better soon.

Dandee said...

What a wonderful act of love. Heavenly Father watches over us and takes care of our needs through the service of our fellow men. We are all so blessed. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Dandee said...

p.s. I hope you're feeling better! :)

Stacia said...

What a tender mercy. I think meals that are given with so much love are that much better tasting too!

So when I finished reading this I am now wondering if you went to the movie last night. Any new movie reviews?

Amy J. said...

Oh, come on...give her some recognition! :) I know I know. I'm just reallly nosey.

Marilyn said...

I love it when I hear a story like this because it is proof that our Heavenly Father knows us. He uses others as an instrument to show us that he is there for us. Always.