Kindness comes from the heart and at Choosy Kids, we promote keeping your heart healthy. It doesn’t always have to happen through nutrition and exercise, but sometimes just a good deed can fill your heart. I’d like to tell you a story that a fellow Choosy Kid colleague, Lindsay, shared on her blog in June of 2014 as it relates to kindness. Enjoy!
Last summer, I met a neighbor named Carrie, a 95-year-old woman with enough spunk, energy, love, dance moves, and kindness to fill the world. We had tentative conversations at first, turning into sweet acquaintances and talks about the weather.
Since our initial meeting, though, she and I have developed a little rapport. Some days, I think she waits for me to pull in the driveway, just to eagerly greet me with a quick “Hey, neighbor!” and a smile. During our very cold and snowy winter, she’d stand in her doorway and wave, grinning ear to ear. I knew she was special then. Carrie reminded me of another sweet neighbor I had growing up; she acted like a grandmother, and meant more to me than I was ever able to tell her. They both reminded me of the glorious possibilities that exist when you open your heart to another person, unapologetically.
In her sweet nature, Carrie began to bring me “gifts”. She’d meet me in the driveway with a Klondike Bar, a Rice Krispy Treat, a handful of Root Beer Barrels. Now, she bangs right on my door – which is sometimes incredibly startling – and hands me her next gift. I began to photograph and post these on my Instagram account, using #giftsfromcarrie to track the images.
These gifts – small, unwrapped, and seemingly ordinary – have filled my heart in a way I can never accurately describe. It overflows. It bursts. Her small acts of kindness are not small at all. They fill my world to the absolute brim, and I made it a personal mission to get a photo with her. I wanted to introduce her on Instagram and my #giftsfromcarrie followers…an unveiling of the serendipitous source of all these kind-hearted gestures. When I asked her for a photo one night, she excitedly put her arm around me and grinned. She asked “Can I do this?” proceeding to stick her tongue out. Of course!, I said. So we took two. A nice one – which I love – and a silly one!
The course of our friendship has been hilarious and entertaining, in the very least. Her sincerity and charm is absolutely captivating. Her wit and liveliness is contagious. She’s a rarity. To witness her character is to experience the exact reason we exist…to build and cultivate breathtaking relationships with those around us.
Carrie is a gem. She’s given me far more than the simple gifts I photograph for Instagram. She’s given me inspiration to never stop moving, caring, and dancing on my front porch – as she does. She’s taught me that a gift does not have to be beautifully wrapped, extravagant, or even planned to be meaningful. A “hello” and a smile can do more for a person’s soul than you may ever know. These are her gift - to me and to each of us. So please, please, please take something away from this remarkable woman with a stunning story.
Please accept these gifts from Carrie.
I am sad to share that Carrie passed away in April of 2015, but through Lindsay’s words, her kindness will live on forever. Even little ones can learn from this story as the #giftsfromcarrie weren’t expensive, but came from the heart, which is where kindness is derived.
Choosy Kids would love for Carrie’s story to be shared through other acts of kindness and tagged with the hashtag #giftsfromcarrie. No act of kindness should go unnoticed, whether big or small, young or old.
About the Authors:
Christine Cox is The Choosy Mommy and Lindsay Dawson is the Social Media Coordinator, both for Choosy Kids. You can read more about Carrie on Lindsay’s blog.
Kinder by the Child Project
This unique series of personal stories will take a look at how we teach our children about kindness and why as parents we see the value in leading a life full of generosity and consideration.
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families and design ideas based on our adventures building a home from the ground up.