My friend Jenny has asked me to guest blog about a time that someone's kindness has affected me. You can go over and read the other entries on the Be Kind Colorado page.
Through the years, so many moments stick out. People have helped in so many ways, but one story popped in my head right away when I was asked. I think because it was such a simple act of kindness, and it took me so by surprise it has stuck with me.
This story happened five years ago, at my sister's graduation at the University of Denver. We were running late, and had a difficult time finding handicap parking and seating. We ended up in the balcony's lobby watching the graduation from afar. It really worked out just fine because we had the place to ourselves to feed Max. In fact, the only other person up there was a guy who was sitting over in the corner.
He was wearing shorts and a slouchy Hawaiian shirt. Not exactly fancy dress for a graduation. But, living in Colorado, I've learned to not judge a person's standing in society by their attire. This guy definitely looked like he was less than thrilled to be at a graduate school graduation, but there he sat with the rest of us listening to the pomp and circumstance.
As I sat feeding my huge toddler a bottle, I caught the man watching me several times. As it was quite a sight watching me feed Max, I didn't think too much of it. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the man start walking our way.
He leaned over one of the chairs and said,
"My pity of you has turned into admiration of you in a matter of minutes. The love you show to your son is admirable. I have three sons, and have wondered over the years what it would be like if one of them had turned out.......not normal. I see you would just love them anyway. It was an honorable choice you made...but what other choice did you have really? It is so appropriate in this academic setting...you've taught me the true love for a child."
I sat dumbstruck, willing a smile on my face, while tears ran down my cheeks. I choked out a "thank you", before he walked off.
In the years since, I've thought of this man, and his simple act of kindness. He listened to the thoughts in his head, and took a moment to speak them out loud. And sometimes, that's all it takes to change a person's life.