Hi everyone! I don’t have a crafty post or a furniture makeover tutorial for you today. Instead I am sharing a story from my friend Peggy. Her story about random acts of kindness will steal your heart and hopefully fill your head with things you can do to make the world a better place just by being kind and doing something nice for no reason at all!
Peggy and her mom Jan Schad
Random Acts Of Kindness – Peggy’s Story
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at Michelle’s house to do…oh I don’t even know what! I stop by from time to time for multiple reasons, and the reason for my visit that day is completely unimportant to this story.
Anyway, as luck would have it, I was at Michelle’s house when one of her friends stopped by to pick up a Michelle J Designs original project! I got to see the project at the same time as the table’s owner, who was absolutely tickled with the outcome. It was fun to see, and I listened a little bit as she explained the story of the table and how it was going to be put into use. (I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember it had something to do with her mother.)
As I was leaving, I heard Michelle say she wasn’t charging for the project, but she was using it as her pay it forward #ForJanSchad. I stopped in my tracks, teared up, turned around and thanked her, and left as she explained it to her much surprised customer.
#ForJanSchad was launched in October 2016 as a way to honor my mother, Jan, who passed away earlier that month. Mom embodied love, kindness, and generosity. She and I often talked about forming a non-profit that would do random acts of kindness just to make people’s days. She and I would have so much fun doing little things for people as the opportunity presented itself. We never did anything huge, but it didn’t matter. The size of the act wasn’t important, just the spirit of it.
Surprising Santa with a kiss – Santa was played by John Schad (Jan’s Hubby)
Then one day in late September, while on one of our many visits to Mayo Clinic, the tables were turned on us.
We went out to dinner to a new to us restaurant, The Lord Essex Steakhouse (http://www.kahler.com/lord-essex-1). It had been on our list to try for months, and it did not disappoint.
We were seated in a quiet alcove, and a single male diner was seated at the other table in the alcove. Mom and I ordered amazing food, experienced wonderful service, and as needs arose for Mom, we tried to keep our movements from interfering with our fellow diner’s experience. We talked, laughed, shared our dinners, and somehow managed to eat dessert as well.
Our fellow diner left prior to our dessert, and on his way out, stopped at our table and said, “You ladies have the best Mother-Daughter relationship.” It touched us. We smiled, thanked him, and said it made us feel good that somebody noticed, and that we always tried our best to love each other.
After we attempted dessert, (We made it through a few bites each) we asked for the bill. Our server brought it to us, and it only included our dessert. I immediately brought it to her attention, and she delivered the sweetest news, smiling broadly. Our dinner had been paid for by the man seated next to us. He wanted to do something kind for us, and hoped we appreciated it.
I bawled. I absolutely cried my eyes out, and was so deeply affected by this random stranger’s actions and observations of our relationship. I’m crying now because that was the last meal I ever shared with Mom.
This man has no idea how much his generosity meant to us. To me.
Jan and Jeanne (Peggy’s sister)
Paying It Forward
We received the news that Mom would have only a few days left to live, so we spent all the time together that we possibly could, and we communicated everything we could think of to talk about. As our family sat together in her hospital room, the stranger’s random act of kindness swirled around in my mind. My husband and I went on a coffee run for the group, and I decided to pay it forward at the coffee shop. I bought a gift card, and handed it back to the cashier telling her to use it for each consecutive customer until it ran out. It felt good.
Returning to the hospital room, I told Mom what I had done, and that I had done it as a “pay it forward” from our meal just days earlier. She was delighted, and hoped the actions would continue.
As we dealt with Mom’s death, we continued to pay it forward, and we added the hashtag #ForJanSchad so that it would always be in her honor. We asked that everyone who knew her, who helped us celebrate her life, who themselves had been at the receiving end of one of Mom’s acts of kindness, to pay it forward as well, and share via social media by using the hashtag. It was the absolute perfect way to keep her memory alive.
A Sunny Day In California
Just over six months have passed, and the acts are still happening, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Michelle’s actions that day continued the movement, and her willingness to share this story encourages more to come!
I hope you’ve been the recipient of a random act of kindness, whether it in Mom’s memory or not, and I hope you’ve paid it forward. I also hope that I’ve done the story justice and you feel motivated to go out and commit a random act of kindness. And if you feel so moved as to do it in Mom’s memory, you’re invited to use #ForJanSchad.
With love and kindness,
Hi From Mayo Clinic!
My Random Act Of Kindness
I wanted to give just a little background to Peggy’s story that relates to my friend and the table that I made over for her. I knew from the minute Dawn called me asking if I would make over a small table for her that I was never going to charge her for this small thing I was doing.
If you knew Dawn you would do the same thing. She is so giving and so involved with helping kids and disabled people. You see, she works a couple of jobs. One of them is at the school in the office helping all the kids and faculty that come in there. My mom works with her a lot and she is a joy.
She also works with an organization in our community called Horizons. Everyone who works with the Horizon’s clients are special and are cut from some magic cloth. My Uncle Richard has Down’s Syndrome and has lived in the group home at a Horizon’s facility for about 20 years now. Each of the staff are so nice and helpful. They call my mom and her brother in for meetings when he does something good…or bad.
They take them to the movies each Sunday and go on a lot of outings. They try to get them meaningful jobs within the community so they are helpful, learn to work and earn money for themselves.
Anyone who works this hard deserves a random act of kindness no matter how big or small.
This is the table I made over for Dawn. You can read the full post here.
Thanks so much for stopping by and leave us comments about random acts of kindness you have recieved and what you did you pay it forward!