Monday, April 7, 2014

Giving Just Because...

Conquer-a-Cove is officially behind me. I don't think I have ever been so exhausted as I was last night. Last week alone I put in 40 hours for Hope Chest--not including my hours I put in at the school. But, thankfully, it went well and next year? Sarah (the new director) can take it away! So now comes the clean up and the reorganization of my office (which looks like it got hit by a mac truck) and thank yous and receipting and...a few more odds and ends, I'm sure...and then...done. It's been a good job.

Yesterday a ridiculous number of people came out to help, free of charge. I was amazed at so many generous, kind spirits. Everyone was there to help make CAC a raging success, giving up their Sunday to work for the good of others.

I genuinely think there are more good people in the world than bad. I know that, when we watch the news, it is filled with stories of horror and sadness and gloom. But in regular living--when I go to the grocery store or fill up my tank with gas or bump into strangers on the street or attend a 5K--those people I bump into? They are just minding their own business, living their lives, creating a little slice of goodness in the world in the best way they know how.

Yesterday there were 178 runners/walkers. A majority of them wore names of people on their back that they were honoring, a testament to lives of love and friendship. Several came as teams, wearing matching socks or shirts--symbols of their unity to fight cancer for the good of others. One woman came in a superwoman costume as she has just beat cancer, and she was all smiles--hardly any hair on her head. But her spirit? Indomitable.

A week ago or so, Roy and I were driving in Asheville and we stopped at a stoplight. I looked over at the driver next to me and she had the most adorable ringlet-curly hair. She was about my age with this wild blonde hair cut in a really cute way and she was talking to the passenger in the vehicle in quite an animated fashion, laughing. I said to Roy, "In my next life? I'm going to have her hair."

And then on Saturday night, we took Jace for Cold Stone ice cream. It was initially supposed to be a huge group affair, complete with Savana and Guerin and a host of their friends...but as it turned out, they couldn't come so it was just the three of us. Anyway, we walked into Cold Stone behind a family and when I looked up, I realized that the mom was this same girl who'd been the driver of the car! And so, since I don't have a filter sometimes, I said, "Hey! I have a funny story for you!"

She looked at me, puzzled, and immediately she lit up. "For me?" she said, all smiles. Her teenage son stood next to her and he literally rolled his eyes at me, completely annoyed at this stranger who dared to cross boundaries of social etiquette and act friendly. And so, he left for the bathroom before he had a chance to hear what I had to say. I explained to her how I saw her in a car and told my husband I wanted her hair.

"I prayed for this hair!" she said. "When I was a little girl my hair was stick-straight. And then when I hit puberty? Curls everywhere!" We talked for a minute, laughed together, and then she rejoined her family and we went back to being strangers.

But as I watched her with her sons, so encouraging and kind, I thought, "If we were neighbors, we would be friends."

And once again I was reminded that this world is filled with good people. People who love their kids and are their best cheerleaders. People who care about others and this world we live in. People who attend 5Ks and run for the support of a good cause and in honor of someone who has touched their lives. And people who volunteer to work diligently out of the goodness of their hearts to make a 5K a success...just because...

People who give when they don't have to...

We live in a good place here in Candler, North Carolina. And I'm thankful.

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