The gift that keeps on giving

October 2, 2013

I was late to preschool this morning and came home to a pile of stuff needing to be done. I hate busy mornings that seem impossible, so, I decided to take a moment. I made a cup of coffee. Sat down at my computer. Opened Facebook. Know what happened next? MY DAY WAS MADE!

I received the following note posted to the my 34,000 Lives project Facebook page: Yesterday, on my way home after being furloughed, I stopped to pick up the book “Until I Say Goodbye.” As I was waiting to pick up my daughter from practice, I opened the book. Inside the cover was a card “For the next person who checks out this book.” I opened the card, in it was an amazing message from Heidi. In honor of her friend Kevin Pollari who has ALS, she invited me to use the $5 gift card she enclosed to have a cup of coffee. This made my day. Thank you for the kindness on a rather rough day!

How awesome is that? I’m so excited! The inspiration to enclose a gift card inside my library book came from a stranger in the Forest Lake McDonald’s drive-thru a year or so ago. With next to no cash on me, I arrived at the second window ready to pay for my meal, almost entirely with change, when the woman working smiled and said I owed nothing courtesy of the person in front of me. I honestly almost cried. I went through the drive-thru because I wasn’t feeling well and could tell I needed to eat something as soon as possible. I never got to thank the person who paid for my purchase, but I promised myself I would (when I could) pay it forward. The gift was a wonderful surprise and I have never forgotten how thankful I was for the gesture that particular day.

If I could, I would surprise someone daily. Obviously I cannot do that (smile). I did, however, decide to enclose a $5 gift card to the local coffee shop inside the three books about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), I recently checked out from the library. I like the idea of a surprise inside a book that may be checked out for a difficult reason. I like the idea of supporting the local coffee shop. I like the possibility of starting a “treasure” hunt which may inspire people to check out books (smile). Plus, I’m smiling because something small I did made someone else smile. Smiles . . . they’re contagious!

Thank you Kathy, for letting me know one of the gift cards has been received. May you enjoy “Until I Say Good-Bye” as much as I did. (For those of you who have not read the book, it’s amazing and inspirational, you should seriously consider it.)

The sun is shining bright here in Minnesota and this is such a great day, I think I’ll go hug a stranger! Or at least smile at one (smile). Cheers to taking a moment to share our smiles and give a gift that keeps on giving!

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