If I were to ask you when was the last time you gave or experienced kindness, I hope you would say “today.”  Although it may be hard to see right now, genuine acts of kindness are all around us and often they are closer than you think.

Kindness can show up as a supportive smile, a warm embrace or a helping hand when you need it the most.  Acts of kindness can come from a total stranger or from your very best friends.  And that’s what today’s story is all about….an act of kindness from two of my very best friends.

I have been blessed with many wonderful friendships in my life and my friends Mary and Erin are two of those friendships.  We met in 1975 during our freshman year at St. Louise de Marillac, an all girls Catholic high school.  We became fast friends and to this day we still talk about all the crazy things we did together during our four years at Marillac.

Following high school, our lives went in very different directions but we’ve always been there for each other.  When Mary and Erin found out about my sister Megan passing away, the love and support I received from these ladies was truly a blessing.

Knowing that I would not be able to get back to Chicago to help my mom clean out my sister’s apartment, Mary and Erin did not hesitate for a moment to offer to help with this overwhelming task.  As luck would have it, Erin has a gift for helping people get organized and, although she does this as a job, helping my mom was never a business venture.  Her offer to help was a genuine act of kindness.

Throughout the month of June, Erin and my mom made many trips to Megan’s apartment sorting through her belongings, selling what could be sold, donating what could be donated and keeping the things that we will cherish as a reminder of our Megan.

As you can imagine, this was difficult for my mom on many levels, but Erin was a constant source of love and support.  And through it all, a wonderful friendship developed between the two of them.

On the final trip to Megan’s apartment, Erin and Mary picked my mom up at her home and together they traveled downtown to the apartment. I knew this was going to be an emotional day for my mom but I also knew that Mary and Erin would surround her with love.

As they removed the last few things from the apartment, they stopped for a moment to say a prayer.  They hugged and the tears flowed and finally there was closure.

When people are asked “what gives meaning to your life?” friendship is often at the top of the list.  Friends can boost your happiness, reduce your stress, increase your sense of well being, and help you cope during difficult times.

Friendship is a bond that is deep and lasting.  We choose our friends because of who they are as a person but we actually love our friends because of the way they support who we are.  Love and support….that’s what it’s all about.

As you go through your day today, remember that genuine acts of kindness are all around you and those acts of kindness just might be coming from your very best friends!

Have a beautiful day!
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around" image.