Last night while I was playing soccer, I glanced over at our goalie and was so overcome with emotion that I almost started to cry. A quick, "Thank you, God" ran through my head before I was back to my familiar prayers that I'm constantly chanting while playing--they run more along the lines of, "Please, don't let me die".
I was waxing sentimental during our game because sometimes I am so overcome with what I feel for our goalie that when it strikes me, it is akin to having the wind knocked out of you. Our goalie last night was The Lovely Ms. N, or "N" as I've referred to her several times before in previous posts, and though I sometimes feel that I have a way with words, I don't have any words to describe how indebted I am to her and how much she's changed my life, but I'm going to try, anyhow.
I met N when I was house-hunting. She and her husband had the house listed, and I went to see it. The moment I met her, part of me loved her. The house was too far from town for what we needed, but I am positive that there was divine intervention happening when I drove out to see it. When her husband M asked her how it went, she told him that I probably wasn't going to buy it, but that she thought she had made a new friend, and M with his dry sense of humor responded, "We don't need anymore friends, we need to sell our house". And I'm sure that it was the truth--they didn't need anymore friends, but God, did I need her.
I talked to her maybe once after that, and then two weeks later while I was at work, daycare called and Little A was sick, and needed to leave within the hour. I was working twenty miles away, had car-pooled to work, and really didn't have the flexibility or capability to leave. I also literally had no one to call, and for whatever reason, this stranger to me popped into my head. After a few moments of hesitation, I called her. (I know, you moms reading this with mouths agape, "you called a stranger to watch your child"??, but some part of me knew that I could trust her). She went and picked up Little A, then watched her for me the next day, too. What kind of person does these things?
The same kind of person who used the gift certificate that I bought for her and her husband to take me to dinner, instead. Not only did she bring a sitter to my house, she paid the sitter in advance. Then she invited me to meet her friends and to her church and to play soccer with her. She demonstrated to me the potential for kindness and goodness that is alive in all of us. She changed me completely.
I need you to know these things, N. I need you to know how much you mean to me and how often during the course of a day I think of you and how amazing you are. I need you to know that every single day I recall all of your generosity and try to pay it forward. I need you to know that because you made me aware of the power of kindness, that I've helped change the lives of people that I know, and I know that because of the kindness I've shown them, they try to pass that kindness along to others. You have made an impact on people's lives that you don't even know about. I need you to know that the little note you slipped to me the day I was crying over the guilt I was struggling with is a note that I keep by my bed and read almost everyday.
I want to be sure that you understand these things, because sometimes I briefly see clouds of emotion crossing your face that make me think you are doubting yourself, and I can't stand the thought of that. Sometimes I hear things in the words that you don't say, and I want you to know that I hear them. You are singularly the most incredible person I've ever met, and I'm blessed with knowing many amazing people. Your open heart, your generosity and your spirit are gifts that I am eternally grateful for, gifts that I would never have had the courage to ask for, gifts that I know you don't expect in return.
I just couldn't get through the day without knowing that I said these things to you. Elton John wrote, "My gift is my song, and this one's for you". This post is for you--it's nothing, I know, just words, but every single word that is written here is written from my heart and in my heart.
I love you.