Paying it forward with only 44 cents
When I was four years old, my father had a terrible accident and was in the hospital for months. During that time, complete strangers sent cards and encouragement.
My family has never forgotten that kindness.
With an angel baby on her hip (my sister) and a rambunctious toddler running in circles (me), my 23-year-old mother faced her biggest fears every day daddy was in pain and uncertainty. My parents are both very strong folks, but no doubt they were able to hold it together because of support from family, friends, people at church, my father's co-workers... and even people they'd never met.
On Saturday, I heard horrible news about the 2-year-old son of two of my childhood friends. Sweet Beau Davis of Bartlesville, Okla., was kicked in the head by a horse and taken by LifeFlight. Paramedics said he possibly wouldn't make it to the hospital. After immediate brain surgery, the little one emerged with plates in his head, on a respirator and a feeding tube. Initial tests showed 1/3 of his brain was damaged and he is still having trouble moving the left side of his body.
But he's fighting.
Every day the Davis family celebrates small victories, like today when Beau was able to breathe on his own, drink some apple juice and say "Mama and Daddy." Their minds are no doubt exhausted, but their hearts remain full and optimistic. Isn't it up to us, as part of the human race, to make sure their hearts spill over?
In this age of e-mail and Facebook and even blogs, sometimes we may forget how powerful handwritten words can be. I can't be sure of it, but I would be willing to bet that in 1982, Beau's grandparents, who attended our Cleveland, Okla., church at that time, might even have been part of the group of folks who signed a card for my family.
Now it's my turn to pay it forward -- and the price of kindness is a mere 44-cent postage stamp. Can you do the same? All it takes is a card or even a scrap of paper. The words you write, the scripture you provide, the poem you clip from the newspaper and stick in the envelope ...those things are what will count the most.
This little boy and his family still have a long road ahead. His mother wrote Wednesday to friends, "We are just beginning to realize what a long and challenging journey this will be...but we are up for the challenge."
Now the question is: Are you up for the challenge? I'd be willing to bet you have two minutes, a pen, an envelope and 44 cents in your pocket. And who knows? Maybe 28 years, 28 months or 28 days from now, someone will do the same for you in your moment of peril.
Facebookers: Please click here to RSVP your intent to participate in the "Card Drive" for the Beau Davis Family and to read more about his progress.
Or you can simply mail a card to:
Beau Davis Family
P.O. Box 646
Cleveland, OK 74020
Your kindness causes the world to smile. And Beau, too.