Sunday, October 2, 2016

     Ho hum, another gorgeous day in Paradise. I used to say that when we lived in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was true then, and it’s true now. Florida is a different kind of beautiful, and the term “beautiful” can be different for each of us. What’s your “beautiful?” Have you offered anyone a surprise lately? Have you figured out how to give a surprise without a dollar sign attached?

      Yesterday, I wrote about surprises. This morning, I decided that although the surprise I have in mind does cost money that I have not budgeted, I will act on it anyway. I believe that although kindness doesn’t ask for paybacks, it invites paybacks. A dear friend whose generosity and kindness have helped us acclimate to our new community and lifestyle has just lost her dear mother. I never knew her, but I feel my friend’s pain. Her mother was 96 years old. I lost my Dad when he was 93. My friend and I both knew what was coming, and in some ways we hoped for the end of their pain. When the end came, however, we were both devastated. We are never prepared to lose those we have loved for so long and have looked to as role models. I know she is with family and close friends dealing with all the demands this loss incurs, but I also know that a few weeks down the road, she is going to be exhausted and emotionally drained. I asked myself, “What will she need then?” Even though she has become a close friend in a short time, I don’t really know for sure, so I will give her a gift of healing. For $50, maybe an hour at a spa will block out all the emotions we endure when we realize our parents are gone, and even though we parented them, we still knew we had parents. It’s a very strange and uncomfortable feeling, not to mention the sadness. Hopefully, this surprise will bring her some temporary peace, and I will know that I’ve given a heart surprise to someone who has been so kind to us.

     Who do you know who needs a surprise? I’m still working on  my surprise list. There must be others who would welcome a shot of joy. Maybe I need to start a “Surprise Budget.”