Random Acts of "Kindness"

Home again — home again — for a minute. My husband and I took the opportunity to go to Mass to say THANK YOU — for our trip, for our family, for our life. The church bulletin had an article about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, — a gift from the ancient Church of Jerusalem. “A legend among Orthodox Christians tell how all the disciples except for Thomas were present at Mary’s death and sat by her tomb for three days. On the third day, Thomas, who was teaching in India, saw Mary’s body rising to heaven. She greeted him as her friend. … Thomas, the one who expressed doubt at the resurrection of Christ, received a gift from Mary: the chance to proclaim resurrection faith to the disciples.”

WHY AM I SHARING THIS WITH YOU? Fair question — for a change — easy answer. In 1995, I spent the summer at our camper working on TO PAP, WITH LOVE, the story of our journey with my father through Alzheimer’s disease. It was on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, sitting outside before Mass, drinking a cup of coffee that I saw a black feather fall. The feather inspired my thought ramble FEATHERS, the fifth story in JOURNEY WITH ME. I planned to take another Creative Writing course in the Fall at our community college. If I said my writing DID NOT impress our instructor I would not be exaggerating in the slightest. In fact, he read everyone’s work and always put mine on the bottom of the stack — until later. I was surprised when a few weeks into the course he mailed me a note, complimenting me on FEATHERS.

When my father passed over, he gave me a gift — the knowledge that life continued on the other side. Like Thomas, I share my story with those who need it.

While we were in Florida, our family spent a day at Fernandina Beach. After lunch, we slowly wandered back to our cars. An author sat outside a book store signing her book. I stopped to chat and learned that her mother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. Since I travel with stories in my mental pocket, I shared the story my father had given me.

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