A couple of days ago, after I published my latest blog post onto my personal facebook wall, I was pleased to see that one of my friends had shared it. For the record, as a blogger, anytime a post is shared, we get the warm fuzzies, so share friends, that’s what that little sidebar is for, you know the one that says, share. I don’t care if you think you are the biggest, badass blogger of the bunch (which clearly I am not), when you see someone you actually know sharing your post, you get the warm fuzzies. So when I saw that my girl had done a little sharing, I quickly thanked her.
She responded with, “Andrea, I owe you for taking care of me that fateful night of my deployment send off at Bargo’s.” This comment, coupled with an email I received several days ago got me thinking. Hard.
I am going to be honest here. I don’t remember that particular night. I remember her leaving. I remember seeing her at Keller Hall at the University of Dayton School of Law the day or the day after she received her deployment orders. I remember tearing up when she told me she was leaving. I remember being scared for her. I remember thinking how unfair it was. I remember the quiet acceptance she had regarding her fate. Well, clearly all went well, Stacie went on to graduate from law school after her deployment. Currently, she is pregnant with baby numero dos AND working on her LLM. Rockstar.
But I digress.
Her innocent comment added fuel to an idea that had been brewing for several days.
Here it is: You will NEVER know the magnitude of the impact you have on people. The smallest act of kindness could remain in a person’s heart for years to come. Isn’t that a breathtaking and humbling thought?
Another twin mama, blogger, facebook rock star and friend of mine, One Tired Mama said this a couple of days ago, “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”
Holy moly. Such a simple but profound statement.
Stacie’s comment and One Tired Mama’s statement caused me to reflect upon my younger years. You know, pre-kids. When sleeping in meant sleeping until 2pm. Sigh. When being responsible meant making it to work or school on time. That’s it. I had a realization that even before I was a mother, I was a mother. I have been taking care of people my entire life. Even when I was young and selfish, I was never truly selfish. I’ve always had a soft heart. I always worried about friends and hell, even strangers. I’ve “taken care” of many a person in my day. Now I know the evening Stacie is referring to did not change her life forever, but she remembered. I am not trying to toot my own horn here, by any means, I am just trying to illustrate the point that you never know what actions you take may influence a person either negatively or positively for a long time. You never know what details will stick.
One of the reasons I began writing this blog was because I felt strongly that I had things to say that could be of assistance to other people. The reason Miracle Baby Monday exists is because of my desire to give other preemie parents strength and hope. Even my snarky advice on How Not To Ruin Your Kid’s Birthday Party was written to help other parents of toddlers.
I write about my return to God in hopes that my journey might serve as a beacon to other’s struggling with their faith. I know I am doing the right things in that respect because I received the following email a few days ago:
Hi, Andrea!I am not even sure how I stumbled upon your Facebook fan page today, but after reading your blog, I’m sure of the reason.I’m a mom of multiple multiples — that is, I have 6 year old b/g twins, a 4 year old singleton, and another set of b/g twins who are almost 2. The last set was a surprise pregnancy (!) that brought the additional surprise of Twins 2.0. Did you know that once you have a set of twins conceived the old-fashioned way, your chances of having another set are higher than your chances were of having the first? (Take a second to roll that around — it’s slightly confusing, but basically says that I should have been waaaay more careful after drinking that bottle of wine when I wasn’t sure if I had ovulated or not.) As I’m sure you can imagine, the ultrasound where we discovered the second set of twins was surreal. At the time, I had 3 1/2 year old twins and a 19 month old.My saving grace was that, after 6 years of putting it on the back burner, I had started my RCIA class just a month before finding out I was pregnant again. My husband is a cradle Catholic, and we had a Catholic wedding, and attended Mass for years, and I always *meant* to convert, but never was particularly compelled until that summer. I can’t even really explain why I chose that time, other than a real sense of urgency to truly become part of the church.The night I found out about the babies, I was rocking my toddler to sleep, and just wept. I had a little chat with God, Jesus, and of course the Blessed Mother (I rarely leave her out of my prayers!) and told them that I would welcome these new little people into our already-chaotic family with open arms and an open heart, if only God would promise to give me the strength and wisdom to be the mother each of these five children needed. After that night, I had such a sense of peace. Many times during that pregnancy, I would physically feel full of grace, and I knew I was being constantly held and comforted and guided.I was tremendously blessed to have a relatively easy, healthy pregnancy that went to 38 weeks. Our life together is never dull, and can be simultaneously joyful and overwhelming. When people say to me, “I just don’t know how you do it!” I tell them, “Honestly, only by the grace of God!”I am really glad to be reminded of all of this tonight. For a while, I have been feeling frustrated with my place in the Church, and have had a hard time wrapping my head around certain things, since I was raised non-denominational (yes, a mega-churcher!) and come from a very different way of thinking about God, the Bible, and structured religion. I love the Catholic Church deeply, but sometimes get distracted by minutiae. Reading about your return to the Church struck a chord with me tonight and brought back some of those feelings I had during my last pregnancy, reminding me of the God I know and love, and of my special relationship with Mary. Thank you so much for that!
This email is a powerful testament that I am doing what I am meant to do. And for someone who floundered for so many years trying to find her way, it’s some pretty good stuff.
You, yes, You dear readers never know how much of a difference you can make in anyone’s life. I will leave you with one other story. One that gripped me and has been on my mind for days. Another blogger who writes at The Klonopin Chronicles told a story about how she saved someone’s life. Not just touched someone, but SAVED SOMEONE’S LIFE. This lady has been through it all. She writes a brutally honest blog about the ups and downs of living with mental illness. It’s very raw, very real. One of her reader’s reached out to her, saw something in her writings that she could relate to and this lady listened and responded, ultimately saving her life. She can tell it much better than I, so please click here to read. If you are sensitive to strong language, please be advised that f-bombs are a’plenty over there. Sometimes I wish I could use the f-bomb. Sigh.
She is just one example of the network of amazing writers I have found. There are literally millions of blogs out there waiting to be read. Millions of strong, powerful voices who have a story to tell. I guarantee if you have a problem, there is someone out there blogging about the same problem. Take a look at my sidebar and there is the list of women and men whose stories have sucked me in. Stories of infertility, special needs children, twin antedotes, raising large families, hope, humor and love. These writers are your advocates and your friends. Good grief, I could go on and on and on. I guarantee that each of their stories have touched countless others and served as inspiration to many.
Anyhow, the moral of the story is be nice. Consider your words and actions carefully because you never know who you might reach or who you might turn away. Now bloggers, don’t get your panties in a bunch, I’m not asking you to stop being funny and snarky. Not at all. There are a whole bunch people out there, myself included, who love satire and sarcasm. Your readers need you, in all your gloriousness. ALL your serious, funny and bitchy gloriousness.
Live The Golden Rule people and you will be rewarded. Sometimes it might not be until years later, but it will happen and when it does you will feel better than you ever thought possible.