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Thanks Giving {67}

March 22, 2013

This week I am thankful for the kindness of others. I like to think that people are generally good, and will act accordingly if given the opportunity. While I am occasionally let down, sometimes my faith in this point of view is renewed with fervor. This week I had my faith renewed again and again. Here’s why:

Earlier this week we got a package in the mail. It was a gift, and the card said, “For Baby Jane, Love Uncle Steve.” It was a little pink car. Uncle Steve (Timmy’s uncle) is an engineer; he works with/loves cars. I almost cried. Maybe it’s the hormones… Uncle Steve is reserved, except occasionally when he’s with the other men of the family (the women of the family tend to dominate the conversation otherwise, not that there’s anything wrong with that…). I was so touched that he picked the car out and had it sent to us on his own. I always knew Timmy’s family was full of thoughtful, kind people, but that doesn’t make me any less grateful!

Yesterday, the ladies at Timmy’s office had a shower for us. They didn’t have to, I didn’t even really know many of them. Timmy isn’t exactly “chatty” at work (or anywhere but home with me, for that matter). But these ladies are so thoughtful. They all made food for lunch, which was delicious, and they even gave us gifts to help us prepare for Jane. I hope they know that we appreciate their generosity and kindness!

After this shower I went home and got ready for my new dishwasher to be installed. That’s right, I finally got that new dishwasher! My gratitude/excitement/relief for not having to stand over the sink every day with a newborn can hardly be described. But, the man who came to install the dishwasher is the real story. That’s Joe. He had another person with him, and while they worked, Joe had me tell him the whole story of why I had waited 3 years to get a new dishwasher, he asked me about my baby belly, he told me about his family. He was making an effort to make me comfortable with 2 strange men in my house. When they eventually got the old dishwasher out of the kitchen, they discovered that there was a big gaping hole in the wall/floor leading down to the basement. Joe was concerned; mice and bugs could easily get through there and into the kitchen. He said he had a tub of cement in his truck, he would seal that hole up for me. The other man, who was prepping the new dishwasher, asked, “Why?” Fixing my wall is not part of the job.

Joe looked at me and he said, “If you were my daughter, that’s what I would want the technician to do.” He had the supplies, he had the time, in his mind the questions wasn’t why, it was why not? It took 5 minutes, there was no delay in the installation, I had a peace of mind. Why not? During the hook up phase of the dishwasher Timmy arrived home, and we ran into another issue. The other technician had to go on another call, but as he was leaving, he estimated the cost to fix it at $360 and we would have to reschedule the hook up. Instead, Timmy went to Lowe’s and picked up the $15 part, which took 2 minutes to install. Joe was able to hook up the dishwasher, test it and explain everything to us within an hour. Simple. It just took a little patience and a little kindness, in the form of offering a solution that we could afford, rather than a solution that made the most money for the company. We had a running dishwasher, we hadn’t stressed over the money, and we had hearts full of gratitude.

Timmy and I both expressed frustration that the plumber who previously “fixed” all of our issues under the sink had not done all that he said. Joe stopped us and said, “What’s done is done. Move on. Don’t waste this time being angry when you can be happy that the problem is now solved.” He was right. I could have spent 20 minutes being angry, but instead I got over it. I felt better. Joe used to be a counselor at a church. He had been offering us advice for a happy marriage and a happy life all night. Timmy and I are pretty happy together (as if you didn’t know that), but listening to him talk was a good reminder. Don’t take anything for granted. Lessons Joe taught us include:

  • Marriage is like a plant – you have to water it. 
  • Men and women are not the same. Understanding the differences can prevent arguments.
  • Make your husband happy. If your husband is happy he can do anything – work a job he doesn’t enjoy, take the trash out when he’s tired and it’s cold, help others with a cheerful heart. And if he’s happy, you (the wife) will be happy. It’s a circle, keep it going.
  • Encourage each other.
  • One minute spent angry is one minute of happiness lost.

I think the most important lesson we learned from Joe is that there are good people out there. There are people in this world who want to help, for no reason other than it’s a nice thing to do. He could have left, the dishwasher not hooked up, us worrying about finding the extra money to fix things, his job requirements fulfilled. Instead, when he left we were all happy, and not just because the dishwasher was completely installed (although, I am still pretty excited about that). I am thankful for Joe, and others like him who make the world a nicer place to live. I’m also thankful for the reminder that I could do more to help others, and to focus on filling my heart with happiness and gratitude when it might be easier to let anger take over.

What are you thankful for this week?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Kay permalink
    March 22, 2013 1:28 pm

    Beautiful post Melissa. Joe sounds like such a nice guy. Of course we all know that Steve really is A Nice Guy!! And we’re all lucky to know him!!

  2. Rose permalink
    March 22, 2013 4:15 pm

    We agree with exactly what MK said! Such a nice post!

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