Tuesday, March 17, 2015

luck and paying it forward

every year on st. patrick's day, i really miss my grandma josephine.

she passed away years ago on st. patrick's day, and though i think about her and miss her all of the time, march 17th always pulls a little bit harder on my heart. every year on this day it feels like a little piece of my heart is missing, and i so wish that she was still here with us. i wish that she would have met barrett, that malena would have had the chance to love her and hold her hand, that she would have seen out how life has turned out for me through the years. i often think about her as i head into scans and on results days. i always feel like she is watching and protecting me, and that is she is doing all she can for good news to come our way.

so she was on my mind throughout the day, and i was feeling a little bit down as the afternoon wore on because i was just really missing her.

right as i got to malena's gymnastics lessons, i got a text message from barrett telling me that we had got approved for the school district transfer we have so anxiously been hoping for. this means that malena will be in the school that we want her in next year, and we can stay in our house and not having to worry about moving. it is such a huge and palpable relief to us, i immediately felt like 1,000 pounds of fear/anxiety/stress/worry had lifted off of our shoulders.

i knew as soon as i saw that text that my grandma sent that luck down to us today. i felt like it was her way of telling me that she knew how much i was missing her, but that she wanted to remind me that she was with me the entire time.

we of course celebrated the good news with some ciders over dinner, and then malena had the idea to go to frozen yogurt to celebrate st. patrick's day (yes, i am clear that frozen yogurt is not the most common way to celebrate this particular holiday, but she was super excited about her idea to celebrate so we rolled with it).

we went to our favorite place and our favorite guy  was working.

as usual, he greeted us with a big smile when we walked in and was so nice when ringing us up. after we sat down and started to eat, he came over to malena and asked her if she thought that she could eat 10 ounces of yogurt. when she said that she could, he gave her a coupon for 10 free ounces for our next trip in. super nice of him, and she was of course super excited about our next visit. while we were eating, a couple checked out and the woman was talking about being a teacher. he told her to hold on for a minute, and then he went to the back. when he came out, he handed her a stack of certificates for her kids to come in and get yogurt. the look on her face was so priceless, she was so surprised and grateful for his kindness. i thought that she was going to cry, and i was on the verge of tears myself. i looked over at barrett and mouthed to him "i love that man". he reminds you of how many good people there are in the world - and how thankful you are when you get to cross their path.

after we finished, malena gave him a tip as we usually do and then we headed out. malena and i had to make a quick stop at the store next door. as we were ringing out, i saw a collection of gift cards and had an idea. malena and i grabbed one for the movie theater and got back in line.

we took the gift card to the man at the yogurt shop and told him how much we appreciated how kind and nice he was to us every time that we came in, and we wanted to do something kind for him in return. we told him that we wanted to treat him to a movie on a day off, and malena gave him the gift card (she was so excited to give it to him, the smile on her face was huge). the look on his face was one i will never forget.

ever since beth and i had our dinner paid for by the stranger back in january, i have been looking for the right time to pay it forward.

tonight was the right time.

my grandma was always doing nice things for others for no reason other than her inherent kindness, so it felt like a great way to honor her today.

i know that she is loving that we had such a good day.

the only thing that could have made it perfect would have been having her in that empty chair at our table at the yogurt shop.

but then again, i think that she was there the whole time.


  1. Great post sister. But I made the mistake and read it at work and had to hold back a couple tears. I am sure grandma was there with you.

  2. Oh so yes.

    I'm beyond thrilled for the school news too. This is so lovely.

    The 17th is a lucky day for us, because it's John's birthday! Now you can see the good an hard all rolled into one.