Monday, April 18, 2011

K like in Kindness, K like in Karen

This week I am a guest blogger for my dear friend Jenny.

She is starting Ben’s Bells in Colorado. It is a really neat organization with a big cause and lots of kindness. Check them out!

Being kind is something truly simple, it doesn’t cost money, and it doesn’t take time. When I think about the word kind, it is often the small gestures happening in my day-to-day life. Our family friend standing outside my door with tonight’s dinner, our nurse fitting in a bath for Jacob so we have more family time at night, my husband taking an extra night shift in Jacob’s room so I can catch up on sleep, my daughter taking her friend’s hand to run to the playground, a message from a dear friend far away reminding me that she is still thinking of us every day as Jacob is battling yet another virus. They are all acts of kindness, those little things that makes a difference in all of our lives.

When I think about kindness, my friend Karen comes to mind.

Two years ago, Karen offered to have Sarah over for a play date. I didn’t really know her that well, but our kids got along really well. It was time to pick up Sarah from her play date. The second I put Jacob in the car, he had an oculogyrical crisis. It looks exactly like a seizure, but it is not. It does mean that Jacob needs medical care, and a stay at the intensive care unit in order to stop them. They build over time, so I made the decision to still pick up Sarah and then drive down to The Children’s Hospital.

Jacob had a few more crises on the way over to Karen. I took Jacob out of the car, and wondered how I could quickly get Sarah in the car without being rude to our new friends. I had a medical emergency on my hand, but also a pickup to do! Two worlds clash. I didn’t have to say much before Karen got it. She took charge immediately, and pushed me back to the car, and said she would keep Sarah for as long as we needed. If necessary, she would simply bring Sarah to school the next day. Sarah’s face was beaming. She was happy for an extended play date!

I quickly got back in the car with Jacob, wondering what Karen truly thought about me and my little boy. I never made it down to The Children’s Hospital that night. The oculogyrical crises worsen quickly, so I had to call 911 from my car, and have them meet us at the house.

Joakim called me that evening as he had picked up Sarah from Karen’s house. We had all their phone numbers, and were told to call them any time we needed them. Sarah would spend afternoons at their house until Jacob was home again. It might not sound like a lot, but to manage Sarah’s school schedule with Jacob being in the PICU is not easy. I knew that Sarah was going to be picked up from school each day, and be with a friend each afternoon. I knew she was happy in the middle of a medical emergency. I knew that not only Sarah had found a friend, I had found one too.

Karen probably still doesn’t know exactly what an oculogyrical crisis it, but it doesn’t matter. Her heart is full of kindness, and she will do anything for our family. It doesn’t matter what plans or obstacles they have, there is always a spot for us.

Karen has a big heart. Karen is fair. Karen has turned her own hardships into compassion for others. Karen has empathy. She will stand up for her friends. No bull shit. No hidden agendas. Karen is fun. Karen is outspoken. Karen is straight-forward. Karen enjoys life. Karen is kind.

To my dear kind friend Karen.

Love, Maria.

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