Random and spontaneous acts of kindness are never forgotten.
The kind and generous acts that my friends have given to me throughout the years stand out as Technicolor slides in my memory bank.
I will never forget the many wonderful gifts of spirit and self that have come my way when I was going through troubled times and when I am reminded of some of them I quickly think of the hospital visits, the long telephone calls and face to face chats, the home cooked meals, and especially the watching of my son when he was a child.
I feel truly blessed to have my friends and I know that I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for them.
I write of the gift of friendship today because earlier this week I was flipping through the January 2016 edition of Real Simple magazine and came upon what I initially thought was an article on keeping your mouth shut when you find your friends in a situation that you think is going the wrong way but when I read further I discovered the story really was about compassion and grief.
The insightful short story, written by Hoda Kotb, a cohost of NBC’s Today Show and author of Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us The Way, answers the question of whether she had found herself in a situation when it was better for someone not to say anything at all, a situation when silence was more powerful than any words that could have been spoken.
Here’s her story and I think you will agree that she is a lucky person to have such a loyal best friend:
When You’re Not Sure What To Say
By Hoda Kotb
My dad passed away when I was in college. I was taking an exam shortly after it happened and I couldn’t focus. I picked up my backpack and walked out of the class. The teacher said, “If you leave, you’re going to fail this test. That’s going to hurt your average. I’m not sure you will pass this class.”
I just kept walking.
My dearest friend, Peggy, picked up her backpack and followed me out. I walked to this place called the Duck Pond, where it was just very mellow.
I sat on a picnic table, and she sat next to me, without saying a word. I’ll never forget it.
After about five minutes, I looked at her and I said, “Oh my God,” and I started talking about my dad’s death. Now, if she had been asking me, “Are you OK? What do you need? I don’t know if it would have worked.
We bit just sat quietly. Sometimes you just need to stop talking, because in silence the truth comes out.