Thoughtful kindness ... pass it on

Brenda Nail DeLauder


The petite young girl walked in the store holding the hand of her grandpa. He was a tall, lanky man who had to stoop over ever so slightly in order to reach her hand. Looking around, they quickly spotted the balloon section and made their way there. After quite the discussion, they picked one, handing it to the sales associate to blow up, then headed to the check out, still hand in hand, now with a balloon stating “I love you.” We waited together in the check out line and the child told me the balloon was for her grandma, who wasn’t feeling well. The “get well” balloons didn’t say what she thought her grandma needed to hear. The one they chose was just right. I smiled every time I thought about this family throughout the day. I hope the grandmother knew how much effort went into the balloon selection in order to make it perfect for her.

While in the toy department on a recent trip to Walmart, I overheard a discussion between a mom and son, who were there to pick out a gift for an upcoming birthday party. The boy, who was probably around seven years old, immediately found what he considered to be the perfect gift. Mom however, did not agree. She said it was important to give a gift that cost a little more. The child won out though, when he explained the toy was exactly what his friend wanted. The best gifts seldom come with a hefty price tag.

As I wandered on down the next aisle, I thought about some of the wonderful gifts I’ve received. They were favorites not for their costly worth, but because they came from the heart. A recent birthday provided such wonderful surprises like handwritten notes with uplifting kind words, art created especially for me, and lunch brought in by a friend, so we could share a few minutes of catching up without interruptions. The wickedly wonderful three-layer chocolate cake Mom made, was one of the best yet! Having my car washed and a box filled with great finds from the Dollar Tree certainly made me smile. Granted when a much loved child arrived with a beautiful bouquet in his hand, my heart went pitter-patter.

When someone shows us a kindness, it lifts our mood. A gift for a birthday or “just because” can really brighten a day. A call, card, or even an e-mail message letting us know we are being thought about, can perk us right up! Sometimes we are caught off guard by someone going out of their way to give us a lift, and many times, those are the best moments!

So often when we make the effort to help brighten someone’s day, we gain as much from it as they do. Searching for cards to send is fun, especially when you spot one that seems to be the perfect fit. If you know a friend likes a particular thing, such as butterflies, then snap a picture of one and send it to them. Bake a cake or pie and surprise a neighbor with it for absolutely no reason. Without a doubt there will be a smile waiting to cross your own face after you do so.

My family and friends didn’t let my birthday slip by unnoticed as I thought I preferred. I’m so glad they didn’t because it truly lifted me up. “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24) By sharing a happy moment with someone, even a stranger, you are serving the Lord with gladness. It’s the making of a better day!

Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.