As a writer, I believe certain stories are more powerful if you fill the story with quotes. The sussy blog post I’m writing now is no exception. So here goes…
The subject line simply read: My friend.
The heart-felt message was from Hillary, who wrote:
Dear Sussy project,
What an amazing beautiful idea! I absolutely love this! I know that you probably have billions of people wanting to nominate someone, and I’m no different. I have a friend who just recently lost her father. She is having such a hard time right now and I am going to ask you to please consider helping Neile. She is a beauty to this world and her kindness is amazing! Soft, fuzzy, pink socks and a chocolate bar would be a blessing to her heart. Thank you!!
Her email touched my heart. I was immediately reminded of my dear friend Ashley, who also recently lost her father as well. When I told Hilary we were going to sussy Neile, she was ecstatic!
“Oh Ashley!!! Such amazing timing!!! Thank you!!!”
I couldn’t wait to surprise Neile with something to make her smile. My first attempt at reaching Neile was unsuccessful because my email ended up in SPAM. But thankfully, she got my email on the second try and replied:
Hi Ashley, Thanks for emailing again. Yes, your first email had gone to my spam folder. I have been going through a very hard time. My father passed away September 6. Hillary is a dear friend, and it was very sweet of her to nominate me for this. I love this idea of being “caught off guard by kindness.”
And she later wrote back to say:
I loved reading the blog, especially the post about Ashley G. who lost her father. I was really touched by reading Ashley G’s reflections on the loss of her father. Ashley said, “I think about how he won’t meet my future husband, his grandchildren, or walk me down the aisle. He will be with me though just not physically.”
First of all, it makes me think about how lucky I am that I had my father all the years I did, through such milestones as getting married and having a family. The thing is that my father almost died of a massive stroke when I was 18. But he survived and lived for 29 more years! He was permanently disabled from the stroke, yet he always had a positive attitude through it all. In that time, he attended all of his kids’ weddings and had 9 more grandchildren (he already had 1 when he had the stroke) and 2 great grandchildren, who all got to know what a wonderful man he was. So I know that we were blessed to have him for as long as we did. And the part about him being with her but not physically is comforting to me, too. Like Ashley, I know my dad is with me, is part of me always.
When I got Neile’s email, I was in Target (shopping for her gifts actually). I stood there in the sock isle and just cried. I loved that Neile had such an inspiring attitude. I loved that Neile was able to find comfort in Ashley’s story. I loved that getting caught off guard by kindness could make such a big impact on someone’s day and outlook.
The next day, I mailed out the pink fuzzy socks and chocolates (like Hilary suggested) and a few other items to make for a relaxing night in).
When she got the package, Neile emailed me:
Hi Ashley, I received the package yesterday. I love all the special treats you put in there, and receiving the gift made me feel so cared for. Thank you so much!
Neile, I hope those pink, fuzzy socks give you comfort…not just on cold nights, but in moments when you are feeling down. Let the love of your family, friends, and even complete strangers from Indianapolis warm you up- from head to toe.
Help us keep this streak of smiles going by participating in The Sussy Project. We are ALWAYS taking new nominations, so think of someone you want to surprise with kindness and email us at email@example.com.
You can also take The Sussy Challenge!