Anytime is a good time for kindness, but receiving it is especially sweet when you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give.
Proud dad, Scott Wright, who lives near the Wisconsin/Iowa border, and his wife still remember one particular act of kindness that came when they needed it most.
“Rewind in time. It’s May 18, 2000. My wife is 27 weeks pregnant with twins and her water breaks in the middle of the night. We rush to the emergency room, where the doctor advises transferring to a hospital in Iowa City as a precaution. The plan was to stay in Iowa City for six weeks and then return to Dubuque to deliver our twins.
I overheard the phone call to the transport nurse at 3AM. ‘Take your time and even take a shower. This is a non-emergency.’
It’s about a two-hour drive to Iowa City and my wife arrives around 6AM. They take her to a room and a person brings in a mountain of paperwork to start the intake process. My wife says she needs to use the restroom. The next thing you hear is my wife screaming. Well, I’m not sure how to explain it any other way than to say, Maggie, my daughter, was born in the toilet.
They cut the cord, wheel my wife off to a delivery room, and 10 minutes later Kylie is born.
My daughters were born at 27 weeks, one weighing 1 pound 12 ounces and the other weighing 2 pounds 6 ounces. The girls spent the first two years of their lives on oxygen 24/7, not able to leave the house or hospital.
My wife and I were what I would call ‘middle class’ income folks. She was the payroll manager of a small private college and I had a growing business. My wife quit her job for obvious reasons, and there were many extra expenses living in a hospital 100+ miles from your home, but we were still able to make ends meet.
Many folks reached out to help us monetarily that first year, but one act of kindness really stands out.
Once a month, for almost a year, we received a handwritten envelope addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Wright. Inside the envelope was a $100 bill.
There was never a note attached, but my wife and I strongly believe that this gift was from the mom of a good friend of ours. We had done repeated favors for her over the years and refused to allow her to pay us.
Now fast forward 17 years. My girls are successful seniors in high school. They are on high honor roll and involved in every sporting activity and social event a high school student would ever want.
They also have a job — babysitting the grandsons of the person who gave us those $100 bills over 17 years ago.
Nothing has ever been said about the money, but it’s amazing how kindness has a way of circling back around.”
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.