A little kindness can go a long way


Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

It’s 4 a.m. and I am unable to sleep, so I guess I’ll occupy my time by writing this week’s article. I am attired in a Christmas gift — purple pajamas and a purple robe. I smiled to myself when I opened the gift and saw purple. It made me think of one of my favorite poems.

When I am an Old Woman I shall wear purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

And learn to spit.

This poem tickles my funny bone. It is much longer, but you get the gist of it. So when you see me sometime decked out in purple, you will know why.

Our family, like many others, exchange gifts during Christmas. We all know it is better to give than receive, but I really appreciated the special thought and love my family put into selecting the gifts they gave to me. My daughter, Amy, knows I suffer from asthma. She gifted me with a Himalayan salt crystal lamp. It acts like an air purifier, emitting negative ions that fight against positively charged particles that cause us to feel stuffy and make it difficult to breathe. I placed the lamp in our family room, where I spend a great deal of time. Its warm orange glow is relaxing.

Both my son and daughter selected lovely necklaces for me. They know I enjoy wearing jewelry. They couldn’t have made any better selections; I simply love them.

My hubby will be leaving soon to have breakfast before starting his 6 a.m. shift at the City Cab company. One of his gifts this year is a cushion he will be using while driving cab. Sitting in the cab for five hours has done a number on his posterior (he doesn’t have much padding), so this cushion is perfect. He’ll probably dab on a bit of the 007 cologne he received before heading out. I sure adore my sweet-smelling cabbie!

I appreciate the opportunity to communicate with you readers through these weekly articles. Your feedback is always welcomed. One article I wrote recently seemed to resonate with many of you. The article was about showing kindness to one another.

A local teacher told me she read the article to her class and she placed the article on a board in her classroom. Another reader told me she cut out the article and put it in her office at work.

The response I received about the article told me you readers agree, we do need to try to be kinder, a little less judgmental and more forgiving. We never know what a hug, a supportive word or a simple act of kindness might mean to someone. Princess Diana once said, “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that someday someone might do the same for you.”

In an article, I asked you to join me in prayer for a young man in our community who was hospitalized and facing a serious surgery. The young man had already lost one leg, and the surgery was to remove the other leg, which had become infected.

One day before Christmas, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I still had some shopping to do, my wrapping wasn’t done, and the tree wasn’t trimmed. I was in a “woe is me” frame of mind. That morning, the stepfather delivered to me a letter handwritten by this young man. He had just been released from the hospital. The letter said in part: “Thank you for keeping me and my family in your thoughts and prayers.
It is appreciated!! I never question why, I always keep looking forward and keep a positive attitude. It is always a blessing to know others care, and again thank you.”

The letter touched me more than any letter I have ever received, and I thanked God for putting this wise and special young man in my life. I finished all my tasks with a thankful heart and the belief all things happen for a reason.

As we move into a new year, let’s all try to be kinder. Life is not an easy journey, but we can all do something to make someone’s day a little brighter!

Answer to last week’s question: Sandy Steinke.

This week’s question: Who donated the site where the current American Legion building is located?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.