Good deeds are even more important in times of trouble. My dad lost his wife this week and offers of help were appreciated, but he was too overwhelmed to sit down and figure out exactly what kind of help he needed.
Those closest to him sensed that and knew him well enough to just roll up their sleeves and jump in wherever they could provide assistance. Meals were dropped off, the cat taken care of, photos for the memorial gathered, and more.
When my sister and brother and I came to see him, we weren’t sure where to jump in, so we offered to help wherever we could. Of me, he asked only that I call my aunt, his older sister, and tell her what happened. I wished he’d asked me to repave his driveway.
Now, my aunt is a lovely lady but her phone conversations can outlast NHL triple-overtime.
But I’d promised him I’d fill her in, so I kept my word. And she was very sweet and understanding. She said she was sorry to hear the news and had only kind words for my dad and his wife’s family.
Unfortunately, she didn’t end things there. She added something new to the well-known list of “things you should never say to a recent widower” (which includes: “It was for the best,” “She’s lucky – she’s in a better place,” and “Who’s getting her topaz dinner ring?”).
My aunt asked, “Did she donate any of her organs?”
Now this is a perfectly legitimate question, but I’m glad I was the one who fielded it and not my dad. At that moment, I was very happy that he asked me to call her. Turns out, non-random acts of kindness can be good deeds, too.