Paying it forward

December 12, 2023


Few things have touched me more than receiving a kind offer that was paying it forward.

If you don’t know what that means: It’s when someone who received a kindness repays it by doing a good deed for others, rather than for the original benefactor.

Gift from the past

The gift of this particular offer? It was paying forward the kindness of my late parents. They were the original benefactors.

“During a really tough time in my life, both of your parents were there for me in a big way,” they said to me. “This is just my way of paying it forward.”

Oh. My. Gosh.

It took me by surprise.

But it’s just one of the marvelous things that are a result of spending more time in our hometown.

I’d been living away some 50 years, first in Florida and then, California. When I was younger, my feelings about my hometown were conflicted. It’s true that it was never going to hold me. But it’s equally true that there are some wonderful things about spending time back in my own stomping grounds. Like a reconnection with my roots, including unexpected connections.

There’s always a price for those of us who leave the hometown. Sometimes, it’s a price we choose to pay and other times it’s inflicted upon us by those who stayed. I am definitely a Californian, but I am also a Rochester girl. And those two parts of me co-exist more comfortably than I imagined they would.

I’m not someone who reaches out easily. So when someone I don’t know hugely well gives me the kind of beautiful and unexpected gift that this person did, it’s an amazing feeling.

Kindnesses are easy and come in many sizes, configurations and flavors. If you have a chance to do one, I hope you will. Especially if it includes paying it forward.

Speaking of that, my beautiful condolence gifts are gentle and supportive. See them HERE.

4 comments on “Paying it forward
  1. Laurie Stone says:

    What a lovely post. Yes, I believe there’s more kindness in this world than cruelty. Unfortunately, the negative always get the headlines. Sounds like your parents were good people.

  2. Alana says:

    We need a lot more people like those who paid your parents’ kindness forward. We need more people like your parents, too. One day we will all be gone and remembered for our deeds. So much hate in this world – we are here to make the world better, not worse.

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