Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to describe ...

Last Sunday, Cooper came home from a weekend of Boy Scout camping and showed symptoms of an awful stomach virus. He was down and out for all of Sunday afternoon and night and was in no condition to go to school Monday.

I emailed his teachers to let them know he'd be out and asked for any work he could do from home, in case he started to feel better.

His Spanish teacher replied with some instructions. I forwarded them to Cooper. He was confused about the directions and emailed her directly.

She replied that he was supposed to start creating a "Who Am I?" poster, using adjectives to describe family members. She suggested mom, dad, sibling, pet and himself.

Cooper didn't want to reply in an email that his dad is dead.

And then, he explains, when he returned to school, he thought it would be awkward to tell her in person.

So, he chose to include Steve in the poster. (This is totally normal for Cooper and Katie -- they usually include Steve in their family descriptions.)

To describe Steve, Cooper wrote: El es tranquillo y callado.

In other words: He is calm and quiet.

Oh, I laughed and laughed and laughed. Of all the adjectives I can think of to describe living Steve, calm and quiet wouldn't be at the top of my list. Witty, outgoing, outspoken, lively, intense, funny, smart, curious, clever. Not often calm and quiet.

Yet there's no arguing that he's calm and quiet now.

Steve would definitely approve. And he'd be tickled that his son shares his quick wit, sarcasm and dry humor.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Head for the Cure 2014

For the fourth year in a row, Cooper, Katie and I are fielding a team of friends and family members for the Head for the Cure 5K North Texas. Our team, Run for Steve Damm, is in memory of our beloved Steve, who lived with a brain tumor for a year and a half before passing away on September 7, 2009.

The Head for the Cure Foundation raises money for brain cancer research. The money goes to the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative at M.D. Anderson (where Steve was diagnosed) and the Legacy Brain Foundation in North Texas.

Cooper, Katie and I are so thankful for the community that continues to surround us with love and prayers. We would be honored if you could participate! You can:

1. Run or walk in the 5K. (And young children can participate in the Kids Fun Run.)

2. Donate money to Head for the Cure.

3. Pray for our team and for a cure for brain cancer!


Here are details on the race:
  • Saturday, May 10, 2014
  • 8 a.m.
  • Oak Point Park, Plano, Texas
  • Team registration: $23 through April 18; $27 from April 19 to May 7; $30 on race day
  • Kids Fun Run registration: $10 (ages 10 and younger)
For more race details, click here.

To register for the race, click here

When you register, be sure to join our team: Run for Steve Damm.

If you're not able to participate but would like to donate to the Head for the Cure Foundation, please click here

NEW TEAM SHIRTS
Also, whether or not you can join us May 10, you can buy the fun new DAMM TEAM T-shirt! We hope to see lots of tie-dye and bright blue out at the race -- both styles that Steve Damm would have approved.



To order shirts, click here. They'll all be delivered to me, and I'll distribute them before the race.

Please let me know if you have questions! Email me at tyradamm@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Interview

I survived the interview with Pastor Andy at First UMC Lewisville a couple of weeks ago.

Whew.

Actually, I knew I would survive. Andy is a dear friend and would never lead me astray. Plus I have an incredible support team. And in each of the three services, there were friendly faces in the pews.

Kathy and Scott, Kris and Maddie at the first service.

Andy's family at the second service.

Katrina, the whole Amezcua clan, Chelsea and Neil at the third.

During the interview, Andy walked me through 10 questions related to life before cancer, life during and life after. I spoke about (or tried to remember to speak about) our storybook life before that December 2007 MRI, about my fears of becoming a single mom, about the life-sustaining network that supported us, about the people placed in our lives who eased our burdens, about not being angry at God, about hymns and Scripture that provide strength greater than grande soy lattes.

After each service, there were kind folks who stopped by to give me a hug or share their own stories. A few are even fans of my column. (That's always a little odd to me, because in my mind there are about 100 people, all of them my friends, who read my column.)

I met a woman in the restroom who thanked me for sharing my story and then broke down in tears because she had lost her own dear husband last April. We held hands for a few moments.

A young man asked for advice for his mom, who struggles daily with grief and can't seem to "move on."

A woman whose husband is a cancer survivor told me that she could relate to our story, even though their story has a different ending.

I'm not sure when, if ever, I'll listen to the interview, but if you'd like to, you can find it here or download it here. (From the third service, I believe.)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cooper & Steve

No doubt, Cooper is his own young man. His own big personality, gifts, sense of humor, talents and quirks. But there are moments when it seems as if Steve is whispering in his ear. Sometimes he flashes a facial expression that makes me catch my breath or laugh uncontrollably.

This morning, as we were getting ready to leave for church, I asked Cooper and Katie to check all the doors and to love on Margie a little. Maybe give her a scratch on the head.

A minute later, as we were walking out the door, Cooper reported, "Margie's head has been thoroughly scratched."

Steve's words, inflection and tone -- right out of Cooper's mouth.

About 25 minutes later, I was attempting to take our weekly photo on Steve's bench at church.

Some Sundays I get a good photo in four or five tries. Others, well, it's more like 40 or 50. The sun is too sunny or someone's hair is too ticklish or someone is slouching while the other is twisting.

Today, Cooper's arm was placed around Katie in a way that made her uncomfortable. So I asked Cooper to move his arm behind her but not around her.

All sorts of Steve-style goofiness broke out.


Can you see his awkwardly bent left arm and hand?

How about now?

Pure Steve Damm.


I eventually captured this, the "good" photo, though I'm a big fan of the others, too.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Walking with God Through Hard Times

When Steve was planning his memorial service (unbeknownst to me), he asked that I participate. He wanted me to speak, but he knew me well enough to know that I'm terrified of public speaking and that I'd be too much of a mess to speak at his service.

He, of course, was right.

Instead, I wrote about Steve for the service, and Betty read the words on my behalf. I still don't know how she managed, but I'm so thankful she did.

Since Steve's death, I've spoken publicly just a few times -- sometimes about being a mom, sometimes about Steve, usually about both. My fear of public speaking eases a little every time. My emotions have dropped from terrified to nervous.

And now, of course, I speak in front of a roomful of children five days a week. Teaching never makes me nervous.

Do you think Steve would believe that I've agreed to speak in front of an entire church congregation for three consecutive services?

Well, he probably would -- Steve was my biggest, most ardent fan. 

Our former senior pastor, Andy Lewis, has asked me to join him at First United Methodist Church Lewisville this Sunday morning to talk about "Walking with God Through Hard Times."

We'll talk about life before brain cancer, life during and life after. We'll talk about the people who supported our family, the faith that sustained us, the joy that emerges when you least expect it. We'll talk about God's love and grace and strength.

When: 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 16
Where: First UMC Lewisville, 907 W. Main St., Lewisville

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday 1994

When Steve and I were engaged Dec. 25, 1993, he was the assistant administrator at a multi-specialty physician clinic in Brenham and I was the food editor at the Bryan-College Station Eagle.

About a week after our engagement, Mel Tittle, managing editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal called and, after chatting for a few minutes, asked me to fly to Lubbock to interview for a copy-editing job.

I agreed. As Steve drove me to the Austin airport very early the morning of my interview, I told him I was just going to practice my job-seeking skills. I mean, it was Lubbock. (No offense, Lubbock friends, but I had grown up hearing less-than-flattering descriptions of West Texas from family members who hailed from Midland.)

When Steve picked me back up that night at the Austin airport, I told him that we needed to move. (These were the pre-cellphone days. There was no way to telegraph my excitement about the Lubbock newsroom and, let's be honest, the prospect of making $10 an hour, compared to $7.50 an hour.)

Oh, that Steve Damm was a patient fellow. And totally, completely supportive.

By the end of January, we had moved a few things to Lubbock. On Jan. 30, 1994, after we'd driven to Lubbock, Steve flew back to Austin so that he could return to Brenham for a couple of weeks.

It was Super Bowl night. The Dallas Cowboys were playing the Buffalo Bills. We watched some of the game in the airport bar. Then Steve boarded his flight, missing an hour of the game. When he landed in Austin, he caught the end. Dallas won, 30-13.

What I remember most about that night: A huge sense of melancholy when Steve boarded the plane.

Oh, I cried and cried and cried. Though there was promise of good times to come, I felt so very alone. Alone in a new town that isn't at its prettiest in late January. (I did learn to love Lubbock, though never really for its aesthetic qualities.)

We would have many goodbyes to come. In 1997, after Steve graduated with his MBA from Texas Tech, he accepted a job with Arthur Andersen, working as a consultant. Almost every week for three years, he would board a plane -- first for Los Angeles, then for St. Louis.

Goodbyes were never easy, but they became routine. There was always the promise of a reunion in just a few days.

Some day we'll have a different kind of reunion. Until then, there are many, many good days in store. I am thankful for every single one.

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
-- Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Moments

When we all arrived home today, we found a note on the door.

A medical supply company -- a vendor that Steve's hospice agency used -- had stopped by to check on an oxygen compressor.

It took them four and a half years.

I had called the company in September 2009, not long after Steve died, asking that someone pick up the compressor. No one did. And so it has sat in our garage ever since.

I wonder what made them stop by today of all days to check on it.

I called the number left on the card. We've arranged a pickup date so the company can retrieve its compressor.

***

Cooper and a friend at school were talking about their fathers today. The friend's dad died when he was 4.

"He didn't really know what death meant then," Cooper said. "And I was 8 when Daddy died, and I sort of knew what death meant."

The boys have two friends who are suddenly, without warning, mourning the death of their father.

"At 12, you really know what death means."

Cooper and I are both praying that he can offer comfort.

***

All this talk got Katie talking. (Not that that's difficult to do.)

"I remember the day Daddy died," she said. "Aunt Ami gave me a bubble bath. My fingers were like raisins. I didn't totally understand Daddy's death."

***

Two weeks ago, my trusty minivan was hit in a parking lot. The driver of the Hummer was apologetic and quick to take responsibility. There's a big ol' hole on the left side of my car.

Arranging a time for an adjustor to look at the damage is difficult when you have a daytime job. I took a risk and scheduled the first appointment on the books -- today at 4:40 p.m. in Plano, about 15 miles from school. It was risky because we have staff meetings on Wednesdays. Would I get out in time to make the appointment?

Never fear. Betty volunteered to drive from Dallas to Frisco, pick up the van, drive it to Plano and then back to our house in Frisco.

There's no way I could manage this full, busy, joyful life without help. I'm so thankful for the people around us who never fail to amaze me with their wide-open hearts and practical, logistical solutions.

***

This is a big weekend. It's the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance.

You may recall that Katie went with Steve when she was 3. We knew that it was probably the only dance they'd ever attend together.

Since then, she's been escorted by Uncle Greg or Papa. This year she asked Uncle Jim to be her date.

He, of course, said yes, and will fly in from Washington, D.C., to take his 8-year-old niece to the dance.

She will wear sequins. She has agreed to some curls in her hair. She will no doubt have a lovely time.

And yet I'm preparing my heart for the inevitable heartache she feels and expresses after this annual event, where she sees her friends dance with their daddies.

This year we talked about the possibility of staying home or finding another way to spend the day. It would be OK, I told her, to skip in an effort to avoid emotional pain.

She would not even entertain the idea.

If you think about it this Saturday evening, maybe you could pray for her tender heart.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reminders

Steve loved spicy food of all kind. He especially loved Korean food. He often told me about lunches at Steve's Lunch, a little restaurant in Ann Arbor. His favorite meal there was bibimbap -- rice with veggies, meat and a fried egg on top. When we would eat Korean together, he would almost always choose spicy pork with kimchi.

On Friday, Cooper, Katie and I had a late lunch at a little Korean place in Plano.

Katie ordered a rice bowl with fish. (She's been a practicing pescatarian since August.) I ordered a rice bowl with chicken and kimchi.

Cooper studied the menu for a while then ordered a spicy pork rice bowl with a fried egg and kimchi.

I laughed and laughed. It was totally a Steve Damm kind of order.

Coop at Kor-BQ

***

Also on Friday, we received a letter from Alpha Tau Omega -- Steve's fraternity at Michigan. The organization isn't yet aware of Steve's death and therefore sent him a certificate for 25 years of membership.

I suppose it's time I send ATO a note about Brother Damm, initiated in 1988.


***

One of Cooper's middle school coaches passed away this week. Coach Furnas was, by all accounts, a treasured coach and role model. He was 39.

Cooper wasn't sure that he wanted to attend the memorial service. I told him that I would support him either way. I also gently told him that there are no second chances on weddings and funerals. We talked about why it might be good to be around other students and to say goodbye.

He ultimately decided to attend and says he's glad that he did. It's definitely been a rough, fragile, emotional weekend around here. I've taken a lot of deep breaths and asked for an extra measure of patience.

Tomorrow is the first day of school after winter break. A team of counselors will be on campus to visit with students and staff as needed.

***

In one of our talks this weekend, Cooper and I talked about anger toward God.

I told him that God no doubt can handle all the questions and anger we have. God's love for us never, ever wavers.

O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:26)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

20 years

On Dec. 25, 1993, Steve Damm asked me to marry him.

I said yes. Of course.

Twenty years later, nothing is how we expected it to be. Of course. It never is.

Still, two decades after I said yes, I feel treasured, loved and secure. And I pray that Cooper and Katie feel the same. 

One of my favorite quotes on Christmas, outside of Scripture itself, comes from one of my favorite authors, the late Madeleine L'Engle. 

Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for you? 

We, the children of God, are all treasured, loved and secure. I am forever thankful for the mystery and wonder and awe that is the birth of Christ -- and for God's love for us all represented in that tiny baby.  

Merry Christmas!
Christmas cousins: Katie, Cooper, Molli & Brooke
Christmas Eve: Uncle Jim, Tyra, Betty, Katie, Cooper & Jim 
Christmas Day: Betty, Katie and Jim
Christmas Day: Tyra, Cooper and Uncle Jim

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Missing in so many ways

After more than four years of living without Steve, there are still multiple moments that I'm struck by how much we miss him.

For example, just from the past few weeks:

When Cooper, Katie and I sat in the front row at Foundation United Methodist Church in Temple for my mom's memorial service

When we were visiting with the Pry-Beckas and Will asked Cooper a goofy question and Cooper didn't speak -- only replied with a total Steve Damm smirk

When I learned that Katie has dyslexia (though I know she will be fine and that we are fortunate that she already compensates well for her learning disability)

When I rediscovered an old lab report from chemotherapy days

When hilarious/shocking/heartbreaking/uplifting moments happen at school and I want to  tell him

When Katie received awards for a poem and pastel drawing for this year's PTA Reflections contest

When Cooper helped a woman at Tom Thumb, and our cashier praised his kindness until the tips of his ears turned red

When there are overlapping meetings/appointments/practices and we need logistical help

When the seventh-grade science fair project is due

When the Christmas music at church is so powerful that it brings tears to my eyes

When I'm re-watching Anchorman in anticipation of the (quite possibly awful) sequel

When we're hanging Christmas ornaments that tell dozens of stories of the past 20 years

When I remember that 20 years ago this Christmas we were engaged

When Katie tells me she can't remember his voice

When Cooper asks questions about how much treatment Steve had for his cancer because he didn't know at the time and/or doesn't remember

Of course, all of those moments don't crowd out the joy of our days. I simply live with the absence instead of fighting it or ignoring it. And I get to live with the two best reminders of Steve.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness: The Recap


I don't have an exact count, but based on texts, emails, Facebook posts and conversations, I'm certain we surpassed our family's goal of 450 kind acts in memory of Steve.

All over Frisco, and Texas, and the United States, and even the world, folks were going out of their way to make life brighter for others.

A couple of days after Nov. 4, Katie was reading the blog on her iPod Touch. She would exclaim things like, "This one's from Oklahoma!" and "There was one in Seattle!" and "Did you know they were doing this in Canada?"

Cooper, Katie and I were smiling all week, thrilled with the response and touched by the kind souls who surround us.

An incredible side effect of this big celebration: Cooper and Katie are gaining new appreciation for their Daddy's legacy. Many of their Steve memories are fading. They talk about how they don't remember his voice. They don't recall small, daily details of life with their Daddy.

Truly, that breaks my heart.

But they do know that he was the kind of man who still inspires people today -- to be giving, silly, funny, a little mischievous and a whole bunch of loving.

Truly, that warms my soul.

Thank you, kind family members, friends and friends-we-don't-yet-know, for celebrating with us! We can't wait for 46 Acts of Kindness, Nov. 4, 2014.

Links to the blog posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Link to the Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness: Part 24

From Tricia of Frisco:

Emma, Will and I brought a bouquet of flowers to the Plano Presby nurses station and asked that they give them to a patient who'd been there a while without visitors or flowers.


***

From Gina of Plano:

Kent and I made a donation to the American Cancer Society for research in memory of Steve and for 45 Acts of Kindness. We've lost so many loved ones through the years (my uncle just this past April) and have so many friends and family either currently facing this disease themselves or facing it with a loved one. We hope/pray research will one day put a stop to a disease that takes way too many far too soon. Thanks for giving us this opportunity! We so admire what you've done to remember Steve and to help others. You and your kiddos are true inspirations! :)

***

Update from Beatrice:

I was able to deliver the bag of food to the family outside of target... as i was leaving a gentleman pulled up and handed her some cash.... hope they have a good dinner tonight.....

***

From Marilie of Cypress:


Donated a huge bag of candy in honor of Steve to Cypress Cares to send to troops overseas. 

***

From Amy:

I saw my friend walking to work today and picked her up. She bought me a coffee.


***

From Nicole in Vancouver:


Finally! We made it out. I wanted it to be a family thing. Concession at the rink where we bought an instructor her snack then left the sweet concession lady a few dollar tip. Next went to McDonalds where we bought the orders for the 2 cars behind ours. Gave the print out and the brief story...hope it brightened their day In Memory of Your Husband/Daddy's birthday! 



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness: Part 23

From Toya in Minnesota:

Here's what I did in recognition of 45 Acts of Kindness ... treats for my colleagues on a gloomy Minnesota Monday, drove a friend home from work so she didn't have to take a bus and made a donation to St. Jude's. Thank you for inviting me to participate. Always honored to do so.


***

From Denise in Frisco:

We did two acts yesterday. We paid for a prescription for an hourly employee whom we love and is uninsured. We also gave a 20 dollar tip to a gentleman at Subway who is amazing and so kind! Thanks for letting us honor Steve. It was our honor!


***

Just after Katie and I arrived home from school, one of our dear friends was at the door, carrying homemade chocolate cake. Thank you, Jakob, for the delicious treat! (As Cooper says, "It doesn't even taste like it was made by a fifth-grader.")


***

From Renee:

This year I went through my day looking to extend kindness through my normal interactions. I gave a high school student an $8 tip when he brought my vanilla diet coke at Sonic. I gave someone a box (several packages) of gum because they are always supplying others with gum. I was reminded of the importance of appreciating those God brings my way...every day. I shared Steve's story and people were touched by his life.

***

From Lori:


Left a $50 tip on a $50 ticket for a waitress who works 2 full-time jobs.

***

From DeLois in Frisco:

Last year I gave to my church to help with families in need. This year I gave Starbucks gift cards to our school office staff, our school nurse, and our school custodians.

***

From Uncle Greg in Anna:


We checked up on and spent time with an elderly neighbor who loves company.



***

From Cortney in Minnesota:

Daughter made glitter smiley faces on the back of our 45act cards and handed out cookies to the kids at the park. mom brought coffee for the adults. we had a blast and spread the word about faith love kindness and steve. after having a bad day it was a great way to lift my spirits and i left the park with a smile i just couldn't get off my face. thanks steve.

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 22

From Melane in Anna:

Trash Day! Our three garbage collectors will find a little suprise with our trash today. I left them each a Subway gift card attached to a thank you note. Happy Birthday, Stevie D! I love how your specialness has become contagious!


***

From Jim (Steve's dad!) in Dallas:

I gave a gift card to Magic Time Machine to our new Preschool Director. She has been doing a great job ... and is planning for the future. She has 2 young children and was excited because this would give their family a chance to enjoy a fun time together.

***

From Ben in Dallas:

A donation to the Red Cross in memory of Steve.

***

From Paige in Minnesota:

I baked cookies yesterday and delivered them to neighbors.....all because Steve touched my life. Sending lots of love from Minnesota!

***

From Renae in Edmond, Okla.:

Kids made cards and we put together a "bit of sunshine" care package for my niece who's a freshman at Emporia State University!  :)


***

From Judie in Fort Worth:


Baked Pumpkin Muffins for two sweet families yesterday! Thanks, Tyra, for giving us the chance to love others in honor of Steve and also for you and your precious, amazing kids. Coop and KT are such a blessing to all of us.


***

From Tracy in Carrollton:

I was getting my afternoon large iced tea from McDonald's today which presented me the opportunity to buy lunch for the young man in the car behind me in honor of Steve. What a privilege for me to get to participate in this! 

***

From Peter:

Some cash in an envelope taped to a snack machine, courtesy of Steve Damm.

***


From Susan:

I brought breakfast and afternoon treats for my day long meeting today.


***

From Stacy in Frisco:

My kids and I dropped fruit and a gift card for groceries at Frisco Fire Station #2 in memory of Steve.

***

From Suzanne:

Paid for the 2 people behind me in the drive thru at Tim Horton's.



45 Acts of Kindness: Part 21

From Stella in Plano:

I started a day early. Took a family member who doesn't have transportation and on a limited income to run errands and then bought her lunch. When she offered to pay for my gas, I told her it was my treat. Today, I invited a friend to go with me to an event and didn't let her pay when she offered to cover the parking. She told me after that it made her day because she hadn't been out in awhile. I told her all about 45 Acts of Kindness.

***

From Jason in Lewisville:

I was gifted a Starbucks GC by someone anonymously. On my way home, I swung by Starbucks figuring I could maybe use the GC to spread some more love. I bought the coffee for the person in front of me in the drive thru. When I explained the premise to the barista, he was moved by it and decided my coffee should be free!


***

From Suzanne in Frisco:

A friend contacted me to schedule a get together but suggested Starbucks instead of meeting for lunch as her family is trying to save some money. So I took her to lunch and told her about Steve and 45 Random Acts of Kindness. Was good to see a friend and spread some joy.

***

From Sarah in Frisco:



I started my morning by buying breakfast at Chick-Fil-A for the gentleman behind me. Then on to a local elementary school that is in need of reading books for struggling kids. I asked them to distribute them as they see fit. Then to my own kids' school with sweet treats and classroom games for their teachers. And finally, I delivered many of my recently read magazines to a friend coming home from the hospital and off her feet for awhile. My intentions were to make other people smile, but I think I was the one with the biggest smile by the end of the day!

***

From Wendi in Frisco:

I took Sonic drink orders yesterday for all of Sophie's teachers (current and past) at her preschool and Sophie and I are delivering them this morning.

***

From Sharon in Anna:

Since I was working at the hospital, I chose to find opportunities of kindness acts. I sang a song about Jesus with a man on dialysis, comforted a scared 10 year old boy who was getting an IV, prayed with a woman who had a double mastectomy after she shared her story. I think these patients were doing acts of kindness with me as well, because I saw grace, humility and strength personified.

***

From Joanie in Lewisville:

Today, I'll take homemade lunch to the loving and kind Lynn Carroll, who was Katie's teacher when Steve passed away and my daughter's teacher when we lost our son in the same year. She was a bright spot in an otherwise heart-wrenching time and we knew our kids were well taken care of! Thank you "Mrs. Carroll!"


***

From Jeanne in Frisco:

We gave a friend a gift card and your note. Within minutes she was telling me how she was going to give a friend who rescues animals a gift card. It's amazing how these acts of kindness for Steve continue to inspire so many people.

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 20


From Marbella:

Today I paid for a random person's prescription at the pharmacy. So happy I was able to participate in such a great gift of giving!

***

From Ellie in Frisco:


Ready to go pay it forward.

***

From Kelly in Frisco:


***

From Dallas in Seattle:

When no one else wanted to do it, I organized a donation drive among friends and collected money for flowers for a friend in mourning.

***



Someone (some people?) arranged for fresh-baked cookies and cold milk to be delivered to me at school today. Thank you, kind mysterious one(s)!

***

On Katie's list: Leave $1 at the vending machine in the teacher's workroom, hoping to treat someone to a drink.

***
We spent some of the rainy afternoon making deliveries -- brownies to some neighborhood families and Starbucks gift cards to strangers.

***


We came home from school to find that someone -- clearly someone who reads my Facebook posts -- had left a tiny Christmas tree for Katie, who has been asking that we start decorating for Christmas since 4:58 p.m. Oct. 31.

***



We ate dinner with friends and listened to live music by a group of talented classical artists, including our dear friend Tammy, who is also Katie's violin instructor. The trio played Pachelbel's Canon in D in memory of Steve. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness, Part 19


From Rick in Fort Worth:

$45 in gas to random stranger Brian at 7-11 on the corner of University Drive and Berry Street. Rolled in on fumes, he said. Drove away vowing to pay it forward with a random act of kindness of his own to someone else.

For you, Steve.
Blessings to you, Tyra, Cooper, KT.

***

From Haley in France:



For Steve day, I dropped off 5€ and a handful of Steve cards at the English Club at my university in France. Each coffee costs 40 cents, so I told them to pay for as many coffees as they could for the customers they would have that morning and to give them each a card. (They also posted a card on the door to the club.) They were touched! I just checked in at the end of the day, and the girl who I gave the cards to this morning told me that everyone was surprised and happy about their free coffee.

***

From Mary of Plano:

I'm traveling (San Francisco) so left an extra large (100%) tips with a couple of cabbies today. Just got dropped off by one who said, "Thank you for your generosity. Have a beautiful night." 

***

From Cassie in Anna:

Today we made the decision to give the stray dog that found us two weeks ago a trip to the vet so he could get a good grooming. Unfortunately he couldn't get the shots and we were told he has heartworms very bad. We decided to make this stray now known as Buddy ours. He may not live long but we think he should be comfortable, pain free and have a second chance at life. Fingers crossed he makes it and that he is here to celebrate 46 Acts of Kindness. Blessings.

***

From Heather in Frisco:


We took flowers to the senior residents of Sunrise of Frisco to add a little sunshine to their day.

***

From Amy in Dallas:

No pictures this time but we: Purchased coffee for a stranger, sent dessert to a table of ladies at lunch, and gave flowers to an incredibly grateful elderly woman in the Tom Thumb parking lot. We're continuing the fun tomorrow by giving fresh banana bread to the always smiling crossing guard on the corner.

***

From Judy:

Today, I gave a bottle of Champagne to Ruthann and Bill Laswick, to toast, two people whose graciousness has no limits. We met two years ago when I began taking care of their four dogs and six cats whenever they went out of town. It turned into so much more.....they gave me a home to live in when I had no where else to go and gave me a job when I had so much trouble finding work. But the interesting part of our relationship is their son, Zack, who loves God, and has unknowingly through his worship, given me the strength to pray and believe again.

***

From Susanna:

Bought breakfast for a couple of people at McDonalds this morning & then a friend of mine! Happy Birthday Steve!

***

From Rebekah:

Addison got in on the act and put in her dollar for a treat for someone.

***

From Deborah:

I gave a gift certificate for Starbucks to a newly single mother of three with an encouraging note. I put checkonsteve.blogspot.com on the bottom so she would know why I picked her. Giving is great! Blessings to you for thinking of such a great way to honor such great love.

***

From Jeri in Oregon:

I got my co-workers here in Oregon involved. None of them ever met Steve, but were enthusiastic about celebrating his life in this way! We joined together and I delivered two vases of flowers and numerous toys to the Oncology ward at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. I didn't take pictures out of respect for the children, but they were happy to have some new toys.

***

From Allison in Dallas:

Because W.T. White High School was Steve's alma mater, I took hot chocolate and scones to the front office staff and left a supper gift card for a young mother who teaches ESL classes, coaches the swim team with 6 a.m. practices, and sponsors the junior class. Horns Up!

***

From Lisa in Frisco:

Max super excited to give the firemen something to "cool" off with.


Of course we couldn't leave out our "cool" police officers.

***

From Ramona:

We gave Ms. Barber the counselor a Gift Card to Starbucks!


Of course we couldn't forget our favorite Math teacher Ms. Shepard!

***

From Anne in Ann Arbor:

I love this. Wish I had known about it sooner. But I'm going to put money in the vending machine and leave a note for the next person right now!

***

From Christine in Frisco:

Brady wanted in on the action. Left some quarters for some other kids! If course he had to get some too!

***

From Linda:

I purchased coffee and a pretzel for the woman behind me in line this morning. She showered me with hugs and said I made her day. She then purchased coffee for the lady behind her.

***

From Elizabeth in Massachusetts:



I put some money in an envelope and tapped it to the vending machine at the hospital.

***

From Claire:

I went to a depressed neighborhood in town and bought breakfast at McDonalds for the car behind me in the drive through, and instructed the cashier to hand the gentleman Steve's card. He was so excited that he pulled up behind me, while I waited at the window to get my tea, and started honking his horn and waving. He followed me about 2 miles down the main drag before I turned off to go to the post office, and honked as he went on down the road. I'd say, he really liked that surprise. I have another card, I just have to decide what other, different act of kindness I will do today. But the first one was a thrill!