Paying it Forward…

By Marianna Boyce

Have you ever paid for a stranger’s meal behind you in a drive through?  How about picking up the tab for a military person or police officer’s meal at any restaurant?  They certainly have a tough job!  We hear of similar, heartwarming stories, but not nearly enough.  In a day where busy lives take over, we may overlook random acts of kindness.

I am typically not a selfish person, but a few years ago, excruciating pain unexpectedly invaded my body.  At the time, this overwhelming experience focused my undivided attention on my personal well-being.  It was all about me.  That “fight or flight” survival mode switched on, and no one else seemed to matter.  I’m not particularly proud of that, but I’m just telling you the truth. 

 My rheumatologist would eventually prescribe a self injected medication.  This stuff changed my life enough to focus my attention elsewhere.  Feeling much better, I wanted to pay it forward.  My meds are shipped monthly in a nifty Styrofoam cooler with two ice packs to keep the injection pens cold.  Flu season was in full swing at the time, so transforming these into a “get well” gift for others would prove to be a big hit.

I went to the store and purchased items we typically have on hand when we’re sick.

  • Campbell’s chicken noodle soup
  • Small cans of Pepsi, Coke, or Sprite
  • Apple or white grape juice
  • Single serving chips and/or crackers
  • Fruit or pudding cups
  • Mints or gum
  • Clorox wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Travel size Advil, Aleve, or Tylenol
  • Kleenex packs
  • Chap Stick or Carmex

 My granddaughter Avery loves to help pack the coolers for delivery.  They are filled with goodies and well wishes in hopes of making someone’s illness more tolerable.  People at church often fake a cough when they see me walk in with a cooler.  I’m sure they’d rather be well, but it still makes me smile.

I’m sharing this idea in the event you want to try something similar.  If so, I have two words of advice: don’t overstock!  Be keenly aware of expiration dates.  Who knew hand sanitizer had one?  My daughter Tiffany called one night after I sent her a care package. She loved it but told me her hand sanitizer was stinky!  It was never my intention to send her an expired one, but we both got a good laugh out of it nonetheless.  The others I had on hand were promptly discarded.  I’m glad she let me know.  Now, only a few are purchased at a time.

Fortunately, I haven’t been sick this season.  With that being said, I’m certain I’ll be down and out in a couple of days.  For me, Murphy’s Law does exist.  He follows me everywhere I go.  He was laughing when I fell up some steps a couple weeks ago.  No worries though, I’m okay.  If you’ve been under the weather lately, get well soon my friends.  Allergy season is just around the corner. 

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