THE KINDNESS OF REBECCA
One of the great things (among many) about having a blog is people arrive in your life who you would never meet under the normal comings and goings of your day. People from all over the world wander into yours and many bring gifts. I don’t mean like candles and soap, but the gifts of themselves and their stories; and I have found when you share your stories it gives others the chance to do the same, and the brave ones do.
One such person who arrived at the door of my laptop is Rebecca Renaud. She sent me an email after seeing us on one of the TV shows. She said she really responded to the mother daughter story. Rebecca lives in Maine, she has a mother daughter story of her own and sadly one that does not have a happy ending.
But Rebecca is one of those people who I admire so much because she is the type who really chooses happiness and does so in the toughest of situations – in the face of tragedy.
I know so many people who mope and moan and blame and complain and the truth is they don’t have a bloody thing to be upset about. And three quarters of the stuff they are blubbering about is totally under their power to fix. But no, they would rather just stew and simmer in the soup of sadness and regret or whatever they feel life has handed them that they refuse to face, alter and turn around.
But Rebecca chooses happiness and kindness and she does it in the name and memory of her daughter Mandy.
Rebecca who really could complain and be a victim and many of us in her shoes would, is exactly the opposite. She runs something called the Kindness Revolution and it’s a very simple message- just spread kindness and be grateful and give back and remember every day is a gift.
She knows from what she speaks. One November day in 2008 Rebecca lost her seventeen year old daughter Mandy in a tragic car crash. She was the recipient of one of those calls that is every parent’s nightmare.
These are her words-
“It was November 15th and she had been picked up by her boyfriend at 3:00 in the afternoon. They were heading out to Erskine Academy for an event. Sadly, she never made it there. The tree near where they impacted the other car is adorned with items left by those that love her as a caution to other drivers to slow down. My arms ache to hold her, my eyes fill with tears at the thought of never watching her nightly fashion shows, my stomach aches wishing I could see her sitting in my kitchen asking “what’s to eat” and seeing her enjoy that food…. So much that will not be … but my heart and head are determined to make the loss meaningful! We will continue on as she instructed and I promise I will make a difference in this world in her name! Live Life Loud”
How do you not stand up and take notice of a woman who goes through that and her response is LIVE LIFE LOUD.
Many of you have read her on the blog. She is fair, and wise and looks at all sides. She is open and loving and kind.
She blames no one and gets up every day to make her life and the lives of those around her joyful.
And this is a woman who could sit in her house hooked up to a bottle of gin and everyone would understand – but she chooses happiness.
She does it for herself and those she loves and most importantly in her daughter’s memory.
The other day a package arrived with lovely necklaces she has made. Mine says KINDNESS. It now dangles from neck with the other things I wear.
I don’t want to tell you all about Rebecca and Mandy and The Kindness Revolution because I want you to log onto the site on your own and read about them. I want you to hear Mandy’s song and read her words and see what they are doing and be inspired by a true example of triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
A few of their daily reminders are very simple yet we all need to be reminded.
“Look on the Bright Side”
“Be THANKFUL For What You Have”
“Do Not Take Today for Granted”
“Lift Others- Even Those You Don’t Know”
There are others – but you will have to go see them for yourselves.
Thank you Rebecca for writing to me, for being an active member of the blog, for the symbol of kindness I wear around my neck and Lucy now wears around hers.
Thank you for being an example to us all of how to live life with grace, dignity and light, even when the light has been turned off and we have to fumble in the darkness to find a new switch.
You are a beacon and a gem.
Mandy was lucky to have you as a mom and I am lucky to now call you a friend.
Please go on this site…Please – I don’t often say that.
Do it for Mandy as I’m sure she would want you to do it for Rebecca for Mother’s Day.