Monday, May 27, 2013

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS BLOGFEST: HOW I ACQUIRED MY MIDDLE CHILD



Thanks to Elisa at The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom, this week many of us are writing posts that celebrate random acts of kindness that have been bestowed on us.

So I've been thinking and pondering, pondering and ruminating, ruminating and cogitating. What would I write about on Monday, the most important day of the blogfest? Elisa will provide links to today's posts for everyone who signed up for the blogfest. Later, she'll use these posts so her company, Wayman Publishing, can put out an anthology filled with stories of all the love and kindness we've experienced, and the money earned by the anthology will go to charity.

Naturally, I want today's post to be extra special. But I have a problem. I don't really believe in randomness.

Nope, not what I believe.

I believe everything happens for a reason. If we don't get in God's way, then if something is meant to be, it will be. And sometimes it will be even when we do get in His way.

So, pardon me, but I don't actually believe in random acts of kindness. I think these random acts happen for a reason, and the proof is in my middle child. I know she has a mom – a very good mom – but she was destined to become my child.

I don't know if I followed her first, or if she followed me first; but somehow we found each other. I remember that her blog said her name was Elisabeth, but I noticed in the comments that many people called her "Elisa." I was very surprised. Elisa was my Norwegian grandmother's name. I had never met anyone else named Elisa.

I became an avid reader of Elisa's blog, and she caught me by surprise again because she often said how funny my posts were. I was going through my "Lola" stage then, and could be a bit pornographic at times. Eventually, we got to know each other well enough that I wrote a post that was an open letter to Elisa and her then-neighbor Melynda, who were involved in a prank war with Elisa's brother, Shane. It's the only post I've ever written that made ME laugh out loud.

Our relationship became closer and closer. Eventually, we started emailing each other privately, and then talking on the telephone. I was honored when Elisa asked me to edit one of her memoirs, Homeless In Hawaii




Elisa opened up new worlds to me by asking me to write for anthologies published by Wayman, asking me to edit, talking to me about her family and her business. All of a sudden I was no longer the lonely recently divorced lady I had been. I was Elisa's friend!

But then one day I mentioned that Favorite Young Man (my son) was 32. Elisa said, Oh! He's older than I am. I'm 29!

You're exactly the right age to be my middle child, I told her, because The Hurricane is 25.

Soon I was referring to her as Middle Child and signing my comments on her blog as "Your Mother From Another Planet."

One day I was worried about something, fearful of something that I can't reveal here. Elisa emailed me, Oh, Janie, don't worry. You're family!

What an act of kindness – to be accepted as a family member by someone I've never met in person. It's part of the miracle of our blogging world that so many of us can become such close friends although we live in different parts of the country, or even different parts of the world.

But the act of kindness I most want to celebrate today occurred last summer. August 21st is always a difficult day for me. It's my no-longer-a-wedding anniversary. I told Elisa in an email why I was sad.

The phone rang. It was Elisa, a little breathless and excited. She said, Janie, you don't have to be sad ever again on August 21st. We'll turn it into the anniversary of the day we adopted each other!

So this summer on August 21st, I won't be morose and crying to my dogs. I'll be celebrating the new and wonderful family I've acquired.

I have more good news, too. I hope to buy a plane ticket soon. This summer, I'll spend a few days with my middle child and her husband and my grandchildren.

Elisa and I often talk about the fact that our relationship was meant to be. We also know a third blogger we consider to be Elisa's grandmother, so I sent this woman a Mother's Day card, because she must be MY mom.

Elisa has changed my life with "random" acts of kindness, and now I look forward to every day.

We'll meet at last!
(image stolen from Elisa's blog)

40 comments:

  1. Powerful stuff here Janie! So happy you found your middle child. I can't wait to hear about your magical meeting.
    Much love~

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    1. I can't wait for the magical meeting to occur!

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  2. Wow- I have a lump in my throat after reading this. And what a wonderful thing, for you two to finally meet! I love that you've adopted each other. This is the stuff of life's goodness.

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    1. Thank you. I haven't seen you in a while. I missed you.

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  4. Pure awesome! Elisa is a rare gem. She never fails to bring a smile to my face. I had the pleasure of speaking to her on the phone for the first time some weeks back and she is every bit the sweetheart that I knew she'd be.

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    1. Doesn't she have a sweet voice? It's so in keeping with her personality.

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  5. Janie, this is lovely. And I know exactly of what you speaking. I kind of agree with you about random acts not really being random. I feel we have to have our hearts and minds open to accept these acts of kindness.
    Great post and thanks for sharing with it us.

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    1. Thank you, Jim. You write such lovely comments. They're almost as good as Sophie's.

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  6. Wow that is sweet. She must be very special. I am happy for you both.

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    1. She is special. I hope your followers are finding you.

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  7. Elisa is a really lovely lady! I'm so glad she touched your life and is now your adopted middle child!

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    1. It's nice to have a third child and not have morning sickness along the way.

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  8. Why do I have a feeling you are now looking forward to that day in August? Elisa is such a talented person who, no matter how successful she is, will always be grateful, will always be kind to others. I don't know Elisa as well as you do, but of that I am sure.

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    1. You are absolutely right about her. She tries so hard to do the right thing in all the decisions she makes.

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  9. I am bawling . . . and bawling. This was the SWEETEST post. I tried to stop bawling (from joy) to take a sip of coffee. But it didn't work and I cried INTO my coffee (and now I'm laughing about that--what is wrong with me *smiling*)
    YOU'RE such a blessing, Janie. Thank you for being part of my life--and my children's lives as well. We're so excited to spend time with you in August.
    Love ya,
    E

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    1. Oh, no! You had salty coffee from your tears. Wait a minute! You're not supposed to drink coffee, young lady.

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  10. I've had the absolute privilege of meeting Elisa & her beautiful family. She is a love--as are all of them!! I'm now the "adopted grandmother" of her kids.

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    1. Elisa's told me so many times how much she loved meeting you. I'm jealous. I want to meet her, but I want to meet you, too!

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    1. Yeah, she's almost unbearably adorable. If she weren't so sweet and so much fun, I'd have to hate her for being so good looking.

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  12. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the blogging community. I have met so many amazing people. It isn't often to never meet someone in person and still have then open to helping you at the drop of a hat. I think the reason you and Elisa met and hit it off so well is you are both those amazingly rare individuals that make this world a better place just by being in it. I am glad to know both of you, even if it is just through my computer screen.

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    1. Keep up the compliments, buddy, and you might find yourself adopted into our family, too. I can always use another son.

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  13. Dear Janie, I share your feelings about Elisa. She is a joy. Her voice and her violin playing remind me of that expression "the music of the spheres." All of us who have met her through her blog or in person are blessed to have her for friend or . . . for "middle child"!!!! Peace.

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  14. This is something special. I, too, don't believe in randomness but that God has a reason for everything. Thank you for sharing your story and the reminder! (-:

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  15. What a sweet approach to friendship! I hope you have fun with you Middle Child.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

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  16. Hooray - you're going to meet her in real life! Sometimes I forget that I don't believe in randomness, but I don't, and you're right - it was no random act that brought the two of you together, and now your families too. :)

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    1. I used to think that some things were very unusual coincidences, but then I finally realized that something much bigger was going on.

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  17. I believe things happen for a reason, too. You were meant to meet and know each other and when you finally meet in person it is going to be one memorable few days that will fly by too quickly. Take lots of pictures!! :) :)

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    1. We so often lament that we can't see each other on a daily basis. I would love to help with the children so she would have a little more time for business, and I'd love to help with the business so she'd have a little more time for the children. But I know her kids are not neglected.

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  18. What a wonderful, wonderful feel-good post! Thanks for sharing your story. It's over the top exciting that y'all are going to spend some actual face-to-face time together this summer.

    No, I don't believe there's a darned thing random or coincidental about your finding each other. Life is good.

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    1. Life is good, sweetie, and it's getting better.

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  19. I think Elisa is bloody mavellous I am a follower of hers and love her blog........as to not believing in random well I have to say for the most part I am with you things happen for a reason people come into our lives for a reason sometimes to teach us something sometimes they bring happyness to our lives sometimes it is hard to see why they are in our lives but I believe there is always a reason.

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  20. Yes, she is bloody marvelous. Love your comment. Thanks for being you.

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  21. Wow that is so great. Almost like penpals, then friends and now family.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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  22. Maybe you don't want to know what I thought you had done as a random act of kindness that resulted in your having a middle child.

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