Using Kindness to Make Up for Lost Time

I’m a sucker for a romantic story. I’ll tell anyone who will listen that I fell in love with my husband when I was in sixth grade. True, he wouldn’t date me until I was 24, but that just adds to the charm. Ever seen “50 First Dates” or “Message in a Bottle”? How about “Sleepless in Seattle” or “You’ve Got Mail”? I’ve seen them all and I have half of them memorized.

I love a good romance. I think you get my point.

I felt like I got my own message in a bottle when I received a letter from Fargo resident Jim Field. He is making up for lost time and he’s using kindness to woo the woman he says he never should have lost in the first place.

Here’s his story:

“After moving to Fargo last year, I became reunited with a gal I used to date right after I got out of the United States Marine Corps in the early 1970s. Her husband of 40 years had just passed away and we met at the wake.

“We started out simply by reminiscing. For six months we shared phone calls, coffee and lunch dates. Finally, I asked her out for dinner. When she came over to my place to pick me up, she came in the door and I said, ‘Stop. Hold it.’ She looked at me somewhat bewildered. ‘Bonnie, you are a very attractive woman,’ I continued. ‘You look really nice!’

“She did look lovely in the new clothes she bought just for this dinner date. I was wearing a new suit I bought at Macy’s for the occasion.

“The look in her beautiful green eyes, along with her words, told me ‘Thank you.’ I could tell she was thirsty to hear something nice.

“Compliments can pay dividends! We went out to dinner at the Mezzaluna restaurant on Roberts Street and we are now together again after all these years.

“We have a lot of catching up to do. I’m showering her with TLC like it’s going out of style: flowers, candy and ice cream, too!

“People need to hear something nice and you just don’t know what that comment will do. Destiny? Possibly. Fate? Who knows. I should have never let that one go so many years ago.”

Jim’s story could have been peeled straight from a Nicholas Sparks’ script. He and Bonnie are planning a trip to Italy and they intend to visit lots of other lovely places in the near future. Jim says he feels like he has a new lease on life.

He also says hindsight is 20/20. And he’s right. But the good news is, it’s never too late for love and it’s never too late for kindness. We never have to wonder if we’ve done the right thing or taken the right fork in the road if we are being kind along the way. Eventually, life will lead us back to where we’re supposed to be.

If we’re lucky, there’s a hand to hold when we get there and plenty of years to continue using kindness to make up for lost time.

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.

Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her column runs every Saturday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.

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