I was at a Weight Watchers meeting this morning. Don’t ask. The wheels fall off the bus pretty quickly when you live in a family who loves to celebrate track meets, baseball games and good grades with ice cream. Easter baskets don’t seem to help the problem either.
Anyway, I was sitting in the meeting listening to the celebrations and challenges the other members were sharing when one woman brought up an interesting predicament.
“Clearly my husband doesn’t understand this whole weight loss thing,” she started, “because he keeps buying me chocolate.”
She went on to say that for years, her husband has kept her well stocked with York Peppermint Patties. It’s her favorite candy and he knows it. So he buys her a big bag every time it appears she’s getting low.
It’s an act of kindness, a show of love between a husband and wife who have been together a very long time.
I sat silently in my seat thinking about the beauty of that little action her husband takes. It might be worth the calories to know that my husband was at the grocery store and thought of something that would make me smile.
Oh wait, actually my husband does that. He knows I love Ben and Jerry’s, so every once in a while, he will come home from a stealth trip to the grocery store and proudly present me with a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk.
The love I feel through my husband’s act of kindness is even more delightful and satisfying than the actual ice cream.
But the actual ice cream is pretty awesome as well.
Did I mention we have an issue with ice cream in our house?
Back to the meeting. As I was contemplating the loveliness of love, another woman spoke up with a possible solution.
“My husband used to buy me those too!” she said. “Once I started watching my weight, I asked him to keep the bag and just give me three a day. At some point, each day, I’d walk into the kitchen and see three little peppermint patties sitting on the counter.”
It was a tiny gift, a tiny show of big love and support for her hard work each and every day. And somehow, quietly, magically, it became part of her individual love story.
I was so touched by those acts of kindness that I just had to share them with you. Perhaps candy isn’t the way to go. Maybe the ice cream needs to stay in the freezer section. But I bet there are more ways to love the people in our lives than we ever pause to recognize. And I bet there are more ways that the people in our lives are already loving us that we fail to see.
I hope your eyes are opened by this casual conversation just like mine were. There is something so sweet about kindness, whether it involves chocolate and ice cream or not.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Friday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.