Door to Door service. Driven by G-d

If you don’t already know who I am, dear friends, this post will seal the deal for sure. This happened some time last year.

I love my high school. In fact, one of the things I dislike the most is how long it takes me to get there. Mornings, for various reasons, are shorter, but the average for an evening (no snow!) is an hour. 45-50 minutes on the bus, and then a short walk home. (Ten minutes if I’m fast, and 15 if I’m feeling lazy!)

And one day, we had a driver who doesn’t usually drive our route. For some reason, the girl at the very last stop wasn’t there that day. And, inexplicably, that it was somehow ok to drop me closer to my home, and double back to the original route. Not something that could happen every day, the driver stressed. But for some reason, today was ok. Today was also the day where I had almost literally fallen asleep multiple times. I couldn’t face the walk home, and I wasn’t able to get a ride.

I asked to be dropped at the end of my street. I was dropped right by my front door. “Hashem loves you.” Said the driver.

I heartily agree.

He’s not standing right at our side where we can see. We are riding on His shoulders.

Thinking about others

Play breakout was at our school  this week. I got a fairly minor part, but this isn’t about me.

Even though I had promised myself that I wouldn’t get upset, that for various reasons a big part wouldn’t be practical for me, and that if I was honest, I simply couldn’t act well enough, it did hurt a little. The mains are well, so amazing. Really cool this year. You know what I mean- if our play was a 5000 page novel, I’d read it just for them.

So when someone, (not a close friend but I’m working on getting along with her,) asked me what part I had, I couldn’t keep a slight note of regret out of my voice.

She told me what I’d been telling myself all along, but she made it seem real. “You know, it’s really the little parts that make a difference. They’re the ones everyone remembers. In Aladdin, the genie has an even smaller part than the tiger. But without him, there would be no story.” Of course, I’m paraphrasing, but how could I remember something so perfect word for word?

I thanked her for her sincere words and walked away, remembering that at least I got a part at all. And it wasn’t even just two lines. And then I remembered something.

“So, what about you? What part did you get?”

“Oh, me? I’m (insert main part here.)”

Unbelievable.

Sugar and spice and everything…

I was on my way into Shul one Shabbat recently. That week there was a girls’ Shabbaton in my neighborhood, and I overheard the following conversation, which took place between one of the proctors and a teenage girl.

“So, how was last night? Did you sleep at all?”

A few polite answers, and then,

“What about the girls in your house? Are they nice?”

“They’re so friendly, and warm, and lively and cheerful and just so nice! That’s why I’m here- it’s so much fun to be around them that I knew I would have to leave to daven!”

Dovid’s prayers

My school has a program where, at lunch break once a week, those who are interested crowd into one of the classrooms. The purpose is not to break the world record for the game sardines- I don’t think there are enough of us for it- but to say Tehillim. The goal is to say the entire Tehillim once over.

I say crowd not only because the room is fairly small, but also because there are more of us than usual. At the beginning, it was a struggle to get enough people to do all about 50 cards. Attendance has fluctuated since, but we have, at some points, done the entire Tehillim twice.

Today, when a few others and I got in a minute or so late- rather than the five it often takes to start- there were no cards left! The entire room was free of chatter, texting, side conversations- just the soft murmur of Dovid’s Prayers.

Cookies and Snowflakes- additional thanks

There is a huge thank you that I almost forgot- and really shouldn’t have. Here, you can read the first part and then I’ll explain.

I mentioned that I wasn’t even meant to be on that bus, but would instead have to take a later one. But the reason why? I needed to meet with someone after school for something important, but not particularly lengthy. The actual meeting itself would have only taken five minutes, but all the peripheral stuff would have set me back at least 15 min. And once you add the length of the other bus ride vs. the shorter one, it would have taken forever.

So a asked for an exception and we met at lunch. Two minutes and we were both done. She would have been well within her rights to insist that I wait ’till later like everyone else. But she didn’t. Isn’t that great?!

Cookies and snowflakes

Today, I was on a bus home for three hours. Usually, the ride can take anywhere from 35 minutes to most of a hour, but today with the first snowfall- most definitely not usual.

A lot of things stood out- the fact that the bus was almost empty, making the situation a little more tolerable. The sudden scare, where someone mentioned that there had been another attack- chas v’shalom- in Israel. (I am almost positive that, Baruch Hashem, it was a false alarm.) The fact that I was even on the bus in the first place, when I was meant to be on a later one, that would not have return home until even later. The wonderful entertaining friends who kept me company.

But I think the best thing was when I got home. My brother (my baby brother, all of twenty months younger than me,) had brought everyone home cookies from school.

I almost hugged him. Granted, it was an oatmeal raisin cookie- the crumbly kind where you can’t easily pick out the raisins. But it’s the thought that counts, and in this case, it counted three hours worth.

Read part 2 here!

Thank you- no, thank YOU

I e-mailed someone- an artist who put his work up for public use- to let them know that I had used their creation, and really enjoyed it. I tried to be as positive and cheerful as I could without writing something sounding like hero warship. Convinced I had something that was polite but still enthusiastic, I sent it off.

A day or two later, I got my reply. Polite and gracious, of course, but also very very cheerful. It really did sound as though my few kind words had made this person’s day.

And hearing that another person so appreciated what I had to say (even though most of it was one long compliment, so I should hope it was appreciated!) had me float on air the entire day.

It drove home again the lesson about giving to others. A bit of a sobering thought, but it’s true: Ultimately, at the end of our lives, the only things that we still can call our own are what we’ve given to the world.

Possessions- handed down or thrown away. One’s house, car, money- the best one can hope is that it’s given to family, or to a good cause.

Talent- what good is latent talent if it’s never used? Everything that you’ve been able to do and haven’t- what value does it now have?

Achievements- did you spend your life chasing good deeds? Or recognition?

But the kindness that a person does is passed forward forever. A ripple effect that never fades.

The sound of forgetfulness

There’s a fellow in my neighbourhood who enjoys making music. No big deal, right?

What about instrument practice at night, when most people are trying to sleep, outdoors, facing my window, and LOUD! One night I had enough and went up to ask a family member if there was anything I could do. On the way up, I remembered that I’d forgotten to take tonight’s dose of medicine. And on the way back down- having commiserated with the other side window person and agreed that there was nothing really we could do- I remembered that I hadn’t set my alarm yet!

So, if you’re reading this- you know who you are- please don’t keep it up! But just this once, I owe you a thank you!

It changed my day

Guest post from Mimi.

 

I’ve been going through a rough patch lately, and most days I come home from school exhausted, miserable and grouchy.

But not tonight. Why?

On the way out of school, someone wished me a goodnight. Not a close friend, and not just an quick, toss it over your shoulder goodbye. A girl who would be a perfect stranger if she weren’t my classmate.

 

I’m really glad that she is.

Asking about others

I ran into an acquaintance the other day, a really sweet women who’s been going through a bunch of major challenges (details, as always, obscured for privacy). But when she spoke to me, all she wanted to know was how I was, having gone though something much more minor. She was so concerned that I nearly forgot to ask about her!

While what I had gone though was more or less over, she was still in pain. While for the most part, my life was normal (as much as it can ever be), her’s was still not. But all she saw was the common denominator- that we were both trying to have ordinary lives while they were anything but.

It’s ok to get sympathy, and definitely ok to tell the truth when someone asks how you are (assuming, of course, that they honestly want to know, and not just to be polite), but sometimes it’s nice to remember the other side of the story.

Even if what you’ve gone through is so much more major than what someone else is faced with- remember my friend E. And take a moment to go beyond your self.