#16 "Still had to go grocery shopping"
This interview opened my eyes to something important, and I hope this blog does the same for you.
Blog #16 started on a rainy morning that I spent at the window seat at Panera talking with Tamara Ekis. Tamara founded the nonprofit Reflections of Grace Foundation (https://www.reflectionsofgrace.org/) with her husband Brian after they lost their five-year-old daughter, Grace, to a very rare brain cancer. The Reflections of Grace Foundation helps families, raises awareness, and supports research.
After they lost Grace on Valentine’s Day of 2008, Tamara shared how she got through each day. She would wake up and breathe. She told me there were no words, just breaths. However, in the midst of her worst nightmare, Tamara still had to go grocery shopping. She still had to pay bills. She still had to make dinner for her family. She still had to go to the dentist. She still had to live her life even when she was struggling to breathe.
As I sat down to write this blog, I pictured Tamara at the grocery store where none of the other customers could have known the pain she was experiencing. Imagine if we could know what others around us are going through. We would know that the woman bagging your groceries waits alone in her kitchen at 2am praying her husband does not walk in the door drunk and angry again. You would know that the man in front of you just unexpectedly lost his job. You would know that your teacher had her third miscarriage in six years. You would know that Tamara lost her five-year-old daughter to brain cancer. The truth is that we do not know. We do not know who is struggling to breathe. Pain is real, and people are hurting.
However, Tamara mentioned something else to me. Tamara mentioned to me that this world is a beautiful place, but there are things that happen in this world that are not beautiful. She said that no matter where you are in the tunnel, there will always be a light at the end - even though it might be as small as a pinhole. We can be the pinhole of light for others. We can simply be kind to whoever we meet no matter who it is. We can be kind to the woman bagging our groceries. We can be kind to the man in front of us at Starbucks. We can be kind to our 4th period math teacher.
Pain is real but so is that pinhole. Be kind today. You might never know the difference it makes in someone’s day.