I have Many stories to share from my week of passing on my daughters love. This is my favorite because it is the one I never expected. I had to run into Walmart the day before my birthday and pick up some groceries. Of coarse I go to get a cart. There is this nice old man in about his 70's just standing there handing out carts. He gave one to the older lady in front of me and the young girl in front of us. He was not a Walmart greeter. He was just smiling and asking all the ladies if they would like for him to get them a cart. So, I smiled and said "Yes, I would love one." I began expressing how kind it was and This is what surprised me.......he began telling me that he had a granddaughter who had lost a friend. That the granddaughter was doing these random acts of kindness in her memory. I said," Operation: Share Ashleigh's Heart?" He says he doesn't know but that he had begun thinking about it and decided to participate himself by spending 15 minutes when he came into the Walmart handing out carts to all the "pretty ladies".
There it was.....the Ripple Effect.....and it came back to me. Now how cool is that, my friends. I want this blog and the comments to be uplifting. sharing not only stories of Kindness but Ideas. That way we can pass on to others new creative ideas to make a persons day. Ashleigh's Story is more than just the abuse she endured and the fact that she was murdered. It is the heart and soul of her loving spirit that will endure. I hope you will join us.
The Beginning of Kindness
“My child has died. It must be my fault. Clearly, all the things that are wrong with me are the reason. I deserved this to happen. I can say ‘no! I did not deserve to have this happen’. I can say it over and over. But still the same voice way deep inside of me says ‘yes, I did, because…’ Fighting that voice takes a lot of energy—something most of us don’t have an oversupply of when we face the death of our child. Yet I believe that this fight is essential. None of us deserved to have this happen to us. No one deserves to lose a child.”
When Ashleigh died, I felt an oppressive sense of failure, a loss of power and ability, and a deep sense of being violated; I was overwhelmed with grief, anger, and guilt. My body may felt like a stranger and looked different and act differently. I forgot simple things. I was unable to think abstractly.I felt overwhelmed. I tried to understand what and why this has happened. The loss of control has left me feeling terrified. I even wondered if I was going crazy. Impossible as it may seem, from this intense pain positive responses can emerge. As my grief is processed, a heightened sense of spirituality, increased sensitivity to others, closer relationships, and a commitment to living life has been experienced.
Ashleigh was always a helper, she gravitated towards the underdog, the new kids, the kids that needed help. It amazed me that she was also part of the mainstream crowd, it seemed that everyone liked her and that she made friends very easily. It was first her smile that made her approachable, and also her sense of humor and her sense of self. Many people have told me that they miss having her to talk to. She was active and feisty and a joy to be around. She was a cheerleader, an honor student, and she longed to become a singer. I miss her so desperately at times, and the emotions just over take me. Often when I least expect it.
Last year I cried during my whole Birthday. The thought of someone putting his hands on her in anger and hate still haunt me just as much as her death. This year I just kept thinking, "How do I overcome this negativity that I just feel is bottled up inside of me?" I just knew I had to change this somehow. That night I dreamed about doing Random Acts of Kindness in her name. When I woke up I loved the idea but couldn't figure out how I would let people know what I was doing or why...
The Bible says, "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Ashleigh Lindsey was just that kind of spirit. Always willing to give and from the heart. Ashleigh always said "I am going to be famous someday Mom" I had no idea at the time that it would be from my sharing her story after she was gone, but I am honored to take on the task. During Operation: Share Ashleigh's Heart I have learned the true meaning of these words.........I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. God has given me a new heart this week by taking the lesson my daughter shared and expanding it forward. I have decided to continue this sharing daily but I think I will make this a yearly event. It is always nice to have a reminder/renewal of your giving spirit, I think.
Thank you all for joining. Please feel free to still share your experience. For me the whole week was great and my birthday was wonderful.
Sharing a simple smile, helping someone in need or offering a random act of kindness can and does make a difference in the world! Thank you for the ripple effect you create thorugh sharing the best of you! You can only imagine how far the ripples will travel!
"new rule when i stand in front of a mirror i can not critique every little thing about myself! im just gonna try and remember i was hand made my god the way he wanted me who am i to question that?" -Ashleigh Lindsey......Sept. 8, 2011
Ashleigh's Top 20 +1
Today people often refer to "good deeds" as random acts of kindness. They consist of small gestures, a single act, a sudden urge to help someone without any expectation of gain. It's an altruistic moment that often results in unexpected pleasure.
Ashleigh Marie Lindsey was a firm believer and doer of the most unexpecte...d gestures of lovingly, kind acts that will forever stand out in her family and friends memories. We challenge you to choose one and Share Ashleigh's Heart Today!
1) Tell your friends and family members how much you appreciate them.
2) In the office, at the bank, on an elevator or a train, hold the door open for someone else.
3) Pick up a piece of trash lying on the street and put it in a trash can.
4) Write a positive message on a post-it note and leave it on a public mirror. Her favorite was......"You are beautiful just as you are"
5) Give your seat to another person.
6) Compliment a co-worker for his or her good performance.
7) Call your parents to tell them you love them.
8) Cook delicious foods to share with your classmates or co-workers.
9) Help your neighbor take out the trash.
10) Write little notes of thanks or support to your friends.
11) Give a homeless person help.
12) Put some money on one of those donation boxes for charity.
13) Write to someone you haven't seen or talked to in a long time.
14) Address your server or waiter by name and leave a generous tip.
15) Motivate someone to achieve their dreams and let them know you'll always be there for them.
16) Let someone cut in front of you in a line, especially when he or she is in a rush.
17) Give your parking spot to another driver.
18) Give someone a present for no reason. Better yet, send it anonymously.
19) Volunteer to do someone else's task.
20)Sing at someone till they join in and laugh.
21) A random acts of kindness list won't be complete without the reminder to always smile. Smile at strangers, smile at people who aren't nice to you, even to people you don't like. Smile - it's infectious! Ashleigh's smile share was!!!