A little kindness goes a long way. It is incredible how one simple act can completely turn a person’s day around. These simple, precious moments are what makes life so special.
Julie Bick is a single mother of two adorable children, ages 8 and 10, and she thinks the world of her family. She absolutely adored her mom and dad growing up, and she kept a good relationship with them as an adult – although the stresses of life sometimes got in the way of them spending time together.
Unfortunately, Julie’s mom passed away unexpectedly. She wasn’t able to make the memories she would have hoped to, and it bothered her deeply. She was determined not to make the same mistake twice.
Then in 2017, just one year after her mom died, Julie’s dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The worried daughter was totally overwhelmed, but she remembered the vow she had made to herself after losing her mother. This news served as a catalyst for spending more quality time with her dad.
“It was something I truly was not prepared for,” Julie told Love What Matters. “I told myself no matter what happens, I will always be there for my father. I never was able to spend much time with my mother as her passing was sudden. I let life get in the way of making time for my mother and I refuse to let life get in the way of me spending these last moments with my father.”
Julie decided that the best thing to do was stick together. She and her children, Carlee and Brantlee, moved in with her dad. They wanted to give him the best life possible, so they became his caretakers. This seemed to cheer the man up, which was all too essential at such a critical point in his life.
“My father was so happy about this,” Julie recalled. “He is such a fun loving guy that makes friends with anyone he comes in contact with.”
This new living situation was not without difficulties, but it was worth it to Julie to be there for her father. Still, the woman was juggling a lot; she was a mother, a caretaker, a breadwinner, and an individual. It could be hard to balance it all.
Sometimes Julie felt overwhelmed by the situation life had thrown at her, but she always tried to keep her composure. She never wanted to show her worries to her dad, because she didn’t want to cause him stress. When she cried, she would wipe away her tears before he could see them. But Julie and her dad were close, and he knew that something was troubling her.
Julie had helped her dad keep to a schedule, since she had heard that Alzheimer’s patients preferred to be on strict schedules. Every Monday he would visit with the garbage man, Harold. Harold was an extremely nice man who had good relationships with everyone in the neighborhood. He was known all around the block for his friendliness.
“If we miss Harold when he comes, he will always go the extra mile to walk our cans back to our garage,” Julie shared. “I’ve heard other neighbors say that Harold will even knock on your door if the pickup day is around a holiday and you have forgotten to take your garbage out.”
One Monday, Julie’s dad asked her to help him bring a chair out to the curb so he could visit with Harold. She didn’t think much of it; she’d had a rough night. She had been emotional the night before, and her dad had seen her crying.
Julie wiped away her fresh tears and helped her dad carry the chair. What happened next left her even more emotional than before:
“As we were walking to the end of the driveway, my father stops me and says, ‘Harold is my friend. He is religious and I would like a moment with Harold so we can pray for you.’ I gave him his space and walked back to the porch with my eyes loading up with tears.”
“I remember thinking to myself as I was walking back to the porch that no matter what disease my father has, it will never take away his love for me. I’m trying everything in my power to stop the tears and gain my composure. Then I look back and see Harold on his knees next to my father sitting in the chair, and there was no stopping the crying at this point.”
It meant so much to Julie that this man would take time out of his day to pray for her. His kind heart left her with a restored faith in humanity.
“Although we have had Harold as our garbage man for many, many years, he truly doesn’t know us. He knows my father has Alzheimer’s and knows we are friendly people that talk to him weekly, but he doesn’t know us. This stranger is on his knees praying with my father for me . . . there is so much good in this world, and it starts with simple acts of kindness. Harold, thank you for your kindness and prayers. I will never forget this moment.”
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Source: Love What Matters