Pay It Forward: Honoring Mr. Hugh Sutherland

Mr. Hugh Sutherland’s birthday is today, September 26; and, and I chose to dedicate this post to honor his memory.

Through blogging, I met his wife, Karen Sutherland, and found out that she was “encouraging family and dear friends to honor his memory with acts of kindness.”

 So, I decided to join other bloggers in the first annual Pay It Forward Tribute

My Act of Kindness:  Friday, September 26

When I moved to Orlando, almost five years ago, the first person to reach out to us was our next door neighbor.  Not so long ago, I wrote a post about our unusual friendship.

It didn’t take long to find out that we had something in common – Breast Cancer.  I was a two-year survivor, having been diagnosed in 2008.  And she was a seven-year survivor, with a recent recurrence.   Today, she is under 24-hour hospice care in her home.

She lost her mother, the only remaining member of her family, to breast cancer maybe a year-or-so before we met.  But she has a strong support network in the neighborhood.  In addition, her over 35 years of working with a worldwide christian organization has led to forming many long-term friendships throughout this country as well as others.

Today, I made the weekly delivery to my next door neighbor’s home — flowers and a card:

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Last week, when I made my delivery of pastries from Paneras, she was feeling well enough for a short visit.  But, I left with a heavy heart for her conditioned had worsened.

Two weeks ago, I sit with her for almost five hours laughing, talking and sharing photos of my summer vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.  She is originally from Boston and now says she regrets never taking the time to visit this Island.

I will continue my weekly deliveries, always with a note, that Hubby and I are just a Hug Away.  

Thank You, Karen Sutherland

I am grateful for the opportunity to honor your husband by sharing this Act of Kindness.  Karen, I so look forward to your comments on my blog posts.  I am always uplifted, enlightened, motivated and inspired when I hear from you.  One day, I hope you will decide to create a blog that I could follow.  I value your written words.

August 2014: Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard

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Chronic Pain flare-up

Despite the fact that weeks before this scheduled trip, I was dealing with a pain flare-up in the right knee; I was going on the annual Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

I have struggled with chronic pain since 1993 related to diagnosed conditions of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyaglia.  Over the years, I developed various self-management tools to control the pain levels.  However, my bone-on-bone knee pain needed either an injection or surgery.  And, neither was available before this vacation.

Since there was nothing I could do to make the “Pain Go Away”, my only option was to “Grin and Bare It” 

Wheelchair Transport Through the Airports

Since Hubby was not going, he ordered a wheelchair to transport me through the Orlando Airport.  This is a long walk through one terminal, a short train ride, and a longer walk through a second terminal.  Trust me the need for a wheelchair was the topic of more than one discussion in the days leading up to my departure.   Finally, I gave in.

My son picked me up at the Milwaukee Airport and we were off to meet-up with the daughters.  After the traditional hugs and kisses, they said, “Mama, you are limping.”  While the limp was noticeable, I am certain Hubby had telephoned with his concerns.

After discussing the pros and my cons of a wheelchair; I lost and they ordered one for the next leg of my trip.

When I arrived in Milwaukee, I was an “Unhappy Wheelchair Traveler”;  but, I left as the “Grumpy Wheelchair Traveler” as my 14-year-old grandson pushed me through the Milwaukee and Boston Airports.

Was it not just a few years ago that he depended on me to push him around in his stroller?  I was not ready for this.

Having someone push me around in a wheelchair was not a pleasant experience; and, I felt —

  • Stressed
  • Powerless
  • Depressed
  • Angry
  • Embarrassed

The Airline Flight

On the airplane and seated comfortably; I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and let go of the negativity.

Through Self-Talk, Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance; I embraced and accepted the gift of wheelchair transports from my hubby, son, two daughters and grandson.

No longer did I feel —

  • Stressed, I enjoyed Relaxing
  • Powerless, I gained Power
  • Depressed, I discovered Peace
  • Angry, I achieved Happiness
  • Embarrassed,  I reflected Pride

 A Few of My Favorite Mother-Daughter Vacation Photos – 2014

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The 14-Year-Old Grandson, CJ with His Friend – Lunch on the Ferry
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The Ferry Deck
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First Night. First Order of Business – Glass of Wine
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My Play Daughter from Another Mother, My Youngest Daughter, and Their Two Boys Playing Monopoly on a Rainy Day
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The Moms Won
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Could This Be The Reason The Moms Won At Monopoly? IPhones, IPADS, Laptops, X-Boxes, etc.? I’m Just Saying!!
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Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff
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Oak Bluff Pier
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Love The Old Vintage Homes on Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff – Facing the Atlantic Ocean
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Lunch on The Upper Deck of Nancy’s Seafood with Grandson, Two of His Friends and the Daughters
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Surprise from The Daughters – My Favorite Appetizer Before the Crab Leg, Lobster and Shrimp Boil
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The Grandson CJ – Adding Crab Legs to the Boil
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It’s Crab Boil Night – Because CJ Hates Seafood, He Had A Burrito. His Friend Enjoyed the Crab Let Boil and the Burrito.
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Relaxing and Sitting on The Oak Bluff Pier
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Look Up In The Sky – Air Force Helicopters Flying Over Prior to The President’s Vacation Visit in The Next Several Days.
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Beautiful Sunset View Sitting on The Front Porch
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Last Night. Busy Week. Grandson Massaging Mom’s Feet. He Is Special!!!
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Goodbye Rental House – See You In August 2015

Writing 101, Day Five: Be Brief

“You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter. And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.”

I am a walker.

I follow the same path day in and day out.

I look straight ahead.

I do not look up, down, left or right

I stumbled while walking today.

I looked down and there was a large, tattered brown envelope.

I stopped.

I picked up the envelope.

I opened the envelope.

I was surprised — inside was a lottery ticket with a note attached.

I read the note.

  • “This winning lottery ticket valued at $300,000,000.00 given to you in appreciation for your family’s acts of kindness to so many people.” Anonymous.

I checked the address on the envelope.

I knew the family.

I asked

  • What should I do?

I wondered what someone else would do.

  • What would you do?