things as they really are

Good and Evil.

Light and Darkness.

Happiness and Sadness.

Yin and Yang.

I don’t understand how it works, but what I know is that we are both strangers risking (and, sadly, sometimes losing) their lives to help strangers in Texas and white supremacists spewing unimaginable hate at their brothers and sisters in Virginia.

Even though I often find it overwhelming, I want to see the world as it really is and not deny the duality, while still finding a way to seek all that is lovely, praiseworthy and of good report.

So while I mourn and protest the expected rescinding of a humane and compassionate program meant to help law-abiding children of immigrants in good standing who were brought here by no choice of their own and who have been working and pursuing an education free from fear of deportation and with our blessing, I choose to take a moment to also acknowledge acts of charity and kindness that have brought me to tears over the past few days.

My son’s 2nd grade teacher nearly 20 years ago recently messaged me on Facebook with an offer to help my dear friends the Cuells as their home was flooding from the incessant rains of Harvey. She sent me her phone number and offered to open her home to them, even though they had never met (she married and moved away well before their kids went to school).


Let me restate. Upon learning their cars were in standing water and they didn’t expect to be able to get out, she offered to go get them as soon as safe passage was possible.


This is my cousin on my dad’s side who fell 35-40 feet off an oil rig and landed on face on a 6″ steel beam and is in a world of hurt in North Dakota away from family (family on my dad’s side is huge and primarily in Utah) and friends. His wife, Jody, has had to leave their 4 kids and is staying in a hotel somewhere near the hospital in Minot. She is extremely worried over Will and missed her daughter’s 12th birthday the other day.

In the middle of the night I saw a comment one of my cousin’s wife (from my mom’s side, which is much smaller and spread out all over) left on my Facebook post informing me that my cousin David and his wife Jenny live in Minot. They are just reunited after months apart while Jenny and the younger kids have been caring for Jenny’s mom, who has ALS, in South Carolina.

I PM’d Jenny to see if I could send her some money to out together a little “living in the ICU” care package and take it to Jody. Because little kindnesses in the ICU make a BIG difference.

Jenny responded with an immediate concern and an enthusiastic Yes! and informed me that my cousin David, who is an eye doctor, examined Will just yesterday. Jenny refused any form of payment and went about doing everything she could today to find out more and offer whatever help they could. In short, Jody and Will now have family in Minot and my heart is so grateful. ❤️

The reality is there are GOOD people in the world and every day we get to choose whether or not to be counted among them. Sometimes our efforts may not be noticed or anything to write home about. But there are no small things or kindnesses in my book. I can and want to do better.

[Day 162 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]