Thursday, April 24, 2008

Simple Gestures by Angie Ledbetter

During tough times or when I'm just down about something, the simplest gesture can lift me out of a blue funk.

Having a rough day in class with fifth graders in the throes of Spring Fever, one kind student came to me later and said, "Mrs. Ledbetter, I'm sorry our class was so rowdy," and gave me a hug. That sweet child makes me take extra care planning a class retreat instead of punish work. One good apple redeemed a barrel of bad ones.

Similar gestures which I try to "pass forward" are: one of my own kids saying thanks for a special dish I'd prepared for supper; another who appreciated that I attended a school function instead of visiting with friends; phone calls and emails asking about my sick mom. These acts are easy and free to perform, but leave a lasting feeling of goodness. Sometimes, even a smile or a wink can turn around a bad day. And the best thing about it is they make you feel great -- whether from the receiving or giving end.

There's a Gratitude Campaign website everyone should visit. It made such an impact on me, after I dried my tears I couldn't wait to meet up with a service person to let them know I appreciate their service and sacrifice. The site teaches a simple gesture we can use to express our thanks. I hope you visit and practice its message:

I know my stepdaughter, her husband and their three beautiful kids would love to see the gesture expressed the next time they are in the airport bringing him to board another overseas plane, or when they're just taking a family outing.

THANK YOU, service men and women, and your families. I appreciate you and your willingness to serve and defend!


Kathryn Magendie said...

How beautifully said and felt...and the website as well *smiling*

Jess said...

When Bill came home on R&R from Korea, we went to eat at a chinese rest. We were just enjoying each other as we all ate (Bri 15 mo, Cam 2,Jackson 7) The waitress was Korean and Bill was chatting w/her telling her about his stay there. A lady eating next to us alone, in passing to pay her bill, stated how much she appreciated his service. Shortly after, the waitress told us the lady paid our entire bill for us. I got all "gros coeur" and Bill got teary eyed too. We couldn't speak. It was as if time stood still for that moment and all the time spent as a single mom was worth it. It still touches me.

Anonymous said...

Working with kids always seems to ground me and at the same time, raise my attitude to new heights.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Jess (my beautiful stepdaughter and military wife), I wish every meal you ever get to eat out would be picked up by an appreciative American!

Blessings on you, oh single mother so much of the time while Bill's away on duty, and to the 3 bambinos. Please hug Billy for me. Love y'all. And, again, THANK YOU!

Kerry Conway said...

Semper Fi!!!

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