The Kindness Pandemic story that I wanted to share is actually for my best friend, Mani (pronounced: “mawn-ee”), and her 10-year-old daughter, Anella (pronounced: "uh-nella"). I have noticed that most of your shared kind acts have been from larger community members or even strangers, thus far. I think recognizing kindness in the intimacy of a family unit while under various forms of lock down, all under the same roof is an important feat.
Mani works as an essential employee. She works for the city and has been feeding thousands of people over these months at a food distribution site, while also continuing to work for the local library. Her work shifts are hard and long, she returns home to a beautiful family of husband and daughter.
Mani shared with me that she told her daughter how much she missed her own mother, “Dee-da,” the family name for grandma, who lives a few hours away. My best friend’s little girl abruptly scampered off and came back a moment later with a hand drawn portrait of Dee-da taped to her face like a Halloween mask. Little 10-year-old arms outstretched towards Mani offering a surrogate motherly hug from a kind daughter. The tiniest voice, “I can be Dee-da so you can hug me!” Mani knelt down and her little girl embraced her as if she was the mother, recognizing that mothers are daughters too. Mother and daughter holding onto one another and together they were creating grandma’s embrace.
I think back on this act of kindness often, especially when I miss my loved ones, who I can't touch or hug now. Anella offered a moment of kindness that completely warms my heart and I hope it warms yours too.