Northwest NEWS

December 21, 1998


Random acts of kindness

I have two sons. Andy is my 16-year-old sophomore and Stuart, my 2nd grader. I am a single parent. The three of us were out to dinner last week after a meeting at Stuart's school regarding how to come up with ways of making our life more functional.

   Let me explain a little: Stuart is recovering from a five-week-long illness and is very special. He is physically and visually challenged. He has limited speaking ability, although his demeanor says a lot.

   Andy has trained Stuart in all the important aspects of being a boy, including the ability to spit and burp. The two of them have a special closeness. They laugh a lot. When we go out for dinner, Andy and I work as team with Stuart, each of us feeding him nibbles of this and that.

   We were at Las Margaritas in Woodinville and Andy and I were helping Stuart. We all had fun. Sometimes, I'm sure, to other people it looks like a lot of work for us. But there are really special people out there who see more.

   I knew that Stuart was flirting with a handsome, mature couple sitting side by side in the booth behind him. He would hang over the side of his wheelchair and drool, I think. But I'm sure they saw his wonderful smile and the way he kept teasing his older brother by not eating.

   He had his Pepsi, and Stuart knows that the faster he drinks it, the more satisfying the burps. When I was holding my hand over Stuart's mouth, telling him to say "excuse me," the couple left and smiled at us.

   When I asked for our check, the waiter returned to say the people in the booth had paid for our dinner. I don't know their names. I just know that this couple has been blessed with warm hearts. The ache in my heart is with joy because of the kindness of strangers.

   Recently, our family has been blessed by many strangers and their kindness, including GNC in Woodinville, Northshore School District, Northshore Multi-Service Center, and this beautiful couple sitting in a restaurant eating dinner.

The Blankenships