Pay it Forward Comes Full Circle Ashley Update

I wrote this post almost two years ago. About a week ago I got a friend request on Facebook from the woman who inspired it. Sometimes you don't get to see the ripple effect you leave on the world. That's ok, do something great anyway. The universe will thank you later. I bet you all thought I forgot all about my promise to kick the weekend off with a little inspirational pep rally. I didn't.  Just trying to get through August.  I still believe no matter how bad your struggle is helping someone else will make your burden a little easier to carry.  No matter what you are dealing with today, let it go for an hour you'll feel better and maybe your trouble will take care if its self in the meantime.  We are all in this together, like it or not so we might as well help each other. I recently fond myself on the ride from hell that just would not end. There was a woman traveling with a smile child. Full of anxiety I went to get something to eat to call my nerves. The little baby kept smiling and playing with me. She was adorable and reminded me of my neice. It wasn't until I started eating that she began to cry. Her mom started apologizing and tried to stop her from asking about for food. I gave the little girl the fruit snacks I had that weren't opened.  After I gave the child's mother my sandwich and snacks she broke down and started sobbing. I played with the baby while she composed herself.  This is important, I'm telling you all this because I never play with, talk to or interact with other people's kids. I'm not heartless I couldn't just drop the baby while mom was sobbing. As the woman got herself together she started telling me she was on her way to New York to meet her husband's family for the first time. She was 5 months pregnant with a three year old on her hip. Probably not how you want to make your first introduction to your mother-in-law right. Her family had cut her off because she married a black man. During the 4 years they were married her husband had been deployed a three years.  He wanted to be with her when she met his family. Though they had spoken weekly she had never met her in laws. Her husband will be in New York when she arrives, however he will never get the chance to introduce his mom to his wife and children.  Her husband was active duty Navy. He died serving our country.  With no place to go and only the money for her ticket she was going to live with a family she never met because hers had turned their back on her. Condolences and prayers and heartbreak don't cover what  I feel for that family. But helping her with a small amount of food and playing with her child while she composed herself help me forget the issue I was having that day, if only for a few minutes. Each of us can do something.  If we pay attention every day we probably have an opportunity to do at least one act of kindness for someone. What kind of world would we live if we did just that? ALL of us can do something. You probably did an act of kindness and didn't even know how much it meant. Somewhere someone probably wants to thank you for something you did  that you thought was insignificant. Pay it forward fam. You may never see the ripple effect but believe me there will be one. Peace, Love, and Style

Here's the feel good update. Ashley is doing quite well. She's a stay at home mom with two kids. She lives about 5 minutes away from her in-laws and they are making it work.  She says she's not ready to date again and doesn't know when or if she'll ever be ready but she's happy. She still doesn't have any contact with her own family but she says that's fine. "The love and support I have now is greater than anything I ever felt before." Ashley that's all we are hoping for. I'm so excited for you and glad we were able to reconnect. Maybe Facebook isn't so bad after all. Thank you Facebook.