A friend I grew up with, posted the following note on Facebook and she gave me permission to re-post it here. Kathy Thompson Gifford is a dear friend in Florence, Alabama and she recently helped someone in need in Phil Campbell, Alabama after the disastrous April 27, 2011 tornadoes.
Kathy wrote the following:
As I write this, I am drying my eyes over something that came in the mail today. I was so moved, I just felt compelled to write it down.
A day or two after the April 27th tornadoes that devastated our state, I (like many of you) learned that a young boy, Ethan Knox, (who I never had the chance to meet), aged 10 years died in the tornado in the Phil Campbell area. A kind, charitable man (also who I have never met) made thousands of people aware of Ethan’s death and his family’s dire financial situation in the face of the loss of their son & grandson, in addition to their home and possessions.
The kind gentleman is Mr. Don Parker. Mr. Parker found it in his heart to give all of us a chance to serve this family by giving money to pay for Ethan’s funeral, grave marker and provide some financial assistance to Ethan’s family. I, like many of you, sent in my small contribution, feeling warm inside about being given the opportunity to help this family. I was also feeling such a great sense of loss for Ethan’s family, as well as feeling incredibly blessed to have been spared and not be the parent dealing with the loss of a precious child.
That, I thought, was the end of the story for me. Until today.
This evening, after coming home from work, I went out to get the mail. In my box was a small envelope, addressed to Rodney and me, from a family in Phil Campbell, whose names I did not recognize. The small envelope contained a thank you note from the family of Ethan Knox. Inside it, was a picture of Ethan, a handsome blonde haired boy. Ethan was only 10 years old when he left this Earth for his heavenly home. Ethan didn’t know me, but, he has touched me profoundly. In the midst of their grief and loss, Ethan’s family had the grace to thank those who helped in a small way. It wasn’t necessary. But, it sure felt good.
God has a way of letting us think we are helping and blessing others, when in the end, through our service and obedience, we end up being the ones who are blessed. I thank you God for blessing me in such a special way, that I will never forget. Please keep little Ethan safe in your arms until he can be reunited with his family again in Heaven.
What a touching tribute! We never know what small acts of kindness can do in the lives of others. We always need to be people who are thankful, appreciative and eager to share that with others. Acts of kindness do not have to be random, they can be a way of life.