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This is a question The nicest thing someone's ever done for me

In amongst all the tales of bitterness and poo, we occasionally get fluffy stories that bring a small tear to our internet-jaded eyes.

In celebration of this, what is the nicest thing someone's done for you? Whether you thoroughly deserved it or it came out of the blue, tell us of heartwarming, selfless acts by others.

Failing that, what nice things have you done for other people, whether they liked it or not?

(, Thu 2 Oct 2008, 16:14)
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As long as we're getting serious....
I don't usually tell people this (read: never) but it illustrates quite well the concept of the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. I wrote before about a friend of my childhood who had become an actor.
I'm not writing his name cause I don't want it to show up on a search engine but when I was a little girl, he lived in our neighborhood. I had no idea he was in the theatre; he was just the cute neighbor boy.

Anyway, rotten stuff was going on at my house. I was an unhappy, scared child. Most of what I remember is fear, shame and embarrassment. I became more and more withdrawn and was never sure if people liked me.

When I felt the absolute worst about myself; the dirtiest and lowest, I would go find my friend and sit with him (sometimes I would try to hunt him down!).He always made me feel better. I could lean against him or climb on his lap and hide my face in his chest. Sometimes he would wrap me up in his shirt and rock me. He wouldn't say anything or look at me-I think he knew I couldn't face anyone. I know he had no idea what was going on; I'm sure he would have done something.

But being around him and interacting with him, I would store up little things to bolster myself with. He meant them a different way, I know, but if he said, "You're my good girl" or "Gosh, you're smart." I would hug those things to myself and treasure them. When I felt so awful I wasn't sure if I would wake up the next morning, I took them out and played his (and a couple of my teachers', my mother's and one or two others') words in my head and could believe I wasn't bad or worthless. That I didn't deserve what was happening.

Because of them I think I didn't go down a path so many abused girls do-falling into bad relationships, hating myself and making bad choices, dropping out of school, walking the street, doing drugs blah blah blah. I got out with my sense of self relatively intact and decided to be somebody because I was good: I was Sister's good girl, my friend's smart girl etc. He was 10 years older than me and I looked up to him so much.

I think that's a major reason I became a nurse: to look out for those who can't speak up for themselves. There are so many people in the system who have no one on their side except for us.

Because I went through all that, I feel like I can hear what patients aren't saying and am able to help them get to the heart of the matter with compassion and sincerity. Patients talk to me because they trust me-I don't share all this with them, but they know I take them and their concerns seriously; I listen to them. You know if someone has suffered or had their heart broken. You feel like they can understand where you're coming from and intuitively "get" your position-you aren't embarrassed & don't feel judged. It's easier to let someone in to help you.

Anyway, I owe him more than I can ever repay. It was the kindness, decency and respect he naturally showed a sad-sack little pest that defined his character and protected me. He was the only adult man I was around who really saw me as a person, someone worth listening to. My dad was never around and his friends didn't pay attention to small children. My uncles whom I loved were back in the States. The other man I saw the most was the one mistreating me.

I wasn't a commodity to him. My worth didn't lie in what I could do for him but in who I was. In his eyes, I was worth something,not just my body. And knowing that saved me.

I know he wouldn't even remember me; it's been 40 years since he saw me and I only came up to his elbow. I wish I could tell him this and let him know he not only saved me, but all the patients since then that I've helped and allowed me to parent two terrific children who will grow up to make a contribution to the planet.

Edit: Jeez! Apologies for length-I don't want to remember the ugly thing.
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 5:56, closed)
You're SO lucky
that he wasn't an abuser too.

What a star he is, and you too for going on to be a true 'patient's advocate'.
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 7:10, closed)
I know...
I've thought of that many times-if he had turned around and done something awful to me I think I would have died: walked out in front of a truck at 9 years old or something.

One thing I salvaged from this was to teach my kids how to speak up and say no & how to evaluate people to see if you could trust them. I am so proud of my daughter- she's only 17 and has already helped friends get out of abusive situations. I don't think she would put up with unreasonable crap from anyone in a relationship or go off with the wrong stranger.
My son is learning, but he's developing a sense of who's ok and who isn't.
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 22:17, closed)

(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 8:11, closed)
That's awesome. :)
Can you hint at who it is? in the form of words that sound like his name? avoids google.
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 8:47, closed)
played Thomas Andrews in Titanic.
I'm very proud of him.

When I knew him he was a folksinger and on stage in Toronto, with a GIANT afro, skinny as a rail and the sweetest disposition ever.

As a matter of fact, today he's taking part in a charity walk in Los Angeles for Alzheimer's. His parents both died of it and he does a lot of fundraising for them and for juvenile diabetes, from which he suffers.

It's funny to see him on TV with silver hair and a dignified mien and remember him at 18 years old tickling me and giving me a ride on his shoulders at the zoo.
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 22:10, closed)
I've always liked him.
I do like it when someone like that gives off a kind of vibe that they're one of the good guys and it turns out to be true.
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 2:17, closed)
*wipes eyes*

This week is restoring my faith in humanity ...
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 10:43, closed)
He'll rememeber
and you should be bloody proud of yerself. I know your kids must be.

/raises glass
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 12:06, closed)
and a good portion of empathy...
(, Sun 5 Oct 2008, 16:36, closed)
He'll remember.
And just as you finding him to say thankyou would be good for you, his knowing he helped would be good for him. I say go find him.
(, Wed 8 Oct 2008, 20:55, closed)

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