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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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Thanks to my father...
This may be an epic post from a long-time lurker and it is one I am, to some degree, loathe to post. I haven't, until recently, actually considered my life as unusual to date, assuming that everyone has their issues and mine have been no different. But, there have been those that have stressed, in incredulous voice, that I should write my tale down or even publish it, send it to some god-awful daytime show etc. etc.

I don't seek the limelight (usually), and I am not one given to bleeding-heart tales of weepiness, so I am reluctant to do so. So, in the interest of experimentation and at the urging of others, I am going to write down my tale, and I am going to do so here, amidst the fair-minded, non-judgemental stranges of B3ta!

So, obligatory wobbly lines effect and we're off into the past....

...I was born the eldest of two brothers to a young couple back in the late sixties, a time of tank-tops, bell-bottoms and free-love. I still recall black & white television and there being less than 4 channels to view. Decimal currency was a new-fangled idea when I was still small, and the East End of London was a rough, if noble place. So far, so good...

...When I was still very young my parents split up, seemingly due to my fathers lack of fidelity in nealy all departments. He stole from his mother, lied to his brothers, ran around with women all over the place, thieved from Bad People(tm) and his employers and was generally a nasty bit of work. He was, however, gifted with charisma and a very, very convincing manner which enabled him to get away with all the things he did.

For some reason, which to this day remains a mystery to me, he took me from the family home, bundled me into the back of a car with his latest girlfriend and absconded into the wilderness, seperating me and my brother. I was about three or four years old.

For the next couple of years I was hidden from my mother and my brother by my grandparents, in seeming collusion with my father. Indeed, there were apparently times when I would be locked in the bedroom at my grandparents flat and 'kept quiet' while my mother stood in the next room demanding to know where my father had hidden me. They denied all knowledge, protecting their son as he had persuaded them to do.

The years that follow are a blur. We moved from place to place at the behest of my father, all over the UK, never stopping in one home for more than a year, as though running and hiding from something (he no doubt had *many* people hunting him down). A step-sister came along, borne by the woman I had been forcibly taught to call 'mummy', and my schooling was a mis-mash of home tutoring and one primary after another.

I had a sense that 'something was wrong', and on those occasions when, as a small lad, I was truly upset I would often find myself crying for my 'mother' despite 'mummy' being right there in the house or room with me. Still, as the years passed these things faded away, along with memories of my earlier life.

By the time I was 9 years old we had actually settled into something of a normal family life as far as I was concerned. We were living in a tiny village in South Wales, my sister and I fought like cats and dogs, my father worked 'away' a lot (I later discovered that he did a stint at HM Pleasure for various frauds he'd carried out) and I settled into school at last.

Then, when I was 11, it all changed again. My father absconded with yet another new woman and vanished entirely. This left me in the care of his ex-girlfriend, who I thought (had been trained to think) was my mother.

Still, lots of children I knew were brought up by single parents so I didn't think it odd or unusual in any way and simply 'got on' with life.

Then, when I was 17, the storm broke.

I'd applied to join the armed forces and as part of the process the recruitment office performed a full background check. Of course, the information I gave them regarding my 'parents' didn't match the details they obtained from official sources and I can still remember the officer suggesting that I had 'some questions that need to be asked' of my mother. So, I went home and duly did so.

My 'mother' didn't flinch, to her credit, she stated the tale in a matter of fact manner and left me to digest it. In order to help me understand it, she placed a call to my uncle and he took me on the most surreal road-trip of my life - to meet my natural mother and two more sisters!

Now, my 'mother' (this may get confusing now) was effecient and hard-working as a parent, and I will never criticise her for that (though I will for the religious indoctrination she forced on me, but thats a tale for another day), but she never really showed me any affection (understandable really) and neither had my half-sister (her natural daughter), so the overwhelming flood of emotion from my natural mother, her new(ish) husband and my two additional sisters was utterly incomprehensible to me.

I did what was natural. I left home. I ran. Left everyone and everything. I never looked back.

Confused wasn't the word. The world I thought I knew was one of lies and illusions. Nothing was real, no one cared and the world was a Bad Place(tm) for the first time.

fifteen years go by (more wobbly lines are in order I think) as I fought and battled my way into a life of my own, redefining myself as I went, and mostly (save for two or three particular friends en route) alone.

Some of those years were bad indeed. I nearly found myself homeless more than once, and had to scrape a living as best I could, often living hand to mouth for long periods of time. But, it *made* me. You get strong or you perish, it's a simple choice.

In 1996 I met someone who changed my life forever, the first great love of my life, and the one who was to be MrsEffinDoubt in years to come. (Heh, she'd moved into my crappy bedsit within 2 weeks of us meeting and we've barely been a day apart since!).

Her family is relatively 'normal' (they'd laugh at that, but by comparison to my soap opera they are!) and they took me to their hearts straight away, even though it took a good few years for me to understand them and accept their affection. And they might just qualify for 'the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me' just by accepting me for who I was and allowing me to be part of their family.. ..but I shall move along.... (with a smile and a kiss for each of them)..

..as there was one more shocker in store, and that happened about 3 or 4 years ago now.

Out of the blue, my brother (the one I was seperated from at age 4) called me. "Hallo bruv", he said... I almost broke at that point, as I'd heard of him but we'd never met in any meaningful way.

We talked, albeit briefly, as he had news. My father had died in Australia and there was a will that needed sorting out.

The next few months saw me reconnected with my whole, original family, my natural mother, my sisters, my brother and the 'old man' (my mothers second husband) whom I now call 'dad' (bless him for allowing me that privilege!!)

The pathetic will was disbursed, the past was settled, and I had my family back.

This year, I became a father at the age of forty (Late I know, but I had pretty negative views of fathers and families you know!) and the LittleDoubt is.... the meaning of my life.

I'm not alone anymore.

So, thank you, Father, for dying and leaving that will. The world is better off without you, and now I will repair the damage you did to all these people.

but, without you I wouldn't be the person I am today. Perhaps not the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me, but certainly the most important.

My Thanks for all of you that have read this far.

EDIT: A short list of people that helped me along the way - Richie, Mikey, Keith, Molly & Family, Mum, Dad & my Siblings - I love you all. You may never know just how much.
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 11:53, 10 replies)
Long story
But worth it - keep on going man :)

(I'm reading a lot more long stories in this thread - I often ignore them!)
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 12:11, closed)
Ta!
Perhaps now the cherry is popped I can write something more amusing in future QOTWs!
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 12:16, closed)
Mate
Chin up. Pat on the back. Stiff upper lip. All the clich├ęs you can eat.

That is a touching story, and i wish you much future hapiness.
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 12:29, closed)

Good things...
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 13:18, closed)
Reading this
gave me a warm glow.

I love stories with a happy ending :)
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 13:29, closed)
*click*
nice one.
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 13:33, closed)
bloody nora
*click*
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 14:08, closed)
I'm glad it's all working out, even if it did take a long time
the stories on this site never cease to amaze me and the responses to them always make me feel all warm and fluffy. Some days I just outright love b3ta.
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 16:22, closed)
The best is yet to come.
You made it through and have come out stronger, congrats for that. You sound as if you are now surrounded by people who care about you, that is the best gift in the world. Enjoy your new life and especially your children...spoil them rotten!
(, Mon 6 Oct 2008, 18:34, closed)
*grin*
Thank you all! Things are indeed better now by a long, long chalk.

Spread the love!
(, Tue 7 Oct 2008, 6:20, closed)

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