Phillips: Kindness heals, one bead at a time
Children's hearts are precious. They love big, forgive quickly and are incredible readers of the emotions around them. Sort of like a magnet, they attract the feelings of others and wear them as their own.
Sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad. It can be bad when it locks up the mind in fear and confusion, but it's incredibly beautiful when it opens the door to compassion and understanding.
A woman from North Dakota named Bonnie Lund was going through a health crisis at the same time a family from her church was taking on their own battle. The family had been praying for Bonnie, and thanks to the heart of a little girl, that's right where kindness bloomed.
"I'd like to share a little kindness story about a young friend of mine named Aleksia. She is 11. Last fall I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and I had surgery in December.
"While all this was going on, Aleksia and her family were in Minneapolis as her brother, Arlyn, age 7 at the time, was fighting for his life. He had undergone a liver transplant and spent the next seven months at the Children's Hospital recovering and rebuilding his health.
"He was a healthy young boy before this mysterious liver failure last July. His parents and baby sister, who was born just before Arlyn's transplant, stayed with him in the hospital while Aleksia stayed nearby with her grandparents at the Ronald McDonald House.
"During this time, Aleksia said she saw so many kids in the hospital whose parents weren't there with them and some whose parents were there, but the families were sad. She was grateful that her family could be together, but she wanted to help the other families be happy so she started "Aleksia's Beaded Blessings."
"Through her Beaded Blessings initiative, when she hears of someone who is going through a medical challenge, she looks up the colors that represent their medical problem and makes them a bracelet or keychain and prays for them while making it. She says she wants to give people "a little sunshine in their life!"
"She made me a beautiful bracelet with the colors for thyroid cancer: pink, blue and teal.
"As I wear it, I remember her kindness and the great courage and strength her family showed through Arlyn's ordeal.
"I am happy to say God is helping Arlyn heal. He is back playing soccer!"
Bonnie, the recipient of Aleksia's bracelet who shared this story is also on the mend.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University's men's head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her column runs every Friday. You can visit Nicole at " target="_blank">nicolejphillips.com.