Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving thanks for the power to amaze

Let’s face it. The word ‘amazed’ is often over used. “I’m amazed I finished my book.” No, I’m not. I knew I was going to do it because I HAD to do it. Another standby: “I’m amazed that I ate the whole thing!” Actually that wasn’t so amazing either. It was good. It was there. I ate it. All of it.

The point I’m trying to make is that it really isn’t often that an act or an event justifies the use of the word ‘amazed’. But I heard a story on the news the other day that touched me and made me feel all warm and fuzzy and … well … amazed. Bear with me, here goes.

This couple was traveling in their RV in the Midwest, heading north. They stopped at a truck stop for a bite to eat and when the woman got out of the RV, she spotted a monarch butterfly on the pavement. One of its wings was broken. She was so touched by the plight of the butterfly that she carefully picked it up and carried it back into the RV. She and her husband got on the Internet and did a little research and low and behold, they discovered a method of fixing a broken butterfly wing. So they did it. They mended the wing.
They got to talking with a cross country truck driver who was going south and asked him if he would take the butterfly with him to Florida. He very willingly agreed and set out on his way with the butterfly. Once there, as promised, he released the Monarch, which promptly flew away and then he called the couple in the RV and let them know that his delicate cargo had made the trip and was doing fine.

Amazing, right? An amazing act of compassion. An amazing act of kindness. Absolutely amazing that three people would go to such lengths and extremes for the sake of a tiny little butterfly that could have ended up just another bug on the highway.

I am so thankful to live in a country where there are people who would mend a broken butterfly wing and people who would transport a butterfly in an 18 wheeler clear across the United States just so it could finish its migration. Those acts are true reflections of the American spirit and generosity. It’s those same types of people who dig into their pockets and their hearts to help earthquake and flood victims and stock local food pantries and volunteer at hospitals and give to animal shelters. Those same people pull tags off Angel trees at Christmas and buy gifts for children they don’t know, or send care packages to our deployed troops – again, who they don’t know - so they’ll know someone back home appreciates what they do.

In short, I’m thankful that this world still has the power to amaze me – in good ways. In ways that justify the word to the deed. How about you? Have you been amazed recently? I really want to hear about it. And in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Playground Monitor said...

I'm amazed I'm sitting here at almost 12:30 AM munching on Fritos. No I'm not. They're good and I'm hungry.

Our area participates in the Honor Flight program that flies WWII veterans to Washington, DC to visit the WWII memorial. These are the men and women of my parents' generation who fought in several theaters to keep freedom ringing. Our newspaper covers these flights and it's so heartwarming to see these vets visit the memorial that honors what they did to keep us free to transport butterflies. My father was a WWII vet, but he died in 1970 and never got to see a memorial to the war he served in. Sadly lots of others are dying while their names are on the list to go on an Honor Flight trip.


Kylie said...

I am *not* thankful for blogger eating my last answer!

When Iowa was hit by floods last summer the generosity of strangers again was humbling. I had people on loops wanting to know where and how to contribute.

This no longer amazes me in this country. Our citizens are incredibly giving, as evidenced by the donation level to world disasters.

In this season of thankfulness and giving, I'm grateful to live in a world that consistently reaches out to those in need.

lois greiman said...

Your post really touched me, Cindy. How does one fix a butterfly's wing?

And I agree, we live in a great country with wonderful, giving people. But I believe there are such people everywhere. I'm certain there are generous souls all over the world, a few from all parts of the globe who would take time to tend butterflies. And I'm really grateful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Betina Krahn said...

Wow. What a heartwarming story.

You know that commercial on TV where someone sees another person do something kind or responsible or honest and turns around and does something good, too? Well, I love that commercial. And I think it really works that way. We imitate things we see, even as adults. (And we give teenagers grief for caving in to peer pressure!) If we put ourselves in good company and see people doing good things, it's much more likely that we'll do good things, too.

I'm going to think about this butterfly rescue for some time, Cindy. Thanks for this!

Debra Dixon said...

That is just the best story I've heard in a long time.

I would never even have thought to look up butterfly wing medicine.

Those 3 folks get my vote for "amazing." Absolutely.

Cindy Gerard said...

Yeah - I'm with you guys. The story just touched me. For them to even 'go there' in the first place is astounding and then to take it to such extremes ... well. Too cool.

Debra Webb said...

Cindy! What a terrific story! Happy Thanksgiving!

Keri Ford said...

Betina, I love those commercials, too! I've seen them hundreds of times, but still when they're on, I can't help but watch.

That's so cool with that butterfly. I've seen lots of truckers in my time and it's one cute vision in my mind those folks tending to a little butterfly.

Cindy Gerard said...

I'll bet there are a lot of you out there who do your own 'amazing' deeds and don't even think twice about it. My DH and I have adopted a soldier through the Soldiers Angels (http://www.soldiersangels.org/)
We write to him 3 or 4 times a month and send a little goodie package at least monthly. It's a great feeling when we hear from him as we know how difficult things are for him over there and it times time out of what little free time he has to write.

Christie Ridgway said...

Betina, I LOVE that commercial. Just watching it makes me want to go do something good for other people. I was amazed a year ago when we had fires in San Diego at the generosity everyone displayed toward their fellow citizens.

But on a more personal note, I'm constantly amazed by my husband. He is the kind of person who sees something wrong and immediately tries to think how he can help. Even with litte things. For example, last weekend we were out for a walk (as is our habit) and walked past a church with new landscaping. One of their new trees had been pushed over. Surfer Guy immediately hops into the surrounding mud and gets it back on its feet and steadied with a stake. The weekend before, we were walking down a wide parkway and three lanes from us saw a young woman with her car broken down. "Come on," he said, and we jogged through the traffic so that we could give her a push around a corner where she could wait for the tow truck more safely.

I wouldn't have seen either of these things and thought "What can I do?" But he does, every time. That amazes me.

Estella said...

What terrific people!

Cindy Gerard said...

Christie - my cowboy is like that too. It's like before I even think, oh, wow, I'd hate to be in that position, he's already digging in and lending a hand. gotta love a guy like that.

Cindy Gerard said...

And Marilyn - I love the honor flight program. Our WWll veterans are so special. This summer on my way home from San Francisco, I had the honor of sitting in a seat next to a lovely gentleman who was flying from SF to Savannah for a reunion with his WWll squadron. He'd been a navigator on a B-19 (I think I have that right) and all of the crew were still alive. He was, hands down, one of the sweetest men I'd ever met. I spent a little extra time with him as we waited for connecting flights in Dallas and made sure he got to his gate. Believe it or not, it was the first time he'd flown since his military service and although he didn't admit it, I could see he was nervous about finding his way around the airport.