On February 22nd, our family’s journey with the rare disease Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) was featured in The Boston Globe, written beautifully by reporter Bella English. The timing of this article was serendipitous as we are on the precipice of International Rare Disease Day on February 28th. Even more extraordinary was the act of kindness that occurred when Noah and I went to pick up our own copies.
Our Sunday morning was busy, getting ready for the baptism of my newest Godson. Ironing shirts, finding matching sweater vests for Dad and Noah and double checking for peanut butter on Noah’s face. Early in the afternoon Noah and I stopped at our local Cumberland Farms where I asked “Do you have any Globes left?” I was directed to the newsstand and began flipping through the first copy I could find. There it was. The back page of Globe South, above the fold, an article written with heart, accurate facts, and a color family photo.
“Noah! It’s us! We are in the paper!” which made Noah ask, “How did the paper get our picture?” What I find exciting, he finds regular. We scooped up the last four papers and headed to the cash register with big smiles. The cashier looked at my stack and asked if I found what I needed. I showed her the article and explained that Noah and I had lost Mike to a rare disease, and that on Monday morning I will be at the State House for Boston’s Rare Disease Day event. For a moment she seemed thoughtful, then looked at me and said “I am paying for your papers.”
Noah and I are not regulars at Cumby’s. I did not know this young cashier. Her connection with us, and decision to extend a gift of kindness was immediate and without question. She would only accept a hug in exchange for her generosity.
I am thankful for the gift that this community member extended to us, not for it’s monetary value, but because Noah witnessed this act. He will learn that the act of a cashier paying for your items is rare, but kindness is everywhere. All you have to do is be open to the connection.