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Nicole Phillips, Published August 10 2012

Phillips: Lisbon folks make kindness part of their jobs

The other day I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in at least six months. She smiled her big exuberant smile and said, “Oh! It’s Miss Kindness!” as she gave me a warm hug.

Her sweet greeting made me feel special down to the tips of my toes.

How I would love to be thought of as Miss Kindness on a regular basis! But being kind, patient and gentle with people all day, every day is a pretty tall order, especially when things like relationships, finances and deadlines get in the way.

That’s why I’m so impressed with some of the people in Lisbon, N.D. As Sue Gibson of Lake City, Minn., writes, they seem to be making kindness part of their jobs.

“Hi Nicole,

I grew up in Lisbon and now return to visit my parents who reside at the North Dakota Veterans Home there. They opened a beautiful new facility last year and my folks moved in last October.

It was a big change for them, down-sizing from their house to two rooms. They are happily settled in now, and it has turned out to be a wonderful, positive experience.

The thing that has been the greatest about their move is not so much the place as it is the people. Talk about ‘contagious kindness!’ These people, staff and residents, are like one big, caring family. Everyone, from the nurses, aides, social workers, cleaning staff, activities director and therapists are pleasant and just nice to be around.

I sit here day after day with my folks and watch these wonderful people at work. I got to thinking last week after reading your column, I need to write about all the kind acts I see right here in front of me. I thank God for this place and the people here. They have been an answer to prayer for my family.

My Dad fell and broke his hip a couple of months ago. He had to move from the basic area to the skilled-care area of the Veterans Home for his recovery. Dad is almost 95. Mom and Dad will be married 66 years this September. They are inseparable, and this time apart has not been easy. Mom spends every day with Dad, as he’s on the road to recovery. We have been so relieved to have Dad here and to observe the wonderful care he is getting.

I just want to sing the praises of all of these special people. They have made this whole journey a little easier just by their kind, friendly attitudes. It is very obvious that they genuinely care for the residents and their families. We are blessed to have the North Dakota Veterans Home here in Lisbon. It is a great place for our veterans to call home. They deserve the best, and I think they are getting it here.”

Thanks Sue. I’m sure the people in Lisbon will be grateful to know that their kindness is noticed and so deeply appreciated.

I hope you will continue to share your stories of kindness with me at nphillips15@hotmail.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.

Nicole Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo, and currently the executive director of Diva Connection Foundation. She is the mother of three kids and the wife of Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.