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Nicole J. Phillips, Published November 22 2013

Kindness Is Contagious: Woman from hometown brings touch of familiar, kindness to stranger

Have you ever been traveling and met someone from your hometown? There is an immediate bond.

Even if you don’t know any of the same people or came from completely different sides of the tracks, for just a brief moment, meeting someone from home feels like running into family. We immediately trust them and go out of our way to show them a little extra kindness.

Now, if I’m the only one who feels this way, please don’t burst my bubble by telling me. I would be completely embarrassed to know that it’s not normal to walk up to someone in the mall just because he or she is wearing a University of Wisconsin sweatshirt.

I recently received an email from Avis Dolan of Fargo, illustrating how a beautiful act of kindness was carried out thanks to the common bond of home.

“My mother-in-law, Lucille, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer on July 3. She has had numerous additional health problems because of the diagnosis and six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy.

“She has not been to her home in Grafton, N.D., for months, and is instead staying at Valley Elder Care in Grand Forks, waiting for the end.

“She is an amazing woman, having knit hats for the homeless in Mesa, Ariz., for years. I can’t even recall the number, but I know it is in the thousands. She has also worked with the hospital auxiliary, embroidering dishtowels for their bazaar.

“My mother-in-law was born in St. Boniface, Man., and married my father-in-law from Oakwood, N.D. She speaks French fluently and beautifully.

“My husband is the oldest of the five children, and this has been a devastating time for the family as they watch their mom, grandma and friend lose her strength and life.

“This past weekend, my brother-in-law, his wife, and a few other family members were staying in her home in Grafton while they visited her in Grand Forks. They were at a local establishment for a curling tournament where some women were singing ‘Oh, Canada.’ My brother-in-law went over to them and told them his mom was born in St. Boniface, and one of the women said she was from there as well. He explained that Lucille was very sick.

“Those two complete strangers came to Valley Elder Care and found Lucille’s room. They brought her a card and they sang ‘Oh, Canada’ in French together. When my husband told me this story, it brought tears to my eyes. I am in complete awe that people would take time out of their schedules and lives to visit a very sick but kind and beautiful stranger.”

Thank you for sharing that story, Avis. I wish Lucille a peaceful journey as she passes on to her eternal home.

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.

Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday. You can also get a Daily Dose of Inspiration from Nicole at www.nicolejphillips.com.