Silent kindness

The post I want to make requires pictures that are still on my camera, and I just got tagged for a meme I don’t know how to answer, so instead I’ll tell you about Hal.

Actually, I’ll tell you about a random act of kindness. But Hal was kind in general, so you can’t call it random. Okay, so let’s back up a bit. I’ve been blessed to find that people around me, while they don’t put on spandex and a cape and criss-cross the world fighting evil (well, with a few exceptions) perform quiet acts of heroism and kindness that they never call attention to.

Hal owned the copy shop in Angeltown. I went, dutifully, every three months with my Bird Scramble trib. I’d order 25 copies, and I’d chat with him. He had a child the same age as Kiddo1, and he got to know me by sight. He’d carry my copy order out to the car when he saw me in the parking lot. I ordered my business cards from him.

So when Emily died, my Patient Husband and I went to the shop. He’d seen me waddling around town, but I hadn’t told him because, well, how do you do that? “Hey, Philangelus! How are you doing?” “Okay, Hal, but my baby is going to die.” I didn’t want him to feel bad, and really, was he going to comfort me or something? I saw him every three months when I needed copies.

My Patient Husband and I looked through the birth announcements, picked a subtle, understated one with the image of a purple ribbon around a pair of footprints, and we asked Hal to order 60 of them, and handed him the text we’d typed up.

Patient Husband and Philangelus
are both proud and sad
to announce the birth and death of Emily Rose…

Hal got quiet. Not that he’d been noisy before because we’d been looking through the book and not chit-chatting in the first place. But I remember total silence as he transcribed everything we wanted. He was subdued when he told us the cost and when we could pick them up.

Remember, he ran a copy shop. I saw him every three months. What was he going to do?

When we addressed the announcements, there was an extra packet. He’d given us 80.

Like I said, quiet heroism and silent kindness. He couldn’t save the world, but when given the opportunity, he did do the thing he could.


  1. Karen Williams

    Wow this small heroism bought a tear to my eye! Beautiful and touching.

    1. philangelus

      Isn’t that so sweet? I hope his business is still thriving and that good things are coming his way.

  2. Victor S E Moubarak

    Praying for you.

    God bless.

    1. philangelus

      Thank you, Victor. It’s nearly been twelve years now.

  3. Mary Randy

    I read this post earlier and couldn’t find any words. I am still at a loss for words but I wanted you to know how much this post touched my heart.