good karma.

  1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
    • informal
      destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

If I can remember anything from high school, it was the sole value my principal was trying to instill into the student body: integrity. For some reason, this was the one word I remember from every single time he would speak. He was that principal who would make the varsity basketball team practice on one half of the gym, so his spoiled, obnoxious sons could take foul shots on the other half the day before a game. I once got yelled at and called to his office for calling him an asshole, during class, for saying to Vanessa Kermick that women were never going to be as smart as men. I’m not even a feminist. I just remember the look on her face when he said it, and the words came out. My point in telling you this is that my principal wasn’t the nicest man, but he did teach me about integrity. Regardless, the word integrity has become part of something I have always admired in people- and the most attractive quality someone can have. Good thing Brad has more integrity than anyone I have ever met. Perhaps that’s why I love him so much.

With integrity, comes living your life well. Brad said something to me once that has always stuck out. “At the end of the day, the only one who has to look in the mirror at yourself is you.” So, for the almost three years we have been together, I have striven to live my life with the utmost integrity. Not for the return on investment, but because it’s true. I’m the one who has to look at myself at the end of the day. I can’t tell you how fantastic it has been to smile every day I do so.

This past weekend, however, I have learned that my actions have resulted in FANTASTIC karma! I shall relay the past 24 hours to you, as it’s insane.

This weekend, we decided to go to see Lady Antebellum, Billy Currington and Joe Nichols.

Side note: The history of the name “Lady Antebellum” stems from pre-Civil War, before the north won and celebrating the south.  A little surprised that name went over so well, especially given the omnipresent racial war. Being I was raised in NH, I didn’t know the meaning of the Confederate flag, much more than that was the decor of the Dukes of Hazard’s General Lee, but I learned very quickly the real meaning of it once college came. Don’t judge my lack of knowledge, my history teacher wasn’t that great- and New England tends to focus the curriculum on Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party. Interestingly, the Christian flag, a symbol significant to many, might have brought a different perspective on historical symbols if it had been included in our teachings.

just a good ole boy.
just a good ole boy. Never meanin’ no harm.

First act of good karma: I was looking for a hotel room in walking distance to the venue. Not only did someone cancel 5 minutes prior to me calling, but the woman was so nice she gave me an additional $20 off the room.

Second act of good karma: It started to rain like something out of a comedy. We got lawn seats, and of course assumed that we would be in the 20th percentile when it said there was an 80% chance of rain. I went to buy us ponchos and of course they had just sold the last one. Well, the woman behind the counter gave me one look, and simply reached into her bag and gave me her own poncho to take. “Seriously? What will you use?” I asked. “I have an umbrella.” I was in awe of her kindness.

advice: invest in an umbrella.
advice: invest in an umbrella.

Third act of good karma: I only got one poncho, so when I walked back to the completely soaked and smiling Brad, I had nothing to hand him, but the plastic bag the poncho was in. He smiled and proceeded to poke a hole and place it around his head. The people in back of us then handed him a brand new poncho to use.

Fourth act of good karma: 45 minutes in the pouring rain came an angle in our sight with an umbrella. “I have two extra seats inside if you would like them?”  So then our luck moved to the 4th row of the upper section- inside, out of the rain.

you deserve to be inside.
you deserve to be inside.

Fifth act of good karma: I had new earrings in- somewhere in between my dripping wet hair and the slow process of it drying, my earring ripped out of my ear and dropped on the ground. I found it within 3 minutes, directly in front of me.

Sixth act of good karma: I was waiting in a very long line, in the rain, for the bathroom. Upon entering, even though I was third in line to go, the women in front of me insisted I go- for no other reason than I made them laugh.

When things go shitty in your life you can get angry at the higher power or everything around you, even reflecting and blaming within, but it is these little moments of happy that give you hope that good karma really does exist. Either that, or I am one lucky girl.  If I am being honest, it’s probably a little bit of both.

Hope your weekend was as nice as mine.

thank you, mr. benson.

Sometimes in life a person provides an act of kindness so great, that words can only mildly express the gratitude the recipient feels.  “Thank you” seems small, but those two words are, in my opinion, the most meaningful one can express.  Yet, I imagine this post isn’t about just gratitude, its about respecting someone with integrity and selflessness.  Qualities so rare, that when they shows themselves- are neon bright.  I’ll explain.

Recently, our dog buddy acted his age (1 yr) and dismembered a dog treat, meant to be everlasting.   We were shocked to come home and find him covered in vomit and refusing to eat or go outside.  It was horrible.  When we took him to the vet, we found that a piece of the treat had been lodged in his esophagus.  The vet originally thought it was in his stomach (even after an X Ray that CLEARLY showed it was in his esophagus), so he unnecessarily cut open Buddy- to find (as I just told you)- nothing in his stomach.  Buddy came home and was still horribly ill- and getting worse by the day.  Buddy was losing weight by the minute, throwing up, uncontrolled bladder, restless and just plain miserable.  The bills were piling up and the end was no where in sight.

Side note: one thing I will say made me laugh is that when we sat in the “specialist’s” office, the first comment out of the vet’s mouth was, “we treat every animal as our own pet.”  Followed almost immediately by, “we cannot do a payment plan for the $2500+ surgery your dog needs to live, sorry.”

It was at that moment that I decided to let the treat company know just what they were putting us through.   So, I wrote a letter.

A letter that was answered within ten minutes of me sending it, by the president and COO of the company.  My mouth dropped.

It was at that moment that my opinion of people changed.  Well, two people in particular, Mr. Keith Benson and his wife, Emily.  They actually cared.  Mr. Benson called my home, on a Saturday morning, to express his concern for Buddy.  That call alone made my eyes water and my heart melt. He let me know that his wife received the email, and immediately called it to his attention.  They have dogs, train dogs, run a company saturated with dogs, but most of all- they love dogs.  I explained what exactly the vet said, and he explained that the treat was created to dissolve in the stomach gasses, not in the esophagus.  He was concerned for how uncomfortable Buddy must be feeling, as his own dogs have had a bone caught in their throat before.  He understood.  He insisted that I immediately take Buddy back to the vet- and that he would cover the costs.   It was an act of kindness so unbelievable that I started crying right there on the phone with him.   I felt like I was on an episode of Ellen!

Buddy is now out of the first of three corrective surgeries.  He is eating kibble already, putting weight back on, and scheduled for his last two follow-up procedures next week.  Buddy is going to be okay.  Buddy is going to wiggle his butt, lick our faces, make noises that make us laugh, snuggle, run around and chase everything that moves because of you, Mr. Benson and your wife Emily.

Thank you, so very much, not only for your tremendously generous gift, but for having the integrity to respond, the wisdom to understand and most of all, the heart to really care about our puppy.   You forever have loyal customers, confident testimonials, and most of all respect, from a small family in Exeter, New Hampshire.

thank you.