We never know what each day will bring.
Does that thought elicit fear or excitement or gratitude in you? Maybe it stirs up a combination of feelings.
Just last year, Alysa Tulibaski was enjoying a special evening with family when her husband was called to the aid of people who certainly didn’t see what was coming.
“Dec. 14, 2019, my husband was just dishing up his plate during our early family Christmas when his pager went off.
"He is a volunteer fireman and first responder in our community of 627 people in northern Minnesota. Of course, being right next to him, I could clearly hear dispatch say, ‘Argyle Fire, Argyle Fire, please respond to Pacific Avenue apartments for reports of a fire alarm going off.’
"My husband abandoned his half-constructed taco, thinking it was probably a false alarm and he’d be back shortly.
"My heart just sank when I saw the glow created by a blaze that required the help of 10 fire departments from surrounding communities.
"They braved 30 below zero temperatures and worked through the night and into the early afternoon to keep the blaze at bay. While the apartment building was a complete and total loss, nobody was hurt or injured.
"What happened in the next days and weeks was nothing less than miraculous. The outpouring of generosity, kindness and support was amazing!
"Our local grocery store, a fireman’s spouse, along with a few other wives from the squad opened up the Community Center and served food, hot beverages and water for all of the emergency personnel.
"Jennifer Engen and Lydia Svendsen, two wives of firemen from our department, took the lead to collect donations for the apartment fire victims. They coordinated community members and local organizations to fix up, paint, clean, repair and furnish other apartments in our community so that these people didn’t have to move away from our town.
"One of the residents lost his pet gecko, and a group of people bought him a new one.
"More donations than could even be used came into the drop-off sites, so the group that organized those efforts were able to pay forward those extra items to other groups in need.
"Sunday afternoon I was contacted by a neighboring community that wanted to donate food… a lot of food! Another fireman’s wife and I put together a meal of thanks and appreciation. We invited all 10 of the fire departments, the rescue and ambulance service, the sheriff’s department and those who lost their homes in the fire to this meal to show our appreciation and thanks for all they did and for all they do. It was a wonderful celebration.
"We may be a small town, but we take care of our own. Argyle, Minn.: We’re KINDa a big deal!”
We never know what the next day will bring, but it sure is nice to know it will be accompanied by kindness.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.