Sunday Open Thread: Kindness

Steve Hartman delivers the goods again:

And this local story this morning brought together two stories I remember well, because both were so randomly tragic and then finding out they were actually unique friends was poignant. Sad but sweet story of unexpected friends.

Boulder County pair intertwined in life and death

“Woman killed in Louisville after being struck by tree limb during windstorm.” – April 18, 2018

“Boulder County employee dies following fall at Heil Valley Ranch.” – May 10, 2018.

Those two headlines appeared in the Daily Camera in spring 2018. Neither report mentioned the other, because there appeared to be no reason to link them at the time. Just two unfortunate, but unrelated deaths. It wasn’t until a year later a woman walked into the Daily Camera office and revealed the connection: two people who were thrown together by life, and joined together forever in their deaths.

At first glance, it might not have seemed like 62-year-old Lucinda Spencer and 29-year-old Lucas Lile had a lot in common. But in the spring of 2018, they found themselves at similar places in life.

Spencer had just broken up with her boyfriend and was moving off of the Lafayette farm property where she had lived for almost 20 years.

“The move was very hard on her,” said her friend and former roommate Martine Rudee. “It was a big move after she had a beautiful property she lived on for 16 years. It was just kind of strange for her. She was just getting to know her neighbors.”

Meanwhile, Lile was back at home with his parents after breaking up with a girlfriend and once again finding himself between jobs.

“He was never really sure what he wanted to do,” his mother Gail Lile said, noting her son had done everything from bartending to going to school to become a teacher to serving in the French Foreign Legion.

Friends of Spencer’s just so happened to live near the Lile family, and when they heard Lucas Lile was in between jobs, they told him Spencer was looking for help with her move. And so Lile helped Spencer move her things, and the two quickly bonded. A few weeks after the move, Spencer rehired Lile to help her sort through some things because she had more than she could fit in the new place.  Read more here.

Speaking of kindness.  I don’t know if I already shared this with you. My friend who works for me part-time, handed in his time sheet last week with a note that said, “You are a wonderful boss and more importantly a good friend. Don’t pay me for this time, please apply it to Bixby’s recovery. And give the big guy a hug for me.”

I cried.

Open thread






27 replies
  1. 1

    Bixby’s recovery has been a joy to watch.

  2. 2

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: This morning he and Scout were wrestling in the backyard as if nothing had ever happened. There was so much joy, I let it go on for a bit, but then called a halt to it (with treats) because Bixby has no idea what moderation is.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    A flip side to the first story – sometimes people want to be by themselves. Being alone does not necessarily equal being lonely.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    I am terrified of big dogs, but Bixby and Scout have wiggled their way into my heart.
    Bixby 🙏🙏 are being sent up for you everyday.

  5. 5
    satby says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: of course not, I usually eat alone and I’m not lonely. But the young man asked if she wanted company and she said yes, he didn’t just plop down at the table. It’s more meant to inspire people to reach out and be a bit more kind if they can, and to let serendipity bring some cheer into life.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @TaMara (HFG): That’s amazing!

  7. 7

    @rikyrah: You would be Bixby’s first target. He has this way of sensing people who are afraid of big dogs and slowly snuggling up to them until they don’t realize half of him is in your lap.

  8. 8
    satby says:

    @TaMara (HFG): that’s my Hershey too. I’m so glad Bixby is recovering well. My boy is doing ok on painkillers, but even with them he’s occasionally uncomfortable. I’m hoping for a few weeks more, but if his QoL isn’t ok it may be sooner. He’s had a good long run, so sad/not sad time.

  9. 9

    Hey has Mnemosyne checked in regarding a diagnosis for her cat? Been thinking about her…

  10. 10
    Brachiator says:

    At the Pantry Cafe in Los Angeles, there is counter seating, and some block tables. But there is a big table that seats up to eight people. By tradition, this is shared seating, open to all diners. You can still be by yourself there or with your own group if you like, but the set-up can often lead to fun conversations with an amazing variety of people.

  11. 11
    Raoul says:

    The young man from the BBQ story says, after saying he wants to change the world but he isn’t rich, or famous, and he’s “not very smart, I can’t be President”. Dude, you are smarter than our current president.

    Now, after Obama, I’m not sure the country is ready to elect a black man who befriends 80 y.o. women in restaurants, but that has nothing to do with brains, just the racism of too many voters.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Dog Mon says:

    @TaMara (HFG): So glad that Bixby is just living his life. I have two “It does no good to worry about dogs” stories. First, my 16 1/2 year old Weimaraner with muscle loss from Cushing’s and arthritis – she was having a rough time getting around one day last week – worse that usual. I thought I need to take her to the last visit to the vet – convinced myself that the next day should be it. Worried all night, tortured myself in the early am by googling all the ‘Is it time?” tests and articles. Well she got up early too, made her way to the kitchen and barked for her breakfast – very demanding – I could hear her say “Hurry up, Lady! I’ve got things to do today.” It definitely wasn’t the day.

  14. 14
    WereBear says:

    @TaMara (HFG): So glad to hear of the happy ending.

  15. 15
    Dog Mom says:

    Second Dog story – I took my Atypical Cushing’s with some liver something happening beagle to the vet again yesterday. She had a horrible zombie brains warty thing removed from her right cheek a month ago. She had Bride of Frankenstein stitches from just below her eye to her lip taken out three weeks ago and was healing well until she got a little slightly infected lump from the internal sutures dissolving about two weeks ago. So we got antibiotics and a couple of follow up looks at the vets and more antibiotics. At our second visit this week, I asked the vet how certain she was that it was just the stitches and not the warty mass growing back. Can’t be sure, but looks like just the stitches. A day and a half later, Lulu (the beagle) is just “not right” and she is squinting out of her left eye – I worry about infection and make an appointment for yesterday. Vet looks her eyes all over, tests pressure on them for glaucoma, rules that out and suspects possible brain tumor, which is not what I wanted to hear – still processing – feels like a kick in the gut – don’t know how or if I can handle it. So today Lulu wakes up perky, wants breakfast, eyes are very bright, left one open more than it was. She went out for a while then came in with both eyes wide, poked for some biscuits and has settled down for her afternoon siesta. Not a care. . .

  16. 16

    “You are a wonderful boss and more importantly a good friend. Don’t pay me for this time, please apply it to Bixby’s recovery. And give the big guy a hug for me.”

    That’s some quality humanity right there.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    @Dog Mom: satby, Tamara:
    Thanks for these stories.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    Sadly (and including ways and circumstances other than the political), “it can’t happen here” is a universal human blind spot.

    Eternal vigilance, and all that.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax
    Wrong thread. Mea culpa.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    trollhattan says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    0.5 Bixby would be, what, 2.5 typical dog units? One needs significant lap capacity!

    So great to hear he’s on the mend.

  22. 22
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Watched the Avengers movie this morning…well worth the hype. I won’t drop any spoilers but it was well worth the first visit to the theater since The Last Jedi (and certainly way better than that film turned out).

  23. 23
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    until they don’t realize half of him is in your lap.

    🤣❤️

  24. 24
    satby says:

    @Dog Mon: @Dog Mom: glad for all of you that the days together continue. That’s the thing with senior dogs: up one minute, down the next. I think when they’re ready they let us know, thankfully ours aren’t quite ready yet.
    @TaMara (HFG): thanks. He’s getting spoiled rotten now and is enjoying the hell out of it. So we’re having a happy time even as I know it’s winding down. It’s all good.

  25. 25
    biff murphy says:

    your making me think kindly of human nature, again

  26. 26
    Seanly says:

    Good, sweet people die tragically this pair or get cancer or some horrible disease. Dirty, filthy evil motherfuckers like Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump just seem to live and live and live. I could go on with lots of names.

  27. 27
    Ruckus says:

    @rikyrah:
    Don’t know your size but I’m a normal 5’11” 180. Had a friend who had a great dane whose head was above my waist and he probably out weighed me, the first time I saw him standing up I was at least a bit tentative about him. He was most gentle and far more agreeable than my 35 lb cocker spaniel. I think most greats are that way, they don’t fear a lot of people or things I think because of their size. My friend also had a pug who would at least sound like she was going to take off a leg. She weighed at most 20 lbs. The big guy just ignored the pug.

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