At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.
Today, the wonderful Benna Bos is here to share a story. Also, Benna is giving away 1 ecopy of Investigating Helen. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Benna.
Food for the Soul
Big events are when what might otherwise be considered small acts are ballooned into something so much larger that the clarity of the moment sticks to your soul and bends you backward with gratitude.
One of the biggest events in my life was the six days between my father’s fifty-first birthday and the day he died, all of them spent in a hospital ICU. It wasn’t big in the way the birth of my first niece or my wedding day or any of my three graduations were. It was big in the most terrible, heartbreaking of ways.
Just like those other moments in my life, there are sharp points of memory. Instead of being punctuated with joy, they are stabbed with pain, making them that even clearer.
I will never forget the stuffy air in the ICU family waiting room at the hospital. The space probably seemed adequate when the architect sketched it out on the blueprints. But with my family huddled in it day after day, my sixteen-year-old cousin’s homework strewn across one table, my sister’s laptop on her knees as she tried to keep from getting behind in her teaching job, and my brother’s legalese filling the space between the stiff couches as the newly minted lawyer tried to explain what all the papers my mother was being asked to sign really meant—he was going to die, and there was nothing we could do about it.
I had flown in from Montana and I didn’t have time to visit the old high school friends I usually caught up with when I was back in the Midwest. A few called, having heard. Small towns are like that. A man who dedicates thirty-years to a local company makes waves when he is suddenly diagnosed with stage four cancer.
The word was out. People sent notes, and called. People wanted my mother to have all their love. The pastor who had married my parents stopped by. There was a lot of kindness. Many of the people who’d had a part in our lives made the effort to show us they cared.
But here’s one point of kindness I remember most: One day a nurse walked in and asked about a visitor. Could he come up to the family waiting room? We recognized the last name— it was shared by an old high school friend of mine. We’d talked on the phone. She knew I was spending my days in that little stuffy room on the third floor of the hospital. So we told the nurse the man could come in.
He was my friend’s father. He was carrying three massive trays. We scrambled to push the homework, laptops, and paperbacks out of the way so he could set down his load.
Each tray was packed with treats. One held a variety of meats, cheese, and crackers. One had sandwiches. One was piled with brownies and cookies. This man worked at the local deli, and when he’d heard about my family huddled in a tiny room waiting for the worst to come, he rallied all the employees and they’d put together this meal for us—strangers hurting, hungry for so much more than food, for something good.
That little act was so big. We’d been alone in that waiting room from hell, until we weren’t anymore. Until that man brought a giant tray of love from a bunch of strangers who thought about us and what we were going through, and they just wanted us to know that someone understood. We weren’t going to leave, not for anything. So they brought the love to us.
And that’s what I think of when I think of kindness. I imagine that place in the human soul where empathy rules all. Where we know exactly what someone else needs. That clarity is a moment in time that is rare and beautiful.
Murder by the Bay Mystery Series: Book 1
by Benna Bos
Dr. Helen Nims is hauled into the police station when her new girlfriend is found murdered. Terrified and confused, she finds comfort from a stranger. But when that stranger turns out to be a crime reporter, Helen has to decide if she can be trusted or if confiding in the stunning podcaster will pull Helen deeper into suspicion.
Agnes Coates loves reporting on true crime. But it hits a little close to home when her first crush from high school is found dead in a bathtub. A gorgeous surgeon is tangled up in the police dragnet as they search for the killer, and Agnes must navigate her own feelings as she digs into the mystery and seeks out the truth.
With so much to lose, Agnes and Helen will walk the line between kisses and crime.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Benna is an author, non-profit manager, and adjunct professor of Anthropology. Her greatest love is romance. Mixing Cozy Mystery with engaging love stories, she plays on her love of place and her obsession with true crime podcasts. San Francisco is the setting she is most obsessed with, and it happens to be her my current home. She loves to read, write, play with her dog, and go on road trips.
CONNECT WITH BENNA BOS
Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Miranda & TB