Journal Entry: Dana McIntyre-12/23/2023

Journal Entry

Today was very positive and my outlook for the future is bliss. I was out getting a hamburger at a local mom-and-pop last night and had a conversation with one of the employees. We have spoken before and have had some deep conversations about family, upbringing, and the challenges that life presents. Been going to this place for a few months and have not spoken about my pending incarceration. I know for a fact it would not matter to anyone there because they have got to know me outside of my crime. She opened and said, “Whatever I make tonight and tomorrow night that’s what I have to spend on Christmas.” This is a small place in a small Vermont town, I don’t see a windfall. I started asking pointed questions such as the age of her children, her living situation, etc. in a caring way. She has a blended family with her husband’s 3 children, and they are in their 20’s and a 10-year-old girl that lives with her and her husband. They are a hard-working family and from what I can tell are the core of the family unit. The husband’s Dad just moved in as he has dementia, and is the last one from his generation that is alive. They own a modest home and try to make it in a world that seems to be at war with normal people. I was reminded of my own childhood and how my mom struggled but always provided a memorable Christmas. The joy of experiencing Christmas as a child is gone by the age 13 or 14, especially for girls who know everything about life at that age. This opened a door for me to step up and make a difference in this little girl’s life who I have not met. I picked up a few gifts and dropped them off at her house. The cost to me was small and the look on the mom’s face was priceless when I handed her a few things to put under the tree for her little girl.

What I learned:

  1. Random Acts of Kindness will change the world.
  2. There is no better feeling than helping someone who needs it.
  3. Kids Grow up fast.
  4. Everyone has a story.
  5. It takes guts to step up.
  6. Don’t judge people.
  7. Memories and photos are all we have.
  8. Making a difference feels good.
  9. There is always someone in a worse situation.
  10. There is nothing funny about peace, love and understanding.