Acts Of Kindness In The Depths Of Despair

by Sherry Riter in Friend,PTSD

crochet sock monkey water bottle holder

While trying to think of a title for this post, I decided to look up a definition.

kindness: a kind deed or favor; the quality or state of being kind; affectionate, loving

Hmmm…The quality or state of being kind. So what is the definition of kind?

kind: of a sympathetic or helpful nature; arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance; of a kind to give pleasure or relief

If you put all the definitions together, you would get Lisa Simmons.

In The Box

When a person has PTSD, they never know if it is going to be a good or bad day. It is really a toss up. Even if the day starts out good, there is no guarantee that it will end the same way.

It was right after the beginning of 2013 and it was a bad day.

My brain was filled with fog, I couldn’t concentrate, tears threatened to spill over and the sadness was overwhelming. Being in this state is bearable if I’m home alone, but when I’m at work struggling to keep my emotions at bay while performing a great job, it is nearly impossible.

As I reached home, I was exhausted from fighting PTSD all day long and it took all my strength to walk to the door. I stepped over the threshold into the haven of my home to find that Alyssa had picked up a package at the post office that was addressed to me. In the top left corner the sender was identified as Lisa Simmons.

I only “knew” one Lisa Simmons and that was a Facebook and blog friend whom I had never met face-to-face. As I stared at the unopened box, a flood of emotions filled my eyes. I used my car key to cut open the tape on the box and then I carefully opened it.

Inside the box I found a handwritten note that said:


May this brighten your day. For all the wonderful posts I enjoy reading.

Happy New Year

Keep your head covered to keep the creative word flowing.
Keep your bottle of water cuddled.
Keep your tootsies warm with your slippers.

Lisa Simmons

lisa simmons note sock monkey

The box contained hand crocheted items: a cream slouch hat, a sock monkey water bottle holder and a sock monkey hat.

I stared at the contents knowing that Lisa had spent many hours crocheting these items for me…a person who shared her soul each day on a blog that Lisa read. I was overwhelmed by Lisa’s unselfish kindness. I was so overwhelmed that I just sat in the floor with my box of goodies and cried.

sock monkey hat, water bottle, cream hat

Eventually, I was able to get control of my emotions and I tried on the silky cream hat. While admiring it in the mirror, I had to admit that I actually looked stylish if I overlooked my red, puffy eyes! Then I went oooohhhh and aaaaaahhh over the beautifully stitched, cute sock monkey water bottle and hat. They both were so fun and I couldn’t help but smile each time I looked at them.

crochet sock monkey hat braided

Two Months Have Passed

It’s been two months since I opened the box. Since then I had to threaten to take Alyssa’s boots if she tried to take my hats. When I’m not wearing or using the crocheted gifts, they sit beside me at the computer. Nope, I don’t put them away. Instead, they remain close by to comfort me on especially taxing PTSD days.

cream crocheted hat

From the very beginning of my blogging-social media experience, I knew that relationships and not numbers mattered. As I buried myself in the world that appeared on my monitor, I found comfort, peace and support from people around the world during the most harrowing days of my life.

I will only have the privilege of meeting a few of the people that lifted me up when I was at my lowest. However, my gratitude for them is not lessened even though I don’t see them face-to-face. I simply can’t thank everyone enough for their kindnesses for nearly four years.

Today I’m sharing my personal experience with Lisa Simmons – a beautiful woman with a kind, unselfish soul. From the very bottom of my heart, I thank you, Lisa. Your Christ-like kindness will never be forgotten and I will cherish my gifts forever. I pray that God always grants you his richest blessings.

Matthew 25:40

40 …Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


lisa simmons note


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D March 24, 2013 at 6:12 am

awwwwwwwwww… how nice of Lisa!!! such delightful gifts! I guess I can see why you had to threaten Alyssa to keep her away from them 😀


2 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

LOL Yes! I did have to tell Alyssa, “You can try on the hat, but you can’t keep it.” The gifts are lovely!


3 Susanne March 24, 2013 at 7:26 am

That is just awesome!


4 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

😀 I thought so too!


5 teresa1944 March 24, 2013 at 8:24 am

Thank you Lisa for caring about my child, my beautiful daughter inside and out. Love you Sher, I am so proud of you for the way you fight all your struggles and PTSD. I know that draining feeling and the weary feelings it brings. I would take it from you if I could.


6 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Thank you, Mom. I hope you never suffer PTSD because it is truly the worst kind of Hell. I love you too.


7 Lisa Simmons March 24, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thank you very much, for your kindness, It warms my heart to know that I made a difference in your everyday life. God has truely blessed me many times especially this week. I have had several blessings stowed upon me, Thank you for being my friend. One day we will meet… 🙂 Wishing you many good days ahead…Thank you always your friend Lisa 🙂


8 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Thank you so much, Lisa! It is a pleasure and a blessing to be your friend. Hope you have a wonderful day! 😀


9 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm

That was so kind, sweet and thoughtful of Lisa Simmons to crochet for you those lovely gifts. I, too, was touched by her gifts to you. Thank you for sharing them with us. Darn, darn, darn, I wish I could crochet, then I would crochet something really nice for you and mail it to you so you could see how much you touch my life daily just by reading your blog! But sadly I am not a crocheter, I am a writer. So, I’ll continue to show my appreciation for you by leaving comments on your awesome blog! 🙂


10 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I would love to see you crochet. LOL LOL It would make a viral Youtube video for sure! LOL 😉 I appreciate your comments all the time, Joan. {{{hugsss}}}


11 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm

And more comments! 🙂


12 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

LOL You are making me laugh!


13 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm



14 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm

So when people look at how many comments a post you have written had gotten it will look like a substantial amount of comments! 🙂


15 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm



16 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm

You can call me your comment builder upper! LOL 🙂


17 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I woke up Bella because I just laughed so hard! LOL


18 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I can definitely build up your comments! 🙂


19 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Although I know that I am not the only person who reads your blog daily! 🙂


20 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I know that I am only one of thousands of people who read your blog daily! 🙂


21 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Maybe millions of people read your blog daily! 🙂


22 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Who knows how many people read your blog daily? 🙂


23 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

But I do know this. Out of all the millions of people who read your blog daily. I’m the only one who is not afraid of making a fool out of myself and commenting a ridiculous amount of times! LOL 🙂


24 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm

LOL Soooooooooooooooooo true! LOL I’m laughing so hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


25 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Well, enough said from “the comment builder upper” for one day! 🙂


26 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Let’s see, how many comments did I actually make on this one post? I’ll have to go back and count them up! 🙂


27 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm

WOW, I made 13 comments! Not bad for “the comment builder upper.” And this will be my 14th comment! 🙂


28 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm

But who’s counting? LOL 🙂


29 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Certainly not I, but this is my 16th comment! 🙂


30 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Or is it my 17th comment now? All this commenting has actually made me lose track at how many times I have commented. Well, you try commenting this many times and you would lose track too! LOL


31 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

But seriously now, it is hard to write so many comments and say absolutely nothing. I’m like the Seinfeld of commentators! Remember Jerry Seinfeld’s television show was about nothing? 🙂


32 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm

No, I never watched Seinfeld. LOL


33 Joan March 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Have you had enough nothingness for one day? 🙂


34 Sherry Riter March 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Can one ever get too much nothingness? 😀


35 Young Werther March 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Many moons ago, use to exchange goodies with some online mates, Tim Tams for Twinkies, Lamingtons for Ding Dongs… the cost of postage put a stop to all that 🙁

Mmmm…. maybe I should do a reminiscent blog


36 Sherry Riter March 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm

😀 That’s a lovely idea!


37 Teresha March 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

that is the sweetest gesture! I hope your lovies give you a sense of peace and security!


38 Sherry Riter March 27, 2013 at 7:11 am

Thank you! 😀


39 Bev March 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Lisa is awesome. She has warmed many of our hearts by warming yours. Hugs to you…I hope you got snow today to also warm your heart!


40 Sherry Riter March 27, 2013 at 7:11 am

{{{{{hugssss}}}}} Thank you!


41 Anita March 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

Sherry… There’s so much I could share with you…your post found its way to me via Carlos Alvarez (a TW friend I’ve never met) and I needed to hear your story of hope, PSTD, encouragement and kindness. I was laid off from my job in 2011 (March) – I’ve been making ends meet (barely) working as a self-employed Social Media/Office Manager 3 days per week and 2 days per week from home for a former colleague in my previous position as GM for a national home improvement company. I originally began blogging with a blog entitled: – I’ve ceased blogging on this one and threw my focus into my photography..something I love to do on the side… although I don’t make much money at it. I look forward to hearing more from you. May today be one of the ‘good’ days & may you find comfort in knowing that your sharing lifted my spirits today. Hugs from WNC, Anita


42 Sherry Riter March 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

Thank you for telling me, Anita. It does bring me comfort to know that I have helped someone else’s day be brighter. I hope that you will find money in doing the things you love instead of barely getting by. Never give up no matter how grim the future may look. One way or another, things will improve! {{{hugssss}}}


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