As I read about the grieving process, I noticed many suggest we should do something nice for someone else. It’s hard to think of reaching out to another person when you feel so broken, but doing so opens our eyes to the fact that there are still good things going on in life and being a part of them will lift us up. It may be a temporary fix, but even a temporary fix feels good. No matter how simple or elaborate it may be, it always works. When you give, you receive.

While working on my book, Brittany’s Rose, I had a truly heartwarming experience that I would like to share. I decided to get serious about finishing my book, so I signed up for an online writing class. I learned quite a bit in the class, but one assignment in particular helped me realize the importance of our connection to other people.

Our instructor asked us to pick a color, tell why we picked it, describe it, and tell how it made us feel. Once I started working on the assignment, I realized it was much harder than I had anticipated.

When someone asks me what my favorite color is, the word “blue” rolls out without hesitation. I have never wondered why I love that color. I just know I do. Maybe it began with my father’s blue eyes. His eyes had a gleam of kindness that made me feel safe because he always understood how I felt. Maybe God gave us each a different “favorite color” to make sure all colors would be noticed.

Our instructor told us that once everyone had finished the assignment, she would tell us why she had us do it. Once we all had completed the assignment, we watched every day for a posting from our instructor.

Each person’s assignment was posted on the website for everyone to read. I’ve never seen colors come so alive and have such extraordinary meanings attached to them.

Finally, her posting was there. She told us she had a dear friend who was blind, and every year she had her students complete this assignment so she could read these beautiful descriptions to her friend. Chills ran through my whole body when I read that. What an amazing thing to do for someone, and we got to be a part of it.

After reading our assignments to her friend, she wrote back and gave us a vivid picture of the expressions on her friend’s face as she listened intently to these beautiful works of art the class had created.

This was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had. It was clear by the comments posted by the class members that the same chill ran through each of us as we realized the magnitude of the gifts we had given to this blind woman. This time, we were the angels in disguise.

Remember, people won’t always remember everything you do and say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.



Mary Jane Clayton

Mary Jane Clayton grew up in Florida with her mom, dad, two brothers and a sister. Her family wasn’t real religious in the sense that we went to church every Sunday, but they did believe in God and knew that kindness to others and thanking God for the goodness in their lives were the two most important parts of living. After graduating from high school, she moved to Utah to go to college. While there, she met a man from Provo, Utah whom she later married and they had three wonderful children. After fifteen years of marriage, they ended up going their separate ways. It was now time for a new experience so she and her three children decided to go on a wild adventure and move to Southern California. They have now been in California for almost thirty years. Her new book, Brittany’s Rose, is a tribute to her granddaughter Brittany who lost her life to leukemia two weeks after her fifth birthday. It will take you from heartache to peace of mind as you step into the realm of the unknown and learn to believe. It is the story of her healing journey.

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