Mom pays it forward in daughter's memory with organized day of kindness
Hundreds buy groceries, coffee for strangers
Last Updated: 218 days ago
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. - A Noblesville woman turned the tragic death of her young daughter into a day that underscores the innate goodness in human kind.
Only a parent can understand the depth of loss over the death of a child.
Wen Gutreuter's decision to stop grieving and start living again has brought joy to unsuspecting people, including her.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Emily Grace died unexpectedly Oct. 15, 2005. And for the first time in seven years, her mother didn't mark the anniversary in mourning, in tears, ignoring the phone calls.
In Emily Grace's memory, Gutreuter decided to create Random Acts of Kindness Day.
She contacted her friends, who contacted their friends who contacted their friends, and by day's end, more than 8,000 people had posted on her Facebook page, nearly 800 of them the beneficiary of kindness from a stranger.
"It was an incredible day of happiness and peace, being able to share love and pass it on to people, unsuspecting. It was amazing," Gutreuter said.
"There were a lot of Starbucks drive-thru purchases paid for and people paying in line at Wal-Mart for someone else's purchases," Gutreuter said.
"This means more than this gas card. Your act of kindness let me know that as long as I put God first, he will always take care of me," one Facebook user posted on the page.
For Gutreuter, a long season of grief has ended, and Oct. 15 has taken on a whole new meaning. And it's been a gift from Emily Grace to her unsuspecting mother.
"I would just say there is hope," Gutreuter said. "You will see your child one day. The Bible says that grieving might last a night, but joy will come in the morning. It was a long seven-year night for me. But, I feel like joy has come and it's here to stay."
Gutreuter has a message that we can all take something from: we need to take a moment to help someone, acknowledge someone and be more aware of others.
To visit the Random Acts of Kindness Day page on Facebook, click here .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.