The fourth of a series I have been sharing will be delayed to offer three personal positive insights on my experiences and thoughts.
First, on January 11th, there was a notice of the passing of Doctor Jeffrey Armstrong. Jeff touched many an individual. I feel fortunate to have been one of the many.
I earned my Ph.D. in 2012. Dissertation authors have a three-member committee. At the time Jeff “touched” me with his wonderful hands, my dissertation committee was in turmoil, because one of my committee decided to be totally uncooperative and unresponsive to communications. I, in essence, fired that committee member, and was at a loss to find a third person for my committee. Now, where might I find a third for my committee?
Jeff to the rescue! When I was teaching classes, I had time between classes and decided to grab some lunch at a local buffet. As I was filling my plate, in walks Jeff with another guest. Jeff knew I was working on my Ph.D. As he and I were filling our plates in close proximity, Jeff asked how my dissertation was going. I explained my situation on losing a committee member and was looking for a third committee member. Without any hesitation, Jeff volunteered to be the third member of my committee. He was there with his hands!
I found him to be an active and willing committee person. His comments and offerings to my writing were always constructive and valuable. As I progressed through the journey, he shared his experiences in his doctoral journey, and willingly offered his time and encouragement.
After my dissertation was accepted, I made an appointment to see him and wanted to personally return all the items he had loaned me, and to look at him, smile, and just say “thank you.”
He called me doctor. What an exhilarating feeling! Then, he told me that would be the last time he would call me that. He directed me to go make a difference. I am sure he would be uncomfortable with this tribute. Jeff, your hands made a difference in my life. For that, I am forever grateful.
Second touch. A neighbor recently passed. Her hands were different though, and impactful. Three wonderful children. Grandchildren. One of the family memories is when the Wojtecki family experienced a tragedy. She and her husband, Joe, stopped in, and just sat. Some small talk. Just support by being there. Her simple presence made a difference. Wonderful testimony to someone with wonderful hands.
The third touch happened this week. I was at Dollar General. My credit card chip failed. The individual behind me picked up the tab. Our own (Pearl City Media) Ashley mentions kindness in Afternoons with Ashley. Well, rest assured, to the individual behind me in line, though I could not see your face due to the mask, I do thank you for your kindness. It has been paid forward.