Saturday, January 26, 2013

Small Acts of Kindness and Love

The sun sets Friday in Hudson, Maine, as a box of letters awaits the mail truck's arrival about a mile away.

A small box full of best wishes, affection, admiration and love is now winging its way to the U.K.

I mailed the parcel of more than two dozen notes to Richard Armitage on Friday afternoon, with the help of the lovely Rose who figured out the best shipping method.

The Hudson Post Office on Friday
It has been an unexpected journey to this day. So much has happened since Lanie (@bff222) and I first tweeted each other about needing to thank Richard Armitage for his work and his kind self. When I finally posted the blog item, it was Dec. 9. I envisioned a fun few weeks of letters arriving and that would be that. We had one more premiere ahead of us for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," that of the royal one in London on Dec. 12.

For myself alone, my life has irrevocably changed in the ensuing weeks. The very next morning, Dec. 10, my mother nearly died from the sudden onset of pneumonia. She is now fully recovered, but the following weeks were quite difficult, as many of you know if you followed my Twitter feed. While we watched Richard revel in more interviews and the last premiere, life was swirling about. And then, last week, as I awaited the arrival of the last letter from across the globe, I lost my job. (All is well and if not, then I will make it so.)

Your letters
My point is that while all of this was occurring in my world, I was receiving letter after letter for Richard, celebrating with him. Many of you asked me to read your letters and let you know if I thought it OK.

How could I not, when they were written with such depth of emotions? Because for me, this fun event ended up sustaining my spirits and reminding me that I can find the light in the darkness as long as I don't give up.

It is the reason why my heart caught when I heard Gandalf say the following:

"I've found it is the small, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay … small acts of kindness and love."

Richard Armitage in Toronto
I am honored to be part of the Armitage Army. And the privilege to gather your dear letters into a bundle to send off to a man we admire so much, well, that privilege means a great deal to me.

And because you all were so generous, there was much more money available than needed for postage, to the tune of $50 U.S. (Due to conversion, it looks like $49.99 on the page here.)

I didn't ask, but I decided to give it all to Childline, one of Richard's Just Giving charities. Why? For this: "ChildLine is the UK's free and confidential, 24 hour helpline for children in distress or danger. Trained volunteer counsellors comfort, advise, support and protect children and young people who may feel they have nowhere else to turn."

We all need somewhere safe to turn to.

So I thank all of you for keeping this unexpected journey - of which we are all on - filled with camaraderie and hope.

And may Richard read our box of letters in good health.


Unknown said...

Hello! Wonderful news!(((hugs))) P.S.: I can say bad things about the government? Yours or ours? Haha

Awkward Celebrity Encounters said...


Servetus said...


obscura said...

The very best part of fandom!

Phylly3 said...

What a wonderful thing you did! I am glad it helped you in a difficult time. I hope you find an even better job - You deserve it! :)

Donna DeBoer said...

I was so pleased to see this offer from you Janine, honoured to be a part of it, and so glad it helped you weather the storm.
May the road always rise to meet you. CHEERS!!

Anonymous said...

I too was honored to take part in this project and am tremendously grateful to you for your kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness. I hope they somehow acknowledge its arrival, even though there certainly has been plenty of time. You are a true warrior princess and a sweet lady!