a man of kindness

by WizardOfWords on February 19, 2014

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Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile know that I like to discuss virtues from time to time. This week, I’d like to focus on the virtue of kindness as one of the kindest men I  have ever known passed from this world on January 29, 2014. I attended his funeral service on February 18th.

gil-gelinas

Gil Gelinas was a simple, unpretentious man. We had been neighbours when I lived near Birds Hill Park in the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews in Manitoba.

He grew up in rural Manitoba and was a Korean War veteran who had suffered serious injury while in combat. He’d been given 10 years to live following his injury and defied the odds by living to the ripe old age of 85. It was probably his positive attitude and love of life that gave him that longevity.

Random acts of kindness have been getting a lot of press in our local media. With Gil Gelinas, acts of kindness were not random. They were predictable.  Gil was always kind and caring. Always welcoming, with a warm, sincere smile. He was a genuine person who never expected anything in return for his kindness.

I feel so privileged to have known him and to have called him my friend.

Do you know anyone who is the epitome of kindness? How have they enriched your life?

Please join me back here the week of March 3rd for our next new post. And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the blog, and “like” my author’s page on facebook. The link is to your right. Thanks so much and remember to be kind!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine Cowley
Twitter:
February 20, 2014 at 6:31 am

What a warm reflection to read on a snowy morning, Doreen. Thanks for sharing this. Warms my whole day.

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WizardOfWords
Twitter:
February 20, 2014 at 7:09 am

Thanks so much, Christine. Great to have you reading the blog. Nice to have you start the conversation on this post. I hope all is well with you. :-)
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Linda
Twitter:
February 20, 2014 at 10:37 am

A lovely tribute to Gil.

The epitome of kindness? Oh, I can name several people I would describe that way. One is Lucy, a woman who used to be a neighbor. We became reacquainted last year in a completely random situation and just before she was due for life-altering surgery. I wanted to be there for her and her husband, to do something helpful for them. But by golly, she has returned all of my petty attempts at kindness only hers are magnified a thousand fold. She is just an all around, splendid, thoughtful, and compassionate human being.
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Doreen Pendgracs
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February 20, 2014 at 7:24 pm

If only there were more like that, Linda. Thx for sharing.
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Phoenix
Twitter:
February 20, 2014 at 11:48 am

How precious to have such awesome neighbors. Sorry for the physical loss, yet those memories are always alive in your heart, Doreen. Be gentle with yourself. <3
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WizardOfWords
Twitter:
February 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

Thanks, Esther. It’s always nice when we attend a memorial service for someone and realize that everyone present shares the same warm memories of that person as we did. That is the true success of being a loved human being.
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Susan Cooper
Twitter:
February 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

What a wonderful tribute to a man I know you admired and appreciated. It’s always sad to lose a soul such as he, but he left a great legacy of kindness. For me, that would have been my Dad. He was like that too. I so miss him. :-)
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WizardOfWords
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February 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

Thanks for this, Susan. From reading your blog, I’ve gotten to know a bit about your Dad and can feel his kindness indeed. We need to cherish those memories.
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Harry Hobbs February 20, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Very heartfelt Doreen and appropriate especially as we seem more aware of this – even here in Flin Flon we have a community pay it forward page .
I published an article in our local Cottage North that talked about my school days and the good and not so good teachers I had in high school. What made the good ones stand out was the extra kindness they showed willing to go the extra mile and in fact one even bent the rules a little bit so I could succeed. this person became a life tong friend and a role model for me in my own teaching career.\\Interestingly enough our Writers prompt vfor our Writers Club this month is to write about kindness and how one person’s kindness effected you!

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Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
February 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

Interesting, Harry! I think we all need to look for that kindness in our lives. It helps us deal with the rest of the world we have to face.
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Stacey
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Doreen, what a wonderful tribute! He exudes kindness just from his photo. Positivity in life and kindness are great attributes because it’s so inspiring and uplifting to be around people like this as you felt around your dear friend. I am sorry for your loss. How great it must be to pass in this life and be remembered as a kind person. That’s something I aspire to.

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Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
February 22, 2014 at 11:07 am

Thanks for your comment, Stacey! I was hoping you’d see this post and join the conversation. Yes, wouldn’t it be great if people would remember us for our kindness? That is indeed one of the most wonderful virtues to practice and embrace.
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Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Doreen — It’s fate that you published your post on Feb. 19th, my late husband’s birthday. He was kind, especially towards the end of his life when he was failing. His little acts of kindness like not wanting to burden me with his care (which I loved to do), and always finding time to compliment me on something – what I was wearing, a blog post I wrote, just the fact of my being with him. That was true kindness even when he was sick. Three very close friends have shown me so many kindnesses I wouldn’t have space for them. I am very blessed to have them in my life. It doesn’t take much to be kind — just a big heart.
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Doreen Pendgracs
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February 22, 2014 at 11:09 am

Right on, Jeannette. I’m glad my post helped you remember your husband’s acts of kindness. Those are moments we will never forget and will always cherish.
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Jeri
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 11:45 pm

My great uncle is a very kind man who was also wounded in war. He has lived well past most of the people in his life, and must be approaching 90 now. What I remember most if how he always had encouraging words for everyone. He took the time to teach me how to ride a horse when nobody else would have had the patience.
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WizardOfWords
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February 26, 2014 at 1:14 am

Thx for sharing your memories us with us, Jeri. It’s interesting how these wounded men of war turned out to be kind and caring men.
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Renee Johnson
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March 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Beautiful tribute. You were blessed to have him in your life.
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WizardOfWords
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March 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Thanks so much, Renee. I do feel blessed to have known Gil. He was a good influence on me, and on my husband. Kindness speaks much more loudly than aggression.
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Judy Charlotte April 26, 2014 at 4:51 am

For me, it’s my late grandfather. He was the epitome of kindness and so full of wisdom.
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