In theory at least, Monday was not a good day for me. First of all, it was the ten-year anniversary of my father’s death. 

He had reached the grand old age of ninety, so he had had a long life, but that still doesn’t take the pain away of having lost him. 

It is hard to believe that ten years has already passed since he was last here. 

Added to that though, was the very practical issue of having to get take my car tin for its MOT. 

I decided to drop the car into the garage in Teignmouth and then take a walk on the beach to think about my Dad whilst I was waiting. 

Naively, I hoped that I would get a call an hour or so later to be told that the car had passed its MoT and I was good to go. Instead, the opposite happened. When the call came I was not only told that the car had failed, but also that the list of things needing to be repaired was a long one. 

The cost of fixing it all was going to be considerable. 

This financial blow was just about the last news that I needed on any day – but particularly on this day of all days. It felt as though nothing was going right. 

However it was then that something changed. As I walked into the office of the MoT garage to collect my keys, I was greeted by a lady called Emma. She could see that I had been crying and I explained that it was just because I had been to the beach and had been thinking about my Dad. Her response was one of understanding, kindness and compassion. 

I certainly did not expect this complete stranger to do or say anything about the anniversary of my dad – after all she knew nothing about either of us. However what she did instinctively was treat me with kindness. 

Even the news about the car and how much it would all cost felt like less of a blow because of the way she delivered it. I could feel instinctively that she could see I was hurting and that she cared about that as one human being to another. 

In an instant I felt less alone in the world. The MoT was just one of those things and one that would eventually be sorted. 

And just now as I was rushing from one platform to another to catch a train from Torquay back to Teignmouth, the station guard who saw me running said ‘Don’t rush – it’s ok!  There is still time – I’ll make sure you catch the train.’

He went on to the platform ahead of me and made sure I got there before the train pulled out of the station. 

That small thing cheered up my day enormously. 

These may seem like relatively unimportant things to some, but in both instances I felt that somebody out there genuinely cared. 

When you have been through loss and bereavement you can end up feeling very alone. 

Even if you have not experienced this kind of grief life can still often feel overwhelming. So these small but kind deeds and words can have an effect far bigger than we might imagine on the person receiving them. 

On some levels this week has been a tricky one. 

But on others I have been reminded, just when I needed it the most, that there are still plenty of good people out there. 

Sometimes it takes just a small kind word to remind us that we are not as alone as we feel. 

So to both Emma at the garage and the kind guard at Torquay station, I say a heartfelt thank you for that reminder.    

Let’s all try and be as kind to each other as we can – because we never know when that might be the one things that save someone else’s day. 

Sometimes all we can send is love and prayers, so for anyone needing them those are two things I am sending you right now.