‘We decided it would be fun to re-introduce Lizzie and Sam. Their enormous smiles are a direct result of Angie’s single act of kindness from 15 years earlier’: Mom of autistic daughter says, ‘we never know when kindness will come back’

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“A single act of kindness may seem isolated at the moment, but kindness often paves the way for beautiful things to happen for years to come. Sometimes this beauty may not be revealed until over a decade later. At least this was the case with my daughter, Lizzie, a boy named Sam, and kindness shown to me by his mom, Angie.

I was introduced to Angie in a state of desperation.

I had just been told some unsettling news by a speech pathologist family friend. ‘Your daughter is showing all the signs of autism,’ she said, ‘Run! Don’t walk to a developmental pediatrician’s office!’

Autism?! I knew nothing about autism, and we needed help fast. I made call after call and every developmental pediatrician had a six month or longer wait for new patients. The anguish of knowing something was wrong with my two-year-old daughter and having to wait was too much to bear.

Angie’s son had been recently diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s, and a friend suggested I give her a call. Angie acted like she had all the time in the world to talk with me. She answered all my questions about autism and showed me kindness beyond what I could have ever imagined.

‘We have a follow-up appointment with Sam’s developmental pediatrician next week,’ Angie confided. ‘Why don’t you take our appointment? I will call the doctor and set it up.’

Tears of relief and gratitude streamed down my face. I couldn’t believe someone who barely knew me would show me such kindness. I could now begin the process of getting my daughter the help she needed to become the best version of herself.

Using their appointment, we received an autism diagnosis on the spot and started a thirty-hour-a-week therapy program right away. Lizzie responded well to the therapies and made almost daily progress.

The kindness Angie showed me when I was feeling such deep desperation has always stayed with me. We kept in touch, shared how our kids were doing, and planned a few pre-school playdates. Our paths crossed many times over the years.

A year ago, we were talking and decided it would be fun to re-introduce Lizzie and Sam. They hadn’t seen each other in over a decade!

Courtesy Julie Hornok

They were both thriving in their daily lives. Sam was in his junior year of high school, taking AP classes, driving, a gifted drummer who played for several churches, and working to save for college in his free time. Lizzie was the captain of her cheer squad, in the National Honor Society, playing volleyball, and hanging out with friends on the weekend.

They both shared a positive outlook on life that is contagious. When they saw each other again, there were big bear hugs all around, lots of laughing, and catching up. ‘He is just so much fun to hang out with!’ Lizzie shared with me.

After that first re-meet where they hit it off, they began spending time together on the weekends. This beautiful friendship led Sam to ask Lizzie to his senior prom. He knew French fries were her favorite food, so he crafted the perfect ask featuring fries!

Courtesy Julie Hornok
Courtesy Julie Hornok

The enormous smiles on their faces during Sam’s perfectly planned promposal are the direct result of Angie’s single act of kindness from fifteen years earlier. We never know when, where, or how kindness will come back.”

Courtesy Julie Hornok

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Julie Hornok. Visit her Facebook page here and Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Julie here:

‘I hopped in the driver’s seat instead of letting him drive. I gently pressed the gas pedal, no one in sight. Then everything went…silent.’: After car accident with son, mom says ‘don’t let the ‘wrappers’ in life get in the way’

‘Is this normal?’ My husband watched me jump into that black hole in an effort to pull her out.’: Woman tells how autism affected her marriage, ‘I could only see what was visible in my autism-centered world’

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