The kindness of strangers

People always ask how I stay so positive “looking” the way that I do. And you guys all know I don’t care. I’ve looked different my whole life, have had great friends and family and a wonderful husband, and I’m confident despite this AVM. Plus I know I’m super cool! :slight_smile:

But here is an example of exactly why I am positive, and why I continue to be confident in public and to smile and see the positive aspects of having an AVM…and yes, there ARE a few!

So last weekend I spent time at a little craft fair with my dad (the parents are crafty in their old age!) and spent both days hanging out with him selling their quilts and potato bags. And I even made some super cute little Halloween half aprons to sell. I was still a little bruised from the last embo so kinda pink and purple on my chin. Looked a little beat up, but no biggy, at least the swelling was gone. My dad and I just kept joking that he was going to tell people “this” is what happens if you don’t buy something! :slight_smile: So I greeted people, made jokes, spruced up the little booth with all things shiny and sparkly! And every once in a while just wandered around looking at all the crap…I mean craft stuff I could buy.

On Sunday as I made my way back to our booth there was a lady trying on one of my aprons. I smiled as I passed her on my way in and let her finish the transaction with my dad. But then she came inside the booth area and smiled at me. She didn’t speak English well, but she did some kind of little prayer/blessing/catholic thing, kissed my forehead and told me I was beautiful. I of course accept all types of goodwill, prayers, positive vibes, etc. I’m an equal opportunity acceptor of good things! But she had no reason to take the time to do that for me. She could have just smiled and walked away after her purchase. But she chose to let me know that she felt for me and whatever it was that I was suffering with, that she wished me well, that despite the way that I look she could see beauty. And in turn, I saw beauty in her.

And so she left feeling good, and she left me feeling good. And THAT is why I’m so positive!


love your story! I was in the hospital and rehab for 3 months and continued in a wheelchair or walking cane for about another 2 months. I always remember how super-sweet strangers were to me wherever I went, so many people made sure doors were open, smiled at me, and just were so nice and kind. I also learned how incredibly kind and caring most health workers are. Great perspective, thanks for reminding me. Keep smiling and shining!!

I think that we often see what we choose to see, and so it makes sense that you see the beauty and kindness in others. I’m glad you are exactly who you are and that you share that so openly with all the members of this group. We appreciate what you bring to this community! /pat

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Shalon. It can really make my day when someone stops to say that they are praying for me or something positive!

Thanks ladies!
Stace- you are right, we should all take a leaf out of her book! It’s so easy to see the negatives in life. We are constantly bombarded thru the media and just with everything that goes on during a regular day. We often DO forget to stop and smell the roses…as cliche as that sounds!
Sharyn- I love that people were so nice and helpful to you when you needed it! Goes to show that the human spirit really is good and that people WILL help others. And yes, health care workers are great. I don’t know if I mentioned in my last post about my embo, but it was the first time I ended up staying overnight. And the next morning…in walks one of my regular nurses from pre-op! She stopped in just to check on me and make sure I was doing ok. Love her!
Pat- I couldn’t agree with you more. We do see what we choose to see. I’m inherently a “glass half full” kind of girl! And I think having the AVM has made me even MORE of an optomist…as crazy messed up as that is! ha ha!
Connie- and that’s the thing. How something so simple can really make someone else’s day. It takes so little effort for us to be nice, kind, helpful…all of those things that really touch someone else really are very doable on a daily basis. We all just gotta take the time to do it. And it will comeback tenfold for sure!
So ladies- thanks for reading my post, for the kind words, and the ever present encouragement! Thanks for being supportive members of my AVM family and for caring.


Shalon, I’ve always been one of your biggest fans, in part because of your amazing positive attitude. That was a wonderful story you shared, gave me warm fuzzies!

Shalon, you are beautiful inside and outside.

Peace and Blessings,

My head was shaved and I had over 100 staples in my head for over a month. I also had to have a skin graft because the flap died so I am permanently bald on half of the back of my head. I looked a fright but I was just so happy to be alive. I was 47 years old and I am now 58. I am still half bald but unlike my husband I am able to grow the top of my hair long and it covers the back. :slight_smile: A positive attitude and laughter really make a difference. Everyone is pulling for you!

Shalon: Before I joined this site you inspired me…you still do. There is a great quote…“A Smile is a curve that sets alot of things straight”… When we smile to each other to me it radiates lots of love and positisve energy and who in this world can’t use that! You are amazing and I pray for all good things. Your dad’s sense of humor is really cute and you are blessed! Keep positve! This site made me feel positve through my down days and I want to say thank you! My whole journey has humbled me and you are so beautiful outside and inside! xoxo Mare

Thank you for sharing that story. I am just starting down the journey with my daughter who is currently in a coma and we do not know what the future holds for her, but I love her with all my heart and hope she will have the strength and demeanor that you have as she battles back to be with us. Thank you and I will pray that you continue to inspire others and that you continue to heal. You have a beautiful outlook and that is so wonderful. May God continue to bless you… Lana

what a beautiful story, it brought a few tears to my eyes, (i am a normally very teary person). I love your outlook, i’m beginning to develop a very positive outlook too, and it has benefited me tremenduously.
a similar event happend to me, it was in a little asian grocery shop, there was a chinese lady that could not speak english, from what i understood she was trying to tell me to buy a certain vegetable to eat because it would be good for my birthmark, you know how chinese people are very into herbal medicine? i thought she was very kind.


That is a awesome story God is so Good! You are beautiful! I’m so happy for you and how you can stay so positive it has to be rough at times and I will pray for you! God Bless your beautiful soul and I hope you have a very merry christmas!

Don’t you love those kinds of people?? :smiley: Shalon you are SO beautiful. Your heart shines right through eyes - and it’s a beautiful heart indeed! I have to admit my AVM has gotten a little bigger since my pregnancy and I was kind of bummed out, feeling ugly, etc. But I know my family loves me and God loves me - and I am also super cool!! ;D