Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

With gratitude to an anonymous friend May 20, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:05 AM
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Love in three languages along the Virtues Trail in Faribault. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo August 2018)

THE GREETING CARD arrived in a non-descript blue envelope, our names and address printed in reddish marker. No return address, only a flower sticker in the upper left corner. A Saint Paul, MN postmark with a May 13, 2022, date inked the paper next to a floral postage stamp. And, on the back, an artsy heart sticker graced the envelope flap.

I expected to find a card inside wishing Randy and me the best on our 40th wedding anniversary. I was right on that. I appreciated the verse focused on God’s blessings and a prayer for continued blessings in our lives.

From an anonymous friend, an anniversary wish and gift. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo May 2022)

But I did not expect the anonymous signature—A friend—or a faith-themed post-it note attached to a $20 bill. That note suggested we treat ourselves, perhaps to Dairy Queen ice cream, and to enjoy our day(s).

The thoughtfulness of this anonymous friend (whom I suspect reads this blog) touched me deeply. There are moments in life when we all need an extra hug, extra words of encouragement, extra kindness. For me, that moment is now. This year, thus far, has proven challenging with the death of my mom in January and recently the news that my husband will be losing his job of 39 years due to a change in business ownership and closure of the automotive machine shop.

A Peanut Buster Parfait from DQ. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo)

So, when that surprise anniversary card and cash gift arrived, I felt a surge of gratitude for the reminder that others care, that I am blessed by a loving and caring husband of 40 years, that God will, and always has, given us the strength we need to face and work through life’s difficulties.

While walking a recreational trail in Madison, Wisconsin, when my son lived in the Atwood Neighborhood there, I spotted this wonderfully uplifting message. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo)

Many times in my life, I’ve been uplifted by others. I’ve tried to do the same. When someone is struggling or celebrating, I acknowledge that. We all need to be heard, understood, loved, cared for, uplifted. Appreciated. Valued. Encouraged.

The Betty, from The S’Cream in Owatonna. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2016)

And today, because of that anonymous friend—who’s apparently read on this blog that Randy and I treat ourselves to Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfaits twice a year (upon opening and closing of the local franchise)—I feel especially cared for. When I taste the sweetness of ice cream, either from DQ or from our favorite area ice cream shop, The S’Cream in Owatonna, I will taste, too, the sweetness of love sent by an anonymous friend.


TELL ME: How has someone encouraged you in life? Or how have you encouraged someone? I’d like to hear your stories.

I’d like to thank you, my readers, for your kindness, generosity and encouragement through the years. What a blessing you have been in my life.

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “With gratitude to an anonymous friend”

  1. Ruth Says:

    A sweet surprise❤️

  2. beth Says:

    What a loving and caring gesture, it is truly the moments like this that give us hope and joy when life presents challenges. I’m hopeful that you and your husband will begin a new and even better chapter in your lives. Best –

  3. He certainly walks next to us and when he cannot he ensures the kindness of strangers 🙂 I was just talking about this yesterday afternoon with a friend. What a nice and sweet SURPRISE in the mail! Happy Day – Enjoy

  4. Valerie Says:

    How nice!

  5. Lovely surprise. Those are the best kind— the ones that come totally unexpected with love attached. 🥰

  6. Ohhhh!!! I love people who do these unexpected acts of kindness. We all need more of this type of caring for each other. Sorry, Audrey, I must have missed the blog about Randy. Have you figured out what opportunity will be next for you both? Been a bit of a blog drought from here…

    • I’ve missed your posts, Paula. But sometimes a break is OK.

      I didn’t write a post focusing on Randy’s job loss, only wove it into two posts. There are many uncertainties so, for now, it’s wait and see. The company plans to close the shop at the end of August, but it could be earlier depending…

      • I know, I have been suffering from a lack of material recently. Hopefully vacation in MN will provide me with some more or I will have to consider a new approach. Things are getting so expensive that we have been staying close to home.
        At least you have a bit of response time on Randy’s job. Losing or changing jobs for anyone over 50 is difficult. I will keep you guys in my thoughts for a positive opportunity.

      • Paula, I totally understand the staying close to home because things are getting so expensive. It cost $64.50 to fill the van with gas yesterday. That’s for not quite 16 gallons.

        As far as Randy’s job…yeah, we have time. But mostly we are waiting to see how things unfold. And, yes, I agree that finding a job at his age (even though there are lots of jobs out there) is much more challenging.

  7. JanBeek Says:

    I love anonymous acts of love and kindness from others … remind me to do likewise!

  8. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    It’s so special to feel loved, especially during times when we are feeling low. What a sweet surprise to receive this message and cash in the mail. You are thought of and loved.

  9. What a kind gesture. I will be praying for Randy to find new employment opportunities soon. Perhaps I will have good news by the time I catch up with your posts.

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