#BuzzingLoveForGaryBee – June 29, 2015

Good Deeds for Gary – June 29, 2015


My dear friend Juliana created a Facebook page called "Honor Jaime’s Dad" in the weeks prior to the first anniversary of my dad's death and I didn’t know about it until I woke up on June 29. This is what she wrote: 

"All, the one year anniversary of Jaime's dad's death is approaching on June 29 and I want to do something to honor it. She said she didn't want to mark the day with sadness, but planned to do a good deed in his honor. I'd like to organize a secret group of people who do something in his honor that day, take a photo, and tag me or Jaime that day so she has good deeds coming at her all day. I think that will help her a lot that day. I will invite more friends, but please feel free to invite people into this group that you think would be interested in this. My goal is to have a good deed every hour to keep the day going for her. If you're not her Facebook friend, you can tag me and I will tag her. Her dad was a Marine, so donating to Toys for Tots or putting together a care package for military or something supportive of the military is one idea. I am probably going to bake something for local firemen. You can do anything kind that day, but be sure to post and tag it. I will send a reminder out before June 29. I hope we can make it a day of kindness in honor of Gary."

Another post from Juliana a few days before June 29... 
THANK YOU SO MUCH for participating in this. I think Jaime is going to love this effort and feel loved on a hard day. Monday is the big day, so if you do anything in advance, please wait until Monday to post it. Ashley had a great idea to add a hashtag at the end of your post so she'll see the unity in the good deeds. Jaime and her dad had a bee connection, so if you think of it, please post it with the hashtag Ashley came up with #buzzingloveforgarybee!  

The following are posts that appeared on social media throughout the day on June 29, 2015, as people performed acts of kindness and good deeds in honor of my dad. This list certainly doesn't come close to being complete, as I know there were several people who were a part of this who didn't post on social media, and I'm certain there were still others that I wasn't even aware of. This just gives a glimpse into how AMAZING the day was and how much LOVE & KINDNESS we put into the WORLD THAT DAY. To this day, I am still in awe, and overwhelmed with love and gratitude more than words can say. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Hi everyone! Let's make this day a day to celebrate Jaime's dad for the amazing man he was. Let's remember him and do things in his memory. For anyone with questions etc. message me. Toys for tots is awesome. I would be more then happy to collect toys and drop off at location. Remember everyone ~ don't sweat the small stuff. Life can be taken away from you in a heartbeat like we all know from this tragedy that should not have happened. Enjoy every day!! Thanks for all your help. I know Jaime is going to be excited. 

*My amazing friend Jaime Mowers is wonderful about sending cards. "Happy Birthday," "Happy Tuesday," "You can do this!" They make me smile and feed my soul, grateful that my soul sister is thinking of me and sending love. It's a habit she picked up from her dad, the incomparable Gary B. Today, in honor of her sweet dad who lost his life way too soon, I mailed cards to friends, family, people I've met once who I really enjoyed chatting with, people who have changed my life. 65 cards in the mail – one for each year of a life well-lived and a life we celebrate today: not with sadness but with flying, soaring joy. Love you Jaime and honored to do life beside you as we carry on.

*Please share if this touches you. This man was my awesome father-in-law, full of lessons and full of love. He was kindhearted and willing to help out anyone in need. He was also, tragically taken too soon. We should all strive to be kind each and every day, but on this day, if you find it in your heart to buy a Coke for someone, or call a friend just because, or some other simple act, will you please tag it. 

*I donated to Hope Animal Rescue with this note: "I am donating to honor the life of a friend's dad, Gary, who was taken too soon from his loved ones. He leaves behind a legacy of love, compassion, hope and blue skies...which seems perfectly fit to the work you do. Today I honor him with this act of kindness, and hope it brings you a smile. 

*Donation to Tenth Life Cat shelter in support of Jaime's dad.

*You are in my thoughts today! In honor of your dad and his love for skydiving and helping others, I made a donation to Canopies for Kids!

*In honor of Jaime's Dad, I gave a glowing recommendation for a new position for a deserving friend.

*Starting the day with a donation to Toys for Tots in honor of Jaime's dad.

*I live my life simply appreciating every single moment that brings joy to all of our lives. I'm so sorry for your loss and want you to know that the donations I've collected for our monthly homeless mission in CT will be dedicated to your father:) Sharing is caring and I do believe kindness counts for a better future. Thank you!

*Made a donation in Gary's honor to this non-profit organization, Navy-Marine Relief Corps Society, which helps marines, sailors and their families. Love you, Jaime Mowers. And thank you, Juliana Goodwin, for coming up with this amazing idea to honor Jaime's dad.
*Going to Goodwill to donate clothes in honor of Daddy B! Keep strong Jaime! We love you. 

*Donating my time to teach a man (Bob Anderson) how to swim and help to complete his first Ironman in Arizona with his son Brian!! Thinking of you Jaime!

*Donated some beans and rice to the Covington Food Bank in honor of Jaime Mowers's dad.

*Meet Nick, the guy with a smile as big as Gary B. Seen here with my niece Brooke Ann, Nick made our family's morning while serving us breakfast during vacation at St. Pete's Beach. When everyone else was rude, Nick apologized for our wait, took charge of the situation, ensured we had a perfect breakfast and smiled sincerely the entire time. There is no coincidence in the lives of Christians, so I know we were meant to meet Nick today and be blessed with the opportunity to give him a tip that made him cry and the whole restaurant buzz. What we did not know at the time, that only God knew, was Nick has a baby on the way and our gift will help provide. Hard-working and selfless people like Nick deserve a big, Gary-like pat on the back and smile because they exemplify what Jaime Mowers dad did-- life is what you make it, so make it great for all those around you. I left Nick with these words: "Keep smiling, it makes a difference!"

*We are honoring your dad today Jaime by making a donation to Stray Rescue in his name. We love you and are so inspired by you and your amazing strength, Jaime!!

*Made a donation to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Hi Jamiegirl, This seemed the perfect gift, but I didn't know how perfect until I read your message. The idea hit me as I was doing a home profile on the St. Jude Dream Home giveaway a couple of weeks ago (I had been trying to decide what I'd do for your daddy's memory). Now it will be a regular donation. My father-in-law had a cleft pallet and lip. None of his seven children inherited it, but one of his brothers had a grandson born with double cleft lip, double eyelids and pallet. The grandson is now grown and you can't tell he ever had a problem. No one had heard of another family ancestor with the problem. My father-in-law refused the surgery after it became available saying he'd had it all his life so wasn't going to change. Jamie, I could not tell you had ever had the problem. Now that you told me, seems like there was a very slight reminder - so slight that it passed right by me. Lots of love to you, sweet friend.

*Long story short... Literally, while I was swimming, I was thinking about this and what I could do today. As I finished my swim, a lady I see and speak to often was there. She was trying to talk to me, but was stuttering very badly, was flushed and seemed confused. I don't know if she had a stroke or not, but definitely displayed the symptoms. I told her I was concerned for her because she was acting strangely. I tried comforting her and was able to talk her into getting out of the pool. My buddy called the lifeguard over and we let him handle the situation. Hope she is OK. 

*My friend and co-worker and her husband volunteer at the humane society on Mackland. We took a little visit to Petco for lunch today. When she visits the puppies tomorrow, she'll be taking some treats and toys to spread the love to the furbabies, in honor and memory of your wonderful dad (and hers).

*Thinking of you today Jaime. What a hard day but look how your incredible father – and you – inspired so much goodness. We happen to be at a state park with friends to fish and float this week. In your father's memory, we did a small good deed by paying for several other anglers' tags ...and we did a big good deed by donating $100 to Ozarks Food Harvest toward the Senior Meal program. Sending hugs and love your way.

*Gave the AT&T tech a lot of information on local trail and parks once he mentioned being interested in hiking and kayaking.
*One year ago a friend and I were eating custard at Mr. Wizards when we got the shocking news about Jaime's dad. Today, we went again to Mr. Wizards cause....We love custard…but really to celebrate Gary's life. We love you Jaime and hope you had a wonderful day.
  *In honor of the first day of cantaloupe season in NC, I purchased several cantaloupes and passed them out to various people; some I know, some I don't.

*Made carrot cake cupcakes with homemade icing for my daughter to take to school this week and share with friends and classmates.

*Today my cover photo is BLUE SKIES in memory of an amazing man who will never be forgotten. And our good deed for the day was donating shoes! In an effort to keep more people moving!!! Love you Jaime Mowers!

*Made a donation to the Missouri Botanical Garden in honor of Gary B! Love you.

*Made and delivered banana bread to share with friends and neighbors in honor of Jaime's dad. 

*I made a donation for a member in the Big River Running family, who's son is in need of a liver transplant, when I signed up for the Need for Speed 5K.

*Donated to the food pantry.

*My good deed for Gary was leaving laundry detergent at two area laundry mats. If I was ever in a bind, I know Jaime and Gary would both help me out. So I'm extending that kindness into the world.

*For Gary, ran in memory of Army Staff Sgt Raul M. Guerra #runtoremember 

*Made a donation this morning to USO in honor of your dad, an awesome Marine.
 *Today is a day of victory as we celebrate the life of Jaime's dad Gary. We are asking you Facebook friends and family all around the world, to do something good today in Gary's name and tag your post. Every single act of kindness, no matter how small, will make this world a better place to live in. Thank you and let's pollinate this world with love! Bzzzz Bzzzzz!

*In honor of my wonderful friend Jaime and her amazing father Gary, I just donated $250 to the St. Louis Food Pantry. My words can't quite articulate how much she means to me and how lucky I am to have her and the spirit of her wonderful father in my life. On this one year anniversary, I am thinking positive thoughts and positive energy. If I could be even a sliver of Gary's wonderfulness, then I will be truly blessed.  *Started a pay-it-forward line at the Starbucks on Howdershell this morning as a small kindness to honor the life of your dad. At least six people will get their daily dose of caffeine free of charge. I'm hoping they choose to pay it forward so the chain continues.

*Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of my best friend's dad, who lost his life tragically and with no warning. Jaime's father Gary was a Marine. I ask all of you to do one act of kindness today in honor of Gary and to celebrate the wonderful man he was. Life is short my friends. Let's live life to the fullest. 
It's beautiful day sweet Jaime. Daddy is looking down and is so incredibly proud of you. You fought the fight. You are a survivor. You are a true example sweet Jaime of a true friend. I've learned so much about myself this past year through you. I love you so much!

*Jaime, dearest, we are thinking of you and your family today and sending hugs to you and spreading love thru a $100 donation made in your dad's memory to help establish a library for school children in a little village called Kabamba in Northern Zambia where my friend is a Peace Corps Volunteer. Katie Leis-Morton and I worked together in Afghanistan and she is an incredible young woman like you are Jaime.

*I started a pay it forward line at McDonald's this morning for your dad! I was bawling when I explained why to the cashier! I was excited when I noticed that the person whose meal I paid for had a great mustache, just like your dad's!!!!! Thanks for challenging us to be extra kind today! It's not stopping here for me!! Much love to you and your family!

*Today, in honor of two friends and their families, I've been asked to do a good deed. One is small, the other, maybe big for someone some day. On the way to work, I picked up coffee and a thank-you card for my boyfriend. He brings me coffee probably three times a week, so today was a good day to actually do something before work for him for a change. After work, I am registering for a Be the Match bone marrow drive for a friend's mother to help others who may need this important transplant. Seven people have signed up for far, and I'm happy to be No. 8.
*My sweet dear Jaime Mowers, I want you to know how incredibly proud I am of you. You are a survivor. You won this fight. I'm always here for you. I love you.

*"There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains." My cousin, Jaime Mowers, posted this quote on her page this morning. She posted this in memory of her father, my uncle. It beautifully expresses how I feel about Uncle Gary. He brought joy to all who knew him. He had a gift of making everyone feel important and special. And, he laughed his famous, contagious laugh. One year ago today, Uncle Gary was tragically and selfishly taken away from us by the hands of another. Today my family will celebrate Uncle Gary's life and legacy of love. Jaime has challenged us to spread kindness and joy to others today (and everyday) in his memory. I am passing this challenge on to all of you. Maybe you pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru line. Maybe you call a friend you haven't spoken to in a long time. Maybe you smile at a perfect stranger. Whatever you do, do out of love for others. There is nothing we can do to bring this amazing man back to us, but we can pass on his joy. We miss you and love you, Uncle Gary! 

*A year ago today the world lost a great man much, much too soon. It is in his honor that I'm donating to EMBARC, Inc., an organization that I truly believe is making the world a better place to live in, one student at a time.

*Helping pass on good deeds to the next generation today!! This morning I talked with my kids about Gary B a guy who always looked for ways to help other people. And I asked them to look for an opportunity to help others. When they got home they each drew a picture of how they helped someone else. Caitlin helped a friend learn how to jump rope. And Connor let a friend play with a dinosaur even though it was his turn because his friend was sad and he wanted to make him feel happy!!

*I am trying to do more good deeds in my life so – this afternoon I made dog-themed pouches (and filled them with dog biscuits!) for the 8 other dogs in Stella's Nose class tonight!

*Three fans for three households in need during the summer heat.

*I'm hoping my donation to Toys for Tots can bring a smile to someone's face like the way Gary B. did to those all around him!

*I made cookies for one of my classes and bought some sugar free in case we had any diabetics....Half the leftovers went home with someone for their significant other. And the rest I walked around campus and asked people if they would like a cookie. A gentleman behind me today had his drink paid for at Kum and Go and I simply told him to pay it forward.

*On June 29, I sent a bouquet of flowers to a mom of a former client who passed away from cancer last year. The 29th would have been my client's birthday and I wanted her mom to know that I was thinking of her and her angel. When Taylor Marie Sorensen told me about sharing and spreading joy and kindness in honor of your daddy's memory, I LOVED the idea and just had to be a part of it. Even though I didn't get it posted on time, please know you and your family were and continue to be in my thoughts and prayers and that I will continue to make June 29 a good deed day. 

*Rounding up clothes and household stuff to donate to the DAV in honor of sweet friend Jaime's dad, who was tragically taken too soon. 

*I was in the market to do a good deed today and sure enough, an opportunity came along. Backpack for children's home.

*I was walking out of my apt to take a bag to the dumpster when I noticed my neighbor had a huge bag of trash outside their door. I took the opportunity to honor your Dad on a random day and took their trash to the dumpster.

*One year ago tragedy struck and took away Gary Baranyai. Today in his honor, I helped my three year old nephew make this art.

The following is what I posted on Facebook soon after I started seeing all of the acts of kindness happening, as well as other posts/thoughts from me during and after June 29, 2015. 

OH.MY.GOD.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ALL ARE BEYOND AMAZING!!!!!!! I cried throughout most of the night, but when I awoke this morning to all of this surprise of AMAZING LOVE, JOY AND KINDNESS, my tears turned into SMILES and my HEART IS FILLED WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE!!!! It's simply UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!! You guys have blown me away with your strength, love and GOOD DEEDS FOR GARY!!!!!!! WOW!!!! I can't express my gratitude enough and you'll never know how deeply you've touched my heart. And this would touch my Dad beyond measure. I know he would be more than honored and humbled, and so I am. I love you all so very much and I'll respond individually to each and every one of you very soon, but just wanted to say right now how overwhelmed with love and thanks!!!! I can't wait to spend the rest of the day doing GOOD DEEDS FOR GARY!!!! Love, love, love to you all!!! Keep the kindness going!!! 

At the end of the day ...
To all of my incredible, amazing friends...as I sit here tonight going through my news feed, I'm so overwhelmed with love and gratitude that I'm speechless. I truly don't have the words to express the gratitude I feel in my heart for all of these kind, amazing gestures in honor of my sweet Daddy, the incomparable Gary B! I'm completely blown away – absolutely blown away by each and every one of the ways you all helped me spread my dad's legacy of love and kindness throughout the world today. I could feel all of the love and the strength of your kindness and my Dad's spirit buzzing throughout the universe today! There was so much positive energy! I couldn't stop smiling! You guys kept the good deeds coming all day!! I can't express my gratitude enough, and you'll never know how deeply you've touched my heart. And this would touch my Dad beyond measure. I know he would be more than honored and humbled, and so am I. On a day that I thought would be so Hard, you all put so much joy and love and compassion into it that it was one of the most beautiful, amazing days. I will be recalling all of this love and kindness on the days I feel less than strong, and using it to help me carry on. Never underestimate the difference an act of love or kindness can make it this world. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Much love to all of you!! 

A week later ...   
Good Afternoon, All!! Hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday!! It has literally taken me all week to respond to messages and thank everyone for all of these amazing Good Deeds for Gary!! It has been absolutely AMAZING!! I know I’ve already expressed that, but wow! I’m still just so blown away and still riding the high from all of the love and kindness that you all put into this day. The chain of love is amazing – it literally spread across the states to people who were total strangers, to third world countries trying to get a library for one of their schools!!!

And just think how many people that you touched were then inspired to do a good deed for someone else, and so on and so on!!!! What an explosion of love, kindness, good deeds and AWESOMENESS!!! I have felt so strong this week from all of the love and this will carry me through for so long going forward! You have no idea how much this has helped me. It has been so HEALING. That’s a feeling I’m so unfamiliar with, but when these moments of healing come into my heart, like paintbrushes on a canvass, they brush bold, bright, pretty colors all over that blackness, which is all I could see for so long. I know that the hole created by the horror of my dad’s life being so brutually, UNFAIRLY, and unjustly taken from us won’t ever necessarily get smaller, but cramming the most love, smiles and laughter that we can manage INTO that hole makes it so much less painful...it’s what makes living possible.

While responding to all of your posts, it just occurred to me that I never told you about my Good Deeds for Gary. I’m so touched by all of yours that I thought you might want to know what I did, too:) I started the day by giving a sincere compliment to a stranger, who seemed so pleasantly surprised by it, that she literally stopped, turned around and said, “Why thank you so much – that’s very kind of you.” Totally made my morning! I had blocked out my entire afternoon to just go about town #buzzingloveforgarybee, but I really hadn’t decided exactly what I would do or what I wanted to do…I just had a feeling that when the day came, it would hit me…and all of a sudden it did! When I stopped by the grocery store to get something, I saw a bunch of beautiful flowers in the floral department and there were two BEE balloons!!! I mean, how perfect is THAT!!! And then it hit me – I would buy a bunch of flowers and give them out to friends, strangers, whoever. And then another idea hit me like lightning – I had been wanting to do something nice for the people who bought our old house (the one where my dad was killed), but I hadn’t gotten around to it. (Been a little busy trying to survive, you know!!) 

I haven’t thought of them in a long time, but all of a sudden they popped into my head, and I was like THAT’S  IT!!! THIS is what I must do on Good Deed for Gary Day!!! Without hesitation, I picked out a beautiful yellow bouquet of flower, left the store and headed over to Pembroke. For the first time, when I pulled onto the street, I felt no panic (like I usually would). I was so happy when I saw a car in the driveway. I grabbed the flowers and marched boldly to the door (invisible super cape ON!) Feeling happy and confident, I knocked, then waited. A woman opened the door, and behind her I could a small baby sleeping and lying on the floor. I explained who I was, and what I was doing there on Good Deed for Gary Day. The woman, who said she was there babysitting her grandchild for the couple who now live there, immediately offered her condolences and apologies about Dad, and said she was touched by my kindness. She said she would let the young couple know that I had stopped by and give them the flowers.

I told her that despite the circumstances under which we were forced to move out of the house, that my husband and I had shared a lot of love and laughter in the house – and much of it was even WITH my dad – and that all we hoped now was that they, too, were filling the house with love. The woman looked overjoyed then said to me, “I want you to know that this home has been perfect for them – and there’s a lot of love, laughter and SMILES here.” How amazing is THAT?! I didn’t realize the full impact this had on me until a few days after Good Deed for Gary Day, on Friday, July 3, when I was telling my counselor about all of the awesomeness that went into the day, and then about what I had done. But then it hit me – it sort of feels like so many things came full circle. The fact that I could go back to the scene of the crime – literally – and see that there is so much love and goodness there...and to not feel nearly as afraid...and to feel all of the love buzzing through the universe that day for all the love we have for each other...I’m still sort of grasping with the magnitude of it, and I’m not really sure how to describe it, but I feel like it CHANGED me. Like, I finally BELIEVE that I’m going to make it. Like I WANT to make it, and I have so much I want to do that I want to get busy doing it! Do you know how incredible that is considering the place I spent most of the past year inside my head in?! For so much of that I didn’t even feel like I was among the living. I felt like I was having some horrific out-of- body experience that could.not.be.real...and yet it was. But I’m coming back, and let me tell you, I’m gonna be stronger than ever. And on those days and in those hours when I still feel shattered, I’m going to remember what all this feels like, and know that kindness and goodness will ALWAYS win. 

I know of only ONE force in this world that always wins out over whatever is trying to kill you – it’s love. Love will always conquer all. 

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