A is for wish list

01 Apr


How cool would it be to buy a gift for a complete stranger? A gift that you absolutely knew he or she really wanted? Well, thanks to’s public wish lists, you can! And I did.

There are literally thousands of wish lists on the website, so I had to come up with some way to choose just one. The only way to search for a list is by name or email address. Since April is not only the month when my dad passed away, but also the month he was born, I decided to search for someone who shares his name. I looked through the five pages of John Williams my request turned up, hoping to find one born on April 25. Not every wish list maker shares his/her birthday, so I was limited to only three people who’d posted April birthdays. One was a child (I couldn’t tell how old), and his wish list items were much cooler than the two adults’, so that’s the John William I chose. 🙂

Not wanting to miss young John William’s April 13 birthday, I placed the order for his “Kidnoculars” last week. Of course, because I did not procrastinate, the order arrived at John William’s house about three days later…a full two weeks before his birthday! He loves the binoculars. I know this because his mother took the time to track me down via the internet ( didn’t allow me to send my gift anonymously) and sent me a lovely email yesterday.

A wonderful surprise from a kind stranger just arrived for my son John William. (I did a bit of Google searching and found your email address–I hope you don’t mind.) Thank you!! My husband Ben and I are so touched. And John William (we call him by both names), who turns two on April 13th, is thrilled with his new binoculars. He has been practicing bird watching at pre-school and will use them for birding this summer in California with his Opa. 🙂

What a wonderful way to celebrate your father’s memory. I read his obituary, and I’m struck that he died just two months after my own father died, also very suddenly in his 50s. His name was John, and my John William is named for him. He shares his grandfather’s curiosity, adventurousness, and sense of humor. And I’m so glad that he shares his name with another special person, even one we’ve never met. Thank you for connecting them with your random act of kindness.

As I sat at work, smiling through my tears, reading and rereading the unexpected email (a random act of kindness in itself), I knew without a doubt that my plan to defeat April was going to be a smashing success.


In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April, I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2227 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910


Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Challenges, True Life



11 responses to “A is for wish list

  1. Liz A.

    April 1, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Oh wow, what a powerful theme. And how fun. I bet John William will love those binoculars for years to come.

    • dreaminofobx

      April 2, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      I’m hoping for lots of fun, both committing RAoKs and posting for the challenge!

  2. paula

    April 2, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    3moregirls crying happy tears!!whatalovely story

    • dreaminofobx

      April 2, 2014 at 9:29 PM

      Thanks, Paula! Happy tears are good. 🙂

  3. uniqusatya

    April 2, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    Sweet story

  4. Janet domino

    April 2, 2014 at 7:31 AM


  5. Stephen Tremp

    April 2, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! And thanks for posting such a wonderful blog. Vry inspirational and a great way to start the day.

    • dreaminofobx

      April 2, 2014 at 9:30 PM

      Thank you! I hope lots of people will be inspired, and the kindness will spread and spread…

  6. J.C

    April 2, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Aw, that made me tear up. You’re awesome, and the email she sent was awesome too!

    • dreaminofobx

      April 2, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      Aww, thanks! You’re right, it was an awesome email…made my day (week).

  7. Mars

    April 11, 2014 at 6:13 AM

    Wow awesome first post! Wonderful thing to do and what a lovely email surprise for you too!

    Curling Stones for Lego People


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