April has always been a special month for me because my late mother, former Pennsylvania first lady Mary Jane Leader, and I celebrated April birthdays. April has not been the same since she passed away in March 2011.
Throughout her life, Mother was a daily example of kindness to others and she inspired us to do the same for our families and in our communities. She and Dad -- former Pennsylvania Gov. George M. Leader -- founded Country Meadows Retirement Communities upon treating people with kindness.
In her honor, my family and I encourage all our neighbors to practice random acts of kindness, particularly in April. We feel it only appropriate that her memory live on by encouraging others to remember the little things that can truly brighten someone's day. Random acts of kindness can be as simple as smiling at a stranger, helping someone with their groceries or just paying a visit. Mother loved to surprise family and friends with an unexpected gift -- like delivering homemade fudge or a pecan or rhubarb pie.
Mother gets the credit for bumper stickers on our organizations' vehicles that read "Practice Random Acts of Kindness." This phrase was a favorite of hers and one that she practiced often. I invite you to visit the front desk of your local Country Meadows Retirement Community location, where you can pick up free window clings and bumper stickers displaying this simple yet powerful message. You can find us at two locations in York -- 1900 Trolley Road and 2760 Pine Grove Road.
Every day we try to make life better at our organizations and whether the grantor or recipient of a kind act, the generosity of the human spirit provides great rewards. I encourage all readers to pay it forward with a random act of kindness.