You Matter

When you live in a small town, you go to the big town for all sorts of things. So, let’s say you have a doctor’s visit, well then, you try to do as many other things as you can while you are there. Today, while in town I was able to hit Costco and the toner refill shop.

Then I called my car dealership and asked if they could take me in on short notice for my new Hypersonic Red Prius’s 5,000 mile checkup, oil change, whatever. They scheduled me for a 4:00 opening. So I killed some more time by having a nice sit-down lunch, going into a department store, and checking in at the cell phone store. Finished the day with an oil change and even got to swing by for an impromptu visit with a friend of mine who I don’t see often enough.  Dag-gum if I wasn’t feeling successful!

After all that, I headed home. Just before I got on the interstate toward home, I could feel fatigue setting in, so I stopped at a convenience store for a caffeine drink to keep me going. As I eased up to the parking space, I saw a lady sitting at a concrete picnic table there right in front of the space. As I pulled in, she looked up and suddenly put up a hand in the universal sign that means STOP! So I did, and looked at her and smiled. When I got out, I thanked her for her help. She and I exchanged words about how low my car is and how it could be bad news if I scraped it on concrete.

She was so nice. Maybe in her early 40’s, she had long, beautiful black curly hair and fair skin. Her peasant-style blouse and jeans weren’t unusual or remarkable. But the long dark cigarette in her fingers was not a fit. She handled it easily as she scrolled around on her cell phone.

I went on in to the store thinking about her and got my drink, and as I went back to my car, we spoke again, and I thanked her. It was such a small thing for her to care enough to stop me from scraping the underside of my fender. But it wasn’t really small. It was an act of kindness, and in my book, kindness matters – a lot.

Putting my purse in my lap, I dug around for something. Somewhere in the dark abyss of my bag I knew I had a card that I had printed off of the internet. In fact, I had laminated it to keep it nice and crisp. I would read it occasionally to encourage myself. I found it and gave it to her. It was the only way I could tell her how appreciative I was for her care.

“I keep this in my purse to encourage myself now and then,” I told her. “Please take it, maybe it will encourage you, too.”

She was reading it as I got back in my car. It took me a bit to get settled, buckle up, check behind me, and back up. As I then put the car in drive, I looked over to see her wi
ping her eyes. She looked at me and, though I couldn’t hear her,
she looked up and said, “Thank you.”

All I could do was smile back at her and wave.

All of heaven is cheering us on, my friend. Both of us.

Note: Many thanks to Mick Mooney for giving me permission to use his illustration and his words.

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