Earhart With A Big Heart

, , , , , , | Hopeless | February 18, 2018

(My best friend’s four-year-old daughter is like a niece to me, and since I don’t have children of my own, I love when it’s time to give her birthday and Christmas gifts, etc. This year, I will be out of town on Christmas, so my friend lets her open her gifts from me early. I always get her one item from her wish list, and a couple of books in whatever reading level she’s up to now. Her mom mentioned that [Niece] has been really interested in figures like Amelia Earhart lately, and I found a kid’s book about famous women who changed history, like Earhart, Marie Curie, etc.)

Niece: *opens her first present, a jewelry box that matches her bedroom theme* “Yay! Thank you, Aunt [My Name]!”

Me: “I’m glad you like it! Here’s your second gift.”

Niece: *opens the second package, two new books, including the one on famous women* “THANK YOU! I love them!”

(I chat for while longer with my friend and watch [Niece] organize her new jewelry box. Later that night after I go back home, I get a text from my friend. It’s a picture of [Niece] reading her new book.)

Friend: “[Niece] loves her book! She says, ‘When I grow up I want to be a woman that changes the world.’”

(My heart just melted! I love giving kids gifts that are fun but also challenge their imaginations and ambitions.)

A Hot Slice Of Kindness, Part 4

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | February 16, 2018

(I recently divorced my abusive, controlling husband. I have been awarded custody of our two kids, and he was ordered to pay child support. My ex-husband left us with nothing, has never paid any of the alimony or child support that the court ordered him to, and has constantly done whatever he can to make life difficult for us. Ordering food deliveries has been his latest weapon of choice. One evening I’m standing in the kitchen, looking over the little food I’ve been able to buy, wondering how I’m going to feed both of my children and myself, when there’s a knock at the door. I groan, as I know it’s yet another food delivery that my ex-husband has ordered, and that I’m going to have to explain a painful and embarrassing situation to yet another person. I open the door, and sure enough, there’s a man from a local pizza company here with a large amount of pizzas, enough to feed an entire sports team. I barely manage to return his greeting before I start crying.)

Delivery Man: “Hi, I’ve got an order for… Ma’am? Is something wrong?”

Me: *between sobs* “I… I’m so sorry. You were pranked. My ex-husband ordered all this, trying to hurt me by making me spend money I don’t have. I’m so sorry, but I didn’t order this, I can’t pay for it, and you’ve had your time wasted.”

(At this point, my children start quietly asking me:)

Children: “Mummy, are we having pizza tonight? Can we keep it? Please?”

(Their pleas cut me to the quick, and I start sobbing, unable to control myself any longer.)

Delivery Man: “Your ex did this? To what end? To hurt you? To upset those adorable munchkins that are trying to hide behind the wall over there?”

Me: *sobbing harder* “Yes.”

(The delivery man looks incredibly angry.)

Delivery Man: “Ma’am, all of this is on me. There is no circumstance where I’ll stand by and allow someone to cause so much hurt to a mother and her children. Keep all of this. Whatever you can’t eat, freeze. If you reheat it in the oven, it’ll be as good as fresh. Whenever you run out, call the store and ask for me by name. I’ll bring you enough food to keep you and your kids fed as long as you need.”

(At this point, I am crying so hard that I can barely respond to him. His kindness has completely overwhelmed me, and my children are smiling for the first time in weeks. I try to offer him money, and he brushes my attempt away.)

Delivery Man: “Ma’am, I cannot take anything from you. Your ex tried to use me to hurt you; I’m not going to be used in such a manner. I’ve had my own share of experiences similar to yours, and turning an act of hate into an act of empathy is enough for me. You keep taking care of your kids, and call my store whenever you need.”

(With that, he carried everything into my kitchen, ruffled my childrens’ hair, flashed me a cheerful grin, and wished us all a good night. While I never took him up on his offer to deliver us food whenever we needed it, I will never forget the impact he had on my children and me in the darkest time of our lives. His generosity and kindness not only gave my children a full belly but renewed my faith in the kindness of people. I doubt he’ll ever read this, but if he does, I want to say thank you. He brightened all our lives.)

 

Related:

A Hot Slice Of Kindness, Part 3

A Hot Slice Of Kindness, Part 2

A Hot Slice Of Kindness

Beginning To Think These Christmas Miracles Aren’t Miracles

, , , , , | Hopeless | February 12, 2018

Many years ago, before cell phones, my wife and I were traveling through rural western Pennsylvania late Christmas night when our car broke down with no houses anywhere in sight. We resigned ourselves to spending the night in the car. When the sun came up, we saw that there was a farmhouse not too far away, so I knocked on the door, explained our predicament, and asked to use the phone to call a tow truck.

That’s all I asked for: to use the phone.

This is what I got:

They invited us inside, gave us coffee, and fixed us breakfast. The farmer told us there wasn’t any place around where we could get the car fixed on the day after Christmas. I asked about auto parts store. I had tools; I could fix it myself if I could get the right part. He called around until he found a store that was open and drove me there, while our wives had more coffee in the kitchen. They had the part, but I had no credit cards, and they didn’t want to take my personal check because it was from out of state. The farmer told the store manager that he would guarantee my check. After we got back, he insisted on helping me install the part in freezing rain.

And he wouldn’t take a dime.

We stopped there again on our way home a few days later, with a box of chocolates.

And since that time, I have never, ever accepted payment for helping someone else out. When people ask why not, I tell them this story. Thirty-five years later, I still can’t tell — or type — this story without crying.

My Librarian, My Hero

, , , , , | Hopeless | February 10, 2018

(I used to live on what was basically a commune, accessible only by boat. We also only had a marine radio for communication. Once a month, a couple of us would take the battered farm boat into town to run errands. We would usually go to the library and take out the maximum number of books, which would be due in 30 days. One month, we have a large box of books to go back to the library, but the boat motor has packed it in, and it is a couple of weeks before we can get it repaired and get into town. We approach the library desk with trepidation, fearing a huge fine.)

Librarian: “Oh, it’s you guys. When you didn’t come in for so long, I figured something had to be wrong, so I renewed all your books.”

(Thank you, library lady!)

It Was Worth The Trip

, , , , , | Hopeless | February 8, 2018

(I have been working at the same bookstore for three years, but I have a terrible memory for faces and names. Customers remember me much more frequently than I remember them. One day, I am very busy and overtaxed when a lady walks up to me.)

Customer: “I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I was in here last year.”

(I don’t remember her at all and cringe inwardly, waiting to hear what her complaint is.)

Customer: “You recommended this travel guide to me, and I had the most lovely vacation! I just wanted to let you know.”

Me: “Oh. Uh, thank you! People never come back and tell me when something was good.”

(She left with another travel book.)

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