Making A Hug(e) Difference, Part 2

, | Oklahoma City, OK, USA | Hopeless | April 24, 2016

(I had received a call earlier that day that the test results for my dog, that I have had for 18 years, say he is diagnosed with cancer. I have just gotten off the phone with my husband, telling him that I think it was time to put my dog to sleep so he doesn’t suffer, since there’s nothing we can do to cure him. I am sitting in a fast food parking lot and break down sobbing. I hear a knock on my car window.)

Gentleman: “Uh… miss? Are you all right?”

Me: *wiping tears away* “What? Oh, sorry… Yeah. I’ll be fine.”

Gentleman: “What’s wrong? Did someone hurt you?”

Me: “Oh, no. I just got off the phone with my husband. We’ve decided to put my dog to sleep. I’ve had him for 18 years and he’s… he’s just been my best friend for so many years.”

(At this point I start crying again.)

Kid: *from his car* “Is the lady okay, Daddy?!”

(I smile.)

Gentleman: “She’ll be okay, sweetheart.” *he turns back to me* “Would you like a hug?”

Me: “Yeah… Kinda….”

(I got out of the car and he gave me a big hug and told me it will be okay. He let me cry for a few moments and I went over and met his wife and kids sitting in the car, and thanked them for their kindness. I went home feeling a bit stronger and was better able to help my husband through it. Thank you, kind sir.)


Don’t Mess With The Mousse

, , | CA, USA | Hopeless | April 23, 2016

(I am a student teacher with my mentor teacher at a popular local restaurant. My mentor teacher is kind enough to buy me lunch, so I decide to buy myself some dessert. I go to the counter and spot some chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup.)

Me: “Okay. I’m going to have to get that. I’m sold.”

(A customer in front of me overhears me and laughs.)

Customer: “That looks delicious, doesn’t it? You should get a big one!”

Me: “Aw, I wish, but I gotta be careful. Got a bit of a gut. I’ll take the small one.”

Customer: “Hey, go big or go home. Am I right?”

(I smile and get one of the workers to get me a small mousse cup. While I’m waiting to pay, I realize that I can only use my credit card if I am paying a minimum of ten dollars. I have no cash, so I decide to buy a few other things to make up the difference. The customer finishes up in front of me and leaves the restaurant, and I head to the counter with my mousse cup.)

Me: “Hi! So I just realized the credit card minimum, so I’ll also take—”

Cashier: *cuts me off* “You know what? The customer ahead of you didn’t want you to worry, so she bought the mousse for you.”

Me: “I… really? Oh, my gosh. That’s so sweet!”

Cashier: “It really is a blessing, isn’t it?”

Me: “I wish I could thank her! Thank you so much!”

(I happily enjoy my free chocolate mousse before leaving the restaurant. That customer’s generosity inspired me to pay it forward as well, so when I stopped by one of my favorite coffee shops, I paid for a stranger’s chai tea! Here’s hoping that I helped contribute to a string of kind acts and deeds where I live.)

Food For Thoughtfulness

, , , , , | NH, USA | Hopeless | April 22, 2016

(A group of friends and I travel to New Hampshire to campaign for a political candidate. We are sleeping on the floor of a community center in a tiny town with very few food options, and since we’ve traveled with a group from our school, none of us have access to a car. After a long day of knocking on doors in the snow, we desperately try to find a restaurant that delivers, to no avail. We set out to the nearest place we can find, which is about a 20-minute walk. We get there at least a few minutes before the stated closing time, but there is already a woman sweeping the front entrance, so I know they are done for the night. Since I work in food service and hate people who demand complicated meals right before we close, I told my friends we should just go home. Then, the woman opens the door and motions us in, out of the cold.)

Woman: “What can I do for you all?”

Me: “I’m really sorry; I know you’re trying to close. We were just looking for a place to get something to eat.”

Woman: “I’m afraid our kitchen is closed, but I can get you guys some drinks from the bar while you warm up.”

Me: “You’re very kind, but we’re really hungry, and since we’re all under 21 I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

Woman: “Most of the places in town are closed, but there’s a Mexican place about a 10-minute drive from here that’s open for another hour. Do you have a car?”

Me: “No, but thanks for the suggestion. We can walk or take a cab.”

Woman: “Don’t be silly; I’ll give you guys a lift.”

(Before we can say anything, she takes her apron off, runs to the kitchen, and comes back with her purse and keys. She ends up driving us to the restaurant in her minivan. During the conversation that follows, we find out that she owns the restaurant, while also working as a nurse because she doesn’t make enough from the restaurant to pay the bills. She also has a daughter in college, about our age. During the ride, we all pool our cash and try to pay her for her time and gas.)

Woman: “Absolutely not. You kids just make sure to pay it forward someday.”

(I will probably never see this woman again, but I think of her all the time and the kindness she showed us.)

An Anti-Depressing Turn Of Events

, , , | IN, USA | Hopeless | April 22, 2016

(This happened during what was one of the worst times in my life. I’ve just transferred to a new college and it is a rough transition. I am lonely, self-conscious, have about a million doubts about myself and my life. My anxiety has gotten so bad that I am literally sobbing in the doctor’s office just by attempting to discuss it with him. This man has been my whole family’s doctor for most of my life.)

Doctor: “I know you’re reluctant to try medication, a lot of people are, but sometimes it’s just brain chemistry. And seeing you here like this, hearing that you’ve already tried therapy, I just want to help you find something that will help you.”

Me: “I just don’t want that to mean that there’s something wrong with me.”

Doctor: “That’s not what this means. It means that you’re doing what you need to do in order to live a happy, healthy life. And if it doesn’t work for you, you can stop whenever you want. Look, there’s this new anti-depressant that’s still in trial stages but it’s doing really well and has minimal side effects. How about I give you some of the free samples and you just try it out?”

(I eventually, reluctantly, agreed to this. As I left, I was handed a cardboard box, definitely bigger than I’d anticipated for just a few free samples. It turned out that my doctor had given me ten bottles of the stuff, all free samples, so that I would have enough that I could take back to college with me if I decided to use it, plus some free samples of an allergy spray that he knew I sometimes had trouble affording, and a prescription for another anti-depressant just in case this one didn’t work for me. This doctor honestly saved me. I took those anti-depressants for just about a year and they worked. I don’t take them anymore; I’ve changed enough in mind and body and lifestyle that I don’t need them now. But I never would have gotten to this point without them. My doctor took the time and effort to think of me as a person as well as a patient and went the extra mile to make sure I’d be ok. THANK YOU. This, to me, is what all doctors should strive to be.)

True Value Of The Dollar

CA, USA | Hopeless | April 22, 2016

(My husband and I are in line for the register. Ahead is a man with a couple kids buying a few things and behind us is a pair of women with a few children. The man seems to have just found out his payment is declined. He is asking the cashier to put his things aside and he’ll be right back with a different form of payment.)

Woman #1: “How much is it?”

Cashier: “Like… five bucks.”

Woman #1: “Oh, I have that. Here.” *she pulls out a $20 bill* “Let me pay for it.”

Woman #2: “She’d be unhappy all day if you didn’t.”

Man: “Oh, thank you so much!”

Cashier: “Now I have to do math in my head… Here’s your change.”

(In short order the man had his purchases and was on his way. I wish there were something I could have done, too. It was the sweetest thing I had seen all day.)