Yesterday I crossed paths with 3 folks who – upon first glance – seemed like a lovely family, out for some chili and sight-seeing. Looks can be deceiving, however, and my assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong.
The older lady wasn’t feeling well. She had been riding in the back seat, all the way from San Bernardino to Burbank and had gotten carsick. The middle-aged couple, who’d been sitting in the car’s front seats, were tending to her while waiting for the joint to open. I met them in the parking lot and tried to help. I offered my arm to the older lady and we slowly made our way inside. I got some ice and put it in a plastic bag, wrapped that in napkins and gave it to her for the back of her neck. She said it was helping her to cool down, and she sat quietly, sipping lemonade for her rumbly tumbly.
While she recovered from her carsickness, I talked with the middle-aged couple. They were all on a day-trip, on a quest for Chili John’s chili and then off to see the Space Shuttle. I thought they were a nice family. Only they weren’t. Family, I mean. I learned that the middle-aged lady was the older lady’s mail carrier (and has been for years). The older lady – with the exception of short bus trips to the bank and to the market – hasn’t left her home for nearly 30 years. Having no family or relatives nearby, she spends most of her time alone. Her mail carrier thought the older lady could use a nice outing, so she arranged the day’s activities and her husband agreed to go along.
When the middle-aged lady shared this with me, my eyes filled with tears. I looked at her and said their lunch was on me, because I so appreciated what she was doing. I told her she was the epitome of what we’re supposed to be in this world: good human beings. Here she was, taking care of someone (her customer, basically), for no other reason than it being the right thing to do. I don’t mind telling you – she welled up a bit herself. And all 3 of them thanked me for the gesture.
There was more conversation and laughter, and after a while the older lady seemed to be feeling much better. The 3 of them said their good-byes and went back out into the bright, warm day, ready to travel on to their next destination. I watched them go with appreciation and a full heart.
Sometimes I get wrapped up in trying to figure out how to be a better me, a better person. Yesterday I was privileged to simply witness someone else being a better person. I was truly inspired, and tremendously grateful. Those good people made my day.
If I get a chance to pay it forward today, I hope I’m present enough to take it. And if I am blessed enough to merely witness someone else paying it forward, well, I will be one lucky girl. One lucky girl, indeed.