Have you ever done “Pay It Forward” or a “Random Act of Kindness” to anyone?
I try and sprinkle them into my life whenever I can. I also try not to tell everyone about it. I’m trying to become more humble.
Since Daily Prompt has asked, I’ll tell you about a time that didn’t go as I’d planned it would.
It was our 11th Anniversary of marriage. Pretty cool.
We wanted to spread the love by being the love in our community instead of getting each other “things” that we wouldn’t likely remember in 5 or 10 years. The idea was we’d do 11 Acts of Kindness (together)!
How about 11 meals to the homeless? Tipping a waitress 100% of the bill? Flowers to the nurses that helped recuperate my grandfather after his stroke? We had a lot of fun with the ideas.
The one Act that surprised me the most was our first. I spotted a car that looked “off” in the grocery store parking lot.
Their passenger-side door was open and there was clearly no one around. The owner of this car, open for anyone to go rooting around in was nowhere to be found.
Before we left the store I spotted the couple approaching the open car. I noticed they looked weary.
The couple was likely in their 50s.
The woman had already gotten into the car. The man was standing at the door and it was taking him a little longer to get in.
I said “Hello.”
He greeted me with a faint and patient smile.
I started my story about our anniversary and wanting to do something nice for them.
“What do you want?!” I was, quite rudely, interrupted.
The woman had jumped from her car and started to lay into me.
She was agitated and asking over and over, “What do you want? WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
I stepped back and raised my hands. One of my hands had a Starbucks gift card in it. I extended the hand with the gift card in toward her.
My explanation quickly followed. “My husband and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary today. We’re doing 11 acts of love throughout the city. We want to give this to you. You looked like you could use it – enjoy some time together over coffee or tea.”
She melted. (I literally saw her posture shift, her face soften. Melted instantly.)
The tough exterior quickly faded and her new persona, vulnerable and thankful.
She explained to me that her husband had suffered a severe heart attack earlier in the year and he’s very fragile and recovering. She’s been taking care of him night and day and she’s just so worried about him. She didn’t know what I wanted or if I would stress or scare him. She was so touched by our gesture and thanked us.
Honestly pretty freaked out by the reaction I received and how the simple exchange went down I hopped back into the car with my hubby.
We got the heck outta there and set out to do the rest of our acts for the day.
I started to think about her as we drove away.
I started to cry. (Streaming tears, freaking-my-husband-out kind of crying out of NOWHERE.)
It hurt my heart to see their suffering.
I know this pain is real for so many couples.
I looked at our future with uncertainty. What is ahead for us? Will Dave suffer an illness and will I be his caretaker? Or him for me? Will we be as protective as this woman was and be ready to go ninja on someone who poses any threat to our dear loved one?
Mostly, I’m excited for the future but this glimpse of ‘what could be’ broke my heart for a moment. It also affirmed that we must take these moments we have now and make them count.
Make them last.
Be the love in the world and to each other.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness or perhaps the giving end? Tell me how it went down! Was it what you expected it would be?