Saturday, March 28, 2009
Pay It Forward
Well, Gentle Readers - I believe.
Today was a warm, mildly windy and occasionally sunny Saturday in C-burg. The other two of my three lives were being cared for by Brenda and our new lady, Donna. I had planned to go to lunch with Leah last weekend, but something came up. So today, we got the action moving toward Bob Evans around nooonish (after I got the checks cashed for the girls, shopped Kroger's and talked to Barbara on the phone about Ed's plight in Alaska - w/ the erupting volcano, etc., ya know...)
Long story short: we dined, we chatted; we went shopping for tablecloths, Fiesta ware, cheap blankets, whatever. Around 3pm, We went back to Bob's to get her car.
While we were getting ready to trade back into her car, a nice-looking, middle-aged couple of strangers came up to the car and the man ask: Are you folks local? "Yes" Maybe you can help us, he said. We are driving back from North Carolina, where we took our son (to join his unit going back to Iraq - for the 4th time.) I lost my wallet in Virginia and we have no money to get (gas to get) home. I called the state police, and they sent the safety patrol. The patrol could only give us 2 gallons of gas. We are from Erie, Pennsylvania, and that won't take us home. That's my car [back there]a Ford Fiesta.
I don't know if it was the Ford Fiesta (small gas tank) or the plight of the couple, but I said: Can you get your car over to the Go-Mart? "Yes" Then, sure, I'll buy you a tank of gas.
And Leah and I drove our cars to Go Mart where the couple filled up (9 gallons or so). We chatted about cars and tires and her health (she's diabetic)...They ask for my name (she said she's send us the money), but I didn't tell her. I just said "Pay it forward." And that felt really good. I could do it; someone needed help and I could help. She told me their first names. And they drove off - back to Erie where it will probably snow tomorrow.
Leah and I went over to "the Valley" and unloaded groceries, talked to the care givers and the cared for, drank tea and ate cookies. Then she called Mindy for dinner information and decided to stop on the way home for takeout (for her and Jay.)
Leah just called. She had a story to tell me, over her baked potato.
She did stop at Wendy's.
She did get in to a long line of patrons at the drive thru.
She did see the manager come out (with two bags of food) and head for her car.
She tried to give him her credit card, but he said: It's been paid for, by the driver in the vehicle ahead of you. You are free to go...
Random Act of Kindness or Pay It Forward. I don't think it really matters. I feel really good about today.
Linda, one of our caregivers, says there are really angels "out there." And, sometimes, I think those angels are closer than "out there."
And Now You Know The Rest of the Story. (Thank you, Paul Harvey...somewhere up in heaven, I think.)