Thursday, May 21, 2009

I've always relied upon the kindness of others

Is that the right quote? I wasn't sure if it was "others" or "strangers". Both sound right, and either could actually fit the theme of this post, but "others" fits better, honestly.

A few weeks before Silas was born, about ten or twenty people at work chipped in to purchase a gift card for our family as a baby shower gift. They gave us a 300 dollar gift card to Walmart, which was awesome, because Walmart has food, which will help us out in the buying of groceries department, since we are incredibly strapped for cash.
Since we got it, we've used it twice. Once for a pretty big grocery trip before Silas arrived, and then yesterday I used it to buy some formula for Silas to help ease his crankiness until Steph's milk comes in. (Which has happened.)

So. Kindness of Others Example 1 was the Walmart gift card.

Yesterday we got two phone calls. The first was from my work. The business department wanted to send us food! They were ordering a bunch of sandwiches from Jason's Deli (YUM!) to be delivered our way. They asked me when would be a good time, and I said, "How about 1pm tomorrow?" So, then, we were covered for lunch for today. The second phone call was from Steph's aunt, who was offering to bring us dinner. YUM! And Yay!

So, Kindness of Others Examples 2 and 3 were our free lunch and dinner today. (Both were delicious, by the way. The turkey sandwiches from Jason's Deli were scrumptious, and Lori's casserole was perfect and very filling.)

That brings me to Kindness of Others Example 4.

I had to go to Walmart today to pick up some items we've run low on (or completely out of). I opted to take Irina with me, to give Steph a break from the tornado, and also because Irina enjoys Daddy/Daughter trips.

So, I grabbed the gift card, and we went on our way.

While in the checkout line, I was putting the items on the conveyor belt, when the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and saw an older guy - early 50s, perhaps - carrying three TV dinners and a couple of cans of Coke. He said something that I *thought* was "Add this to it?", and I thought he was jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly, people can be odd) asking me if I would purchase his meal along with *my* items.

Assuming it was a joke, I laughingly said, "Sorry, man. I can't." and returned to emptying my shopping cart. He motioned to Irina and asked me, "That your kid?"

Any time strangers start mentioning my children, alarm bells start tingling, but I cautiously said, "Yeah."

He asked, "Where's mom?"

I said, "She's at home, resting."

And then he said, "Tell you what I'm gonna do. Let me put this [he indicated his TV dinners] on there [meaning the conveyor belt], and I'll pay for it all."

I looked at him like he'd lost his mind, and so he said, "I'm in construction, and I'm doing well. I just like to give back to people."

I continued to unload the cart and I said, "I don't think I can let you do that." At that point he saw that I was wearing my Pink Floyd t-shirt {that Harper gave to me on my birthday} and said, "Yeah, when pigs fly, huh? Then said, "Pink Floyd, huh? Anyone who likes Pink Floyd can't be all bad."

He talked a little bit more, telling me that he would be insulted if I *didn't* take him up on this offer, and that there was no catch, he just likes to give back when he can.

At that point, I figured, what the hell. Maybe this is the universe continuing to shower us with kindness/gifts because of Silas. Or just because. So, I said, "All right.", and thanked him - he told me his name was Ray Welsh - profusely. He said that it was his honor, and that he himself had been through good times and bad, and since he was currently in good times, he knew he needed to help others, and that by buying my groceries, he was saving us a few bucks.

But wait. There's more.

On the way to the parking lot, I was heading back to the van, and he was heading in the opposite direction. I thanked him one more time and he said, "Hey! Wait a minute!" And I thought, "Okay. Here we go." I stopped, and he opened his wallet and pulled out five 20s. He gave them to me and said, "Take care of momma."

I felt really uncomfortable about taking his cash, but he insisted, and I was sorta in a little bit of shock. While he was handing me the money, someone else in the parking lot saw the transaction and said something to Ray. (Probably asking for some cash since he was just giving away from money) Ray responded, "That's your problem, not mine!" and then he asked me name (again. I had given it to him earlier) and said, "Good luck!" And then, that was it.

I've heard of random acts of kindness before, but I've never actually been on the receiving end of one so ...random.

5 comments:

Annika said...

It's "strangers" (I'm pretty sure), and WOW. That is so awesome.

Amy said...

It's also "depended". Um.

Yay! That is very random and awesome!

CosmicAvatar said...

Wow. How kind.

Min said...

Very cool!

DropEdge said...

Heartwarming!