Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mr. Deeds (Cell Phone Post)

Monday morning Vada and I headed across the river to scout out some possible last minute Christmas gifts for Justin. We were listening to KLOVE, a local Christian radio station when they began to tell a story that brought tears to my eyes...
A lady walked in to a KMart store and went to their layaway section. She randomly picked three layaways and paid them off. She spent over one thousand dollars doing this and left no name or contact information. She did it out of the good of her heart and as a Christmas gift to someone else.
I had tears in my eyes by the end of the story but thought to myself that the world might be a better place if stories like this one were done and told about everyday.
While driving I noticed that the gas in my van was low. The dash board was electronically telling me that I had about thirty-five miles until "empty" even though the thingy was pointing to "E". Being a new van I trusted that I had plenty of time to go the the store first (which was only now a mile away) before stopping to fuel up. So I continued on my way.
Driving into the parking lot I kind of cut off another driver, it was completely unintentionally but I felt badly about doing so. I quickly waved and mouthed an "I'm sorry", and in return the man gave me a big smile. I parked and went into the store, found what I was looking for, paid and was on my way. After securely fastening Vada into her car seat I attempted to start my van. It wouldn't turn over. I tried again and again but I got nothing. I had completely run out of gas. Across the highway was a gas station. It was close but it would mean me walking with Vada across a very busy road and this day happened to be a bitterly cold one. I attempted calling my sister, she lives close to where I was but I got her voice mail. I didn't want to call Justin. He was home but if he came to help me then he would know I was at this particular store and he would know I was there for him. So I asked a man who was walking out of the same store that I was just in. It was the same man that I had cut off. I began to explain my problem and then a told him my added problem-- I had no cash, on credit cards and checks.
Long story short, this complete stranger went and bought some gas for my van. He poured it into the tank and when I tried to write him a check he wouldn't take it. He told me to "so something good for someone else" and that it would repay him.
There is two more pieces to the story.
While this stranger was putting gas into my van he looked at Vada and said that she was beautiful. He said "I had an aunt that looked a lot like her". I asked if his aunt had Down syndrome and he told me that she did. He began to tell me that this aunt of his was his favorite aunt, that because of her his family is as close as the are. He said that he had cousins who were like siblings and it was because of his aunt who happen to have Down syndrome. His aunt was born in the fifties, a time when things were different and individuals who had Down syndrome was looked at as lost causes. His family however did not feel that way. However his aunt was born with a heart problem and because of that she passes away in her mid twenties. This man seemed to have tears in his eyes when he was telling me his story, it could have been the come air or maybe a little bit of both but when he finished telling me about his aunt he looked me straight in the eyes and said "Thank you for keeping her." I don't think I will ever forget this conversation or the sweet man who helped Vada and I out on a cold winters day...
After the man put the gas into my bad I pushed the ignition button and it started. We said our goodbyes and he walked off. I put the van in reverse and it stalled. I attempted a dew more times before finally calling and waking up my husband. Twenty minutes later Justin was by my side, with a full gas can. And of course he had questions as to why I was at this particular store. So he knows, I'm sure what at least one of his Christmas gifts are but I had an amazing conversation with a complete stranger because of it.


Ellen Stumbo said...

Those are pretty sweet encounters, aren't they? that extra chromosome has a power to connect and unite people in very special ways.

Cheri said...

The stranger's comment.. "Thank you for keeping her" ...oh my, brought tears to my eyes!!