He had his hand out as I exited the grocery store ... pushing a cart filled with flowers & all the ingredients to put Thanksgiving left overs in the fridge for my sons. Perhaps a silly thing to do in the middle of July, but we were celebrating our new home together and the best gift I could think of was to cook for them.
As I saw the man, I dipped into my pocket and thought, whatever comes out, he can have it. As it turned out it was a hundred dollar bill. He looked at me with such shock it sent a lovely chill through me. Then much to my surprise, he insisted on helping me load my groceries into the car. Not a word was spoken between us. I just looked into his very kind eyes filled with pain and humility.
As I drove off, in my rear view mirror, I was very grateful to see the man leave his perch by the door of the store and walk away. I never saw the man again but often think of him, in hopes he is putting Thanksgiving leftovers in his fridge for his kids somewhere. Upon my return home I told my sons about the man and let them know they'd have to wait two more weeks for the new back packs for school. Both of my sons eyes filled with tears which I thought were disappointment, but instead they embraced me in a huge hug and said; "mom, you are so amazing." What price would anyone pay for a moment like that I wonder? The reaction from my sons was priceless to me.
All of my children and I, were no strangers to hardship and unforeseen circumstances. As a single parent, there were always continued struggles, but I was what my kids called a fun mom. My objective however, whether in humorous adventures or deep discussion, was always to show them compassion for things outside themselves and the little grove we had, and to have some perspective. Perhaps this was what gave them the sensitivity they have for others. I once came home from work, to find my youngest son entertaining what a appeared to be a homeless person in our living room. What would YOU do?? Well I thought I had taught them a bit about discernment too, as well as how to keep us all safe and to be protective of their mom.
In this case it turned out as a lesson for me, in learning to trust in my son and the things I had shown him in our talks and by example. Which I must say is one of the most profound gifts I had ever received as a mother. To be able to trust in your child's judgement, heart and sensibility. My children are grown up now and are amazing treasures to the earth and my greatest contribution to humanity. In every moment I choose to give, in teaching them, I received more abundance than I could have thought possible. They now lead in their own ways, in heart and example. By the way, those Thanksgiving left overs gave delicious a whole new meaning that year ...