In the middle of July I received a phone call at my home. A woman asked if I had a son and named my younger son. As my heart stuck in my throat thinking something had happened to him, she explained why she was calling. She’d found his wallet in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. She not only took the time to turn it in to the manager, but also somehow found my phone number. She wanted to let me know that the money, credit cards and license were still in it when she found it and to let me know where it was.
I’m happy to say that my son figured out what had happened and walked into the restaurant within minutes of our hanging up. He got the chance to look her in the eye and thank her. I think he said “thank you for finding my wallet and not taking my money”, but that’s just my son, and another whole story. I asked him what she said. He said that she told him to “go call your Mother”.
I wrote about this kindness on the part of a stranger on my FB wall and a wonderful thing happened. People started answering my post with their own stories. And that’s when it hit me; I need to share these. All of these.
So here is the first group, the stories are told in their own words:
~It was Mother’s Day approximately 10 years ago, my mother was in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. My father and I went to visit her and took her to the local Denny’s for lunch. With her having Alzheimer’s we never knew what was going to come out of her mouth. She could on occasion say some inappropriate things. The restaurant was crowded due to it being Mother’s Day so we were waiting in line to be seated. In line in front of us was a couple who were bikers. They had on their motorcycle jackets and were holding their helmets and for some reason my mom was attracted to the man. She was talking and flirting with him a little bit and they were amused by this. We explained that she had Alzheimer’s and that we were there just taking her out for lunch. They were seated, we were seated and that was the end of that. At the end of our meal we were waiting for the check and our waitress came over and told us that the couple had paid for our lunch. That was the first time anything like this ever happened to me and it still chokes me up when I think about it. Such a simple gesture really made a big impression on us.
~One afternoon my husband met up with me and my two children to do some shopping and eating in downtown Ames. At one point my phone rang, I talked to the person for quite a while before hanging up. What I did not notice was that several of my cards had fallen out of my purse. I did not realize this until much later when I couldn’t find them. I was in a state of panic for quite a while until we were able to find out that one of the Subway employees was trying to track me down using information from the bank. I got my stuff back. And while I was somewhat embarrassed about the situation it was very obvious that they did everything they could.
Sarah Almond writes @The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Leftover Night Steak Sandwich
~Back in the late winter of 1987 I was pregnant with our first baby, due in April. My husband was in the Air Force, part of an amazing group that worked and flew on the E4-B 747, better known as the Doomsday Plane. I was headed to a pregnancy appointment, one of the only ones my hubs had to miss, when my front passenger tire blew on my Camaro. Now my hubs is missing this appointment because President Reagan was on the move and when the President moved, my husband moved. So here I was, 7 months pregnant, the size of a small wildebeest, staring at a flat tire, late winter in Omaha, Nebraska. I stood there trying to figure out the dynamics of this mess when up walked a Staff Sergeant in his DRESS BLUES. Now, if you’re not Military, you have no idea how much these uniforms cost, ((A HELL OF A LOT))! And while most AD wear fatigues, this man was in a AFSC where dress blues were the daily uniform. You can imagine my shock when that man took off his jacket, handed it to me and commenced to changing my tire. I cried, out of desperation, frustration and thankfulness. I offered to pay over and over and he refused over and over, simply asking that when I had the chance, to pay it forward. He told me how his wife had sat on the side of the road, broke down for nearly 4 hours while car after car passed her by including a number of police cars. I have never forgotten that man or his request. I have stopped to help many people over the past 26 years and I always think of that day when I do.
Lisa L. Rose-Hawkins
~I'm a big fan of paying it forward. I think it's important to do to maintain a karmic balance. it's unfortunate that there aren't enough people that believe this. I've had the chance to pay it forward many times and I've had someone pay it forward to me. It leaves me with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
I had the chance to pay it forward once and it started a trickle effect. I was in the Wal-Mart bathroom and a lady left her purse. I took it to the manager and asked him to locate the lady who'd left it. About 15 minutes or so later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the woman who owned the purse. She handed me $20 and thanked me for being honest. I tried to refuse it but she insisted. So I took it and thanked her. When I'd got to the store, I'd noticed a young man outside in the parking lot with a sign asking for food. I took that $20 and bought some non-perishables that he could use, as well as some bottled water and took it to him. He thanked me profusely, genuinely shocked that someone would be so kind. I told him no thanks was needed and that, when he could, repay the kindness.
I didn't do it for the thanks. I didn't do it for the reward. I did it because it was the right thing to do.
Sarah writes @ The Momisodes
Because I received so many of these stories, I’ll continue this series until I’ve published them all. Look for the second post coming soon.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their story. This post was such a joy for me to pull together.
Leftover Night Steak Sandwiches
NOTE: When I grill steaks for the family, I always slice and freeze the leftovers. Once I have enough I make these “Leftover Night” Steak Sandwiches.
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red or green pepper, sliced
½ # mushrooms, sliced
2 cups of cooked, cooled and thinly sliced steak (I use Rib Eye or NY Strips)
2 TBSP Steak sauce
2 TBSP grated parmesan
4 slices smoked provolone cheese
*Slice and toast the rolls.
*Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
*Heat the vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the onion, peppers and mushrooms. Sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste.
*Sautee vegetables until they’re soft.
*Add the steak and Steak Sauce. Cook and stir until the meat is hot. Sprinkle with parmesan.
*Put a slice of Provolone in each roll. Fill each roll with ¼ of the meat and vegetable mixture. Wrap each sandwich in tin foil and put into the oven for 10 minutes.