I thought I’d share what happened to me this evening. After my AA meeting, I stopped at a convenience store. As I got out of my car and began to walk in I heard someone say something to me. I looked to my left and there sat a woman on the bench outside. I looked at the woman and said “pardon me”. She asked how I was. I told her that I was doing fine and asked how she was. I’ll begin by describing this woman to you. She was heavy set, disheveled, a tad dirty and was missing many of her teeth. My heart sank when I saw her. Oddly I hadn’t even noticed her when I parked my car in front of the store. Nor did I notice her as I got out of my car.
She went on to tell me she had just left the hospital. Apparently she had an asthma attack. She told me her story and I just listened. My heart really went out to her. I told her that I hoped she would get better. Before I turned around to walk in the store, I noticed a Hispanic man walking toward the store. He opened the door for me. I couldn’t help but notice he was wearing a beautiful cross rosary around his neck. I got my things and walked up to the counter. The man was in line behind me. I asked the clerk if she knew if the woman outside was homeless. She wasn’t sure but said she comes around a lot. I told the clerk I felt sorry for that woman and wanted to buy her something to eat. The clerk was a little taken aback. I had several people behind me waiting to pay. I just explained that I wanted to buy the woman something to eat if she was homeless which is why I was inquiring. The clerk shared she didn’t really know but what she did know is often the woman would sit outside until she had enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes. I told the clerk I wasn’t willing to buy cigarettes but was happy to buy whatever food they had in their deli case. She handed me a pizza pocket. The man wearing the cross rosary said “Maam.maam” I turned around thinking he might be irritated because I was holding up the line. Instead he said “Maam that is a really nice thing for you to do. I wish I could help her too” he showed me the money he had in his hand. It was only enough to get fuel.
I paid the clerk however I was surprised that she didn’t even charge me for the pizza pocket. I took the pizza pocket and walked outside and handed it to the woman. She told me she was trying to figure out how she was going to eat this week. Wow. My heart sank again. I felt the tears build up. I simply said “well for now you don’t have to worry. You now have something to eat.” She was very grateful.
I’m sharing not for accolades, rather to share how God uses people to make a difference. He also can use one person to touch the lives of many. That homeless woman touched my heart. I felt inclined to buy her food. The man wearing the cross rosary was touched by my act of kindness. The clerks heart was open too. She didn’t charge me for the food. In short, each of our lives was touched by a woman who was sitting on a bench and had the courage to say hi despite her circumstances. I’m not sure what the miracle was but for me it was awesome to help someone but at the same time fill the hearts of others.
I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been rather busy and haven’t had time to share. I recently traveled to Orlando to a John Maxwell live event. I earned my John Maxwell certification as a teacher, coach, speaker and leadership trainer. I’ve never been so happy. Being a part of such an awesome team has been an absolute blessing. JMT (John Maxwell Team) has changed my life. I hope that I can add value to the lives of others like JMT has done for me.
Last week I received a call from my endriconologist’s nurse. My doctor had asked the nurse to schedule an appointment to see her right away. I thought nothing of it. In fact, I thought it was a follow up for my blood test. I met with my doctor today. She explained the nodules on my thyroid had grown and she felt it was necessary for me to have a biopsy. I have hashimotos and thyroiditis. I also have a genetic mutation that causes several types of cancer. Thyroid Cancer is one of them. Lucky me. I’ve already experienced three of the cancers on the list these past two years. I have become so immuned to the “C” word that to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t fazed by the possibility. After all, isn’t the thyroid the size of a walnut?! How bad can it be?!
My mother went to my appointment with me today so afterwards she wanted to grab a quick bite before driving home. We drove to KFC. As we drove in the parking lot I saw the KFC sign and thought “KFC….Keep Fighting Cancer”. Yup. That’s me. What an appropriate place to eat after hearing the news of my thyroid. Hilarious.
My mother and I walked in the restaurant and as we were ordering a woman looked at us and was excited to see us. She walked over to say hi and hugged both my mother and I. The next thing I knew her husband came out of nowhere and was ecstatic saying “Velma!!! It’s you!! I haven’t seen you in years. I think about you all the time. I have never forgotten you!!” He then gave me a big hug. I’ll be honest, I vaguely recognized his face but had absolutely no idea who he was. I didn’t want to be rude so I told him how happy I was to see him also. We exchanged small talk and then sat down. When my mother and I sat down I asked her if she knew that couple. She said yes. She tried to spark my memory but it was to no avail.
I have continued to struggle with memory loss since having chemo. I have a hard time remembering things and remembering people. An example is last Sunday I went to mass. There was a gentleman there who I recognized. The entire mass I kept trying to recall how I knew him. “Was he one of my doctors?” “Did his children go to school with mine?” I couldn’t remember. When we got to the part of mass where we offer peace to one another this man walked over and said “peace Velma” and shook my hand. I thought to myself “who is this guy?!” Well after mass I asked him who he was. I explained I occasionally suffer from memory loss. He was so nice and very understanding. Thank goodness because I was humiliated when he told me who he was. He was one of my clients!!! Yikes!
Back to KFC. After my mother and I had finished our unhealthy meal, I walked over to that man and his wife’s table. I apologized to him and explained to him how I just couldn’t remember his name. I explained my cancer and my memory loss. He was so understanding. He told me his name and told me we had worked together. Finally!!! I remembered! He hugged me again and explained that I was always so nice to him and treated him so kind when I had worked in the office at the warehouse we worked at many years ago. He shared how he never forgot me or my acts of kindness. He shared he had gotten hurt on the job and it was me who took him to the hospital that day. He shared I had stayed with him the entire time until his family arrived. I didn’t remember any of this but it certainly sounded like something I would do. He hugged me again so before we parted ways I prayed with him and his wife. They were both so happy.
As my mother and I drove home I reflected on what had happened. I have learned so much from being a part of the John Maxwell team. One of the things I’ve learned is The Law of Legacy. John asks the question “what will be your legacy when you’re gone?” I was happy to think that the legacy I would leave behind is my act of kindness in this mans life. How awesome is that?! It’s interesting how one act of kindness can impact a persons life in such a way that you may forget the act but the person on the receiving end is impacted in such a way that they never forget you. Remembering you in such a fond way is such a blessing.
This incident was a lesson for me. I will keep on keeping on no matter the challenge and through it all I will do my best to be kind to others. After all, just one little act of kindness can impact another’s life forever. I’d like a simple act of kindness to be part of the legacy I leave behind. What will your legacy be?