Saturday, July 4, 2009

Paying it Forward

As we mark a special day in history, some with the traditional cookouts and fireworks, and others only noting the day but going along in their own routines, I'm going to share a story that reflects how someone, even unemployed and struggling financially can think of the needs of another. He's the man I married.

Kelly, returning on a Greyhound bus from a really, really horrible experience with a truck driving company (and a story I'll share on Monday) met a young lady traveling alone, and seemingly despaired. Her belongings were packed in a folding laundry hamper and her disheveled appearance drew him to her. He assisted her onto the bus, carrying her heavy bag, and helped her find a seat. As they traveled, he heard how her step-mother had put her out of the house, paid her the $29.00 she was owed, and gave her a one-way bus ticket to Arizona where her mother lives. She was left at the depot to fend for herself with a cell phone with no minutes left and an innocence sure to call attention to herself. She'd spent five dollars for minutes that weren't usable on her phone.

The whole experience left her in a state of confusion, and although she seemed intelligent enough, my husband noted that something wasn't quite right with her. He offered his cell phone so she could call her mother, and actually spoke with her mom to assure her he wasn't a pervert or someone out to take advantage of a nineteen-year-old. The woman explained that her daughter suffered from seizures, mostly brought on by stress, and failure to eat or take her medication.

At the next stop, both had to switch buses, so Kelly assisted the girl off the bus, made sure she got in line to continue her next leg of the journey, and having overheard her tell her mother she had $3.00 left, my wonderful husband reacted as I expected he would.

In his wallet, he had tucked away $50 that he scrimped to save and bring home. He gave that money to her with instructions to make sure she didn't flash it about and when she broke it, to do so in the presence of a clerk. Panhandlers abound in bus depots, and he didn't want her to fall victim. During the wait, he also befriended a nice American Native man and requested he watch out for the girl. The gentleman agreed. Kelly gave her his email address, hoping to hear that everything worked out for her, and wished her well...probably with ten more warnings because he's that kind of guy.

When he shared his story, I choked with tears. Most would have disregarded her and left her to fend for herself, but knowing my guy is the one who stops and helps people stranded on the road or picks up things someone drops, I would expect nothing less of him.
When he apologized to me wasting time and money on this venture, I was quick to remind him that things happen for a reason. Maybe God had a plan that included Kelly being this young ladies guardian angel, and if going to this farce of a job was the cost, it was well worth it and the $50 dollars Kelly donated to a young woman in need. If this was God's plan, he couldn't have picked a better person. That's my husband, and he would be embarrassed if he knew I shared this story, because he didn't do it for recognition of any kind. He did it because that's how his heart works. Gotta love the man!


Tabitha Shay said...

What a beautiful story and thanks for sharing it. It's comforting to know there are still people out there with kind hearts. He did the right thing and you have every reason to be proud of your hubby. Big *Hugs*....Tabs

Phyllis Campbell said...

Your husband is one in a million for sure! Hold on tight to that one! I hope he hears from the girl - or her mother - that all is well.


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Thanks for sharing this heart-warming story. You and Kelly will be in my prayers, because I know he's looking for a job, if the trucking job didn't work out....


Anita Davison said...

I have one of those - don't they just make you want to hug them? - when they aren't getting on your nerves that is. I'm not surprised though, what you do say about him on occasion is always gold. Give him a hug from me.

Paul McDermott said...

Ginger, this male feels VERY humble, almost inadequate, in the light of your story.
I enjoyed both the book nd the film called "Paying it Forward" which I'm led to believe is true in all its most important points.Must try harder ........

Latesha said...

Ginger, I am glad to see that you are married to one of the few decent men in the world. What Kelly did was so thoughtful. He deserves a big hug for his kindness. I hope that young lady gets to where she needs to and contacts him.

Ciara Gold said...

Very touching Ginger. I know you're very proud to be married to such a generous heart. And what a very inspiring story for the 4th of July weekend.

Chester Campbell said...

Great story. I really admire what your husband did. Being the standoffish type who is uncomfortable talking to strangers (except at a book signing), I'm not sure how I would have reacted. Not as admirably as he did, for certain. My wife is more the type who would have done that sort of thing.

Maryann Miller said...

What a great story, Ginger. Sorry to be reading a couple of days late. I was off the computer all weekend, then not feeling well yesterday. But this is really a nice story. You are married to a terrific guy.

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