There was a time in my life when I learned just how little a person could live off of. About 13 years ago, my ex and I were living down south. Upon our separation, we moved to our current state of residence and went our separate ways. With about $40 in savings and being a single mother of a 2 year old, times quickly became hard.
After my son and I moved in with a family friend, I began to work on digging myself out of the financial rut that I was in. First, I had to find a job. After about 2 weeks, a temp agency set me up with a position at a Fortune 500 company. It was a job unlike anything I had ever done before, but the pay was decent and I enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, as with most jobs I had to wait two weeks before receiving my first check. That meant that we were to live off of $40 for 4 weeks, or $10 a week. Any left over cash after fuel, went toward diapers for my son and food. Needless to say, the diapers and fuel alone, took almost all of it. So there was very little left for food.
I wasn’t the type to partake in my roommate’s food supply, so my son and I ate a lot of spaghetti. It was cheap and filling. One dinner would last us a few days. It had to. That’s all we could afford. Good thing my son was so young, because a small stomach equals less food.
My boss at the new job was a very sweet gentleman, who I grew to adore quickly. He always made me laugh and showed kindness in every word he spoke. He always brightened my day, no matter how dim it started out.
Not once did I ever mention to anyone that my son and I were struggling financially. But I soon discovered that people knew. That was probably due to the fact that I never ate anything throughout the workday. All that was consumed was water. Lots of water.
When my employment began at the company, Thanksgiving was a little under two weeks away. My roommate traveled for work and was rarely home, and my family had all moved away. So it was just going to be my son and I celebrating the holiday together. In honor of the holiday, I planned out a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner for the two of us. Spaghetti. I was feeling pretty down.
Thanksgiving came and my employer was serving a Thanksgiving lunch in the cafeteria. The cost was more than I could afford, $5.00. As I watched everyone stroll down the hallway toward the cafeteria, I turned back to my computer and continued working. Moments later, I heard my boss call my name. I turned around and he said, “Come on.” Trying to hide the truth, I told him I wasn’t hungry and was going to stay back and get work done.
Without hesitation he responded, “It’s Thanksgiving. Lunch is on me.” He was so sweet that I couldn’t pass up his offer. Plus, I was hungry, very hungry. Water doesn’t fill you up like food does. I stepped out in the hallway to walk with him. We took a few steps and he stopped me. As I turned to him, he took something out of his pocket and handed it to me. It was $100 gift card to the grocery store.
Immediately my eyes filled with tears. I gave him a hug and thanked him profusely. I was so surprised and touched by his generosity. Never in my life had anyone done something like that for me. Who was I to get such a gift? With such joy in my heart and immense gratitude, I walked with my boss to the cafeteria.
As we walked through the line, I watched him smile as he bought my lunch. It took everything in me to keep from crying. We joined our fellow coworkers and enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch together.
To this day, the kindness that he showed me is still fresh in my memory and in my heart. He didn’t have to give to me. I never asked him for it, never even mentioned that I was in need. But he knew and he gave out of his own pocket and his own heart.
This morning, a man in the store reminded me of him. So I hurried home, looked him up on the internet, and found him! He’s on a social networking site. I sent him a message and am hoping to hear back from him. If he responds, I will tell him: “Hello Sir. I just want to thank you again for the kindness you showed me and the gift you gave to my son and I 13 years ago. I have never forgotten. Thank you.”
When you show unconditional kindness to someone, the impact it makes on that person may be greater than you could ever imagine. If you’ve given to someone out of the kindness of your heart, whether it be monetarily or even a hug, I’d like to say “Thank you.”