You don’t owe me a thing…

Last night on my way home from picking up the kids, I was met with a very welcome and selfless act of kindness. Strangely the couple didn’t know all the days events and that I needed the gesture. They probably just saw a mom pulling up in a BMW and paying for gas with change…

Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too. (courtesy of
-Frederick Buechner

No…..I’m not broke, or not any more broke than everyone trying to raise children, work, and balancing life issues… I forgot my cards and ID at home in Mancos (27 miles away). No biggy….

But, this particular day had been stressful…yes-I had some drama. When I left home to pick up my children, my mind was engaged in the day…the month…. I wasn’t suffering, just deep in thought and somewhat anxiously melancholy (if that’s possible).

I decide to drive into town before picking up my daughter from pre-school since it was a long trip and it’s safer to keep her there…Especially in the fall where the top of the hour is Deer o’clock and the bottom, Elk Thirty. I looked at the clock and thought “okay, four o’clock. That gives me enough time to go and come back…no problem.” Then I get in my car, press the range button to determine how many miles I can go before I run out of gas…figuring I want to get it in Durango because it’s cheaper there than Mancos…. I had 50 miles based on my average fuel economy. Good to go! I had my coffee, my phone and ….obviously left my head up my arse again :(

I get to the Park where my youngest son was and saw nobody….just the lonely field with leaves blowing and …..nothing.

I thought to myself ………………………………….”Oh No!”

I had been following the news of the 6 year old boy abducted from Nevada and  knew that normally the child never gets home….and thought it was happening. My oldest son and I walked around the park, looked everywhere. Went through the nearby school and didn’t know where he would be. Wondering, where would he have gone? How long was he alone? When did his friends leave? Did I just miss the abduction?

My son last month“Stealthy Lizard” sitting in a life sized Jeep at his Dad’s work last month.

Suddenly, I see him sitting on a park bench with his friends getting ready for cake still celebrating the birthday party. Nonchalantly saying “Hi mom.” when I came to him.  Apparently the boys were shooting rockets and landed one on the roof of the adjacent school. The Mom and boys tried to find a way to retrieve it through the school…and we just missed the pack of kids…over and over and over again.

Now…it’s 5:17 and pre-school closes at 5:30. I’m out of gas and 30 miles away. So….pre-school got the “gonna be late” call and I drive get gas……and no money.

So, My oldest and I dug for “silver change” and came up with a $5.00 and voila…..we had enough $ to get home. Not as needy as we looked. Especially since Mom had to turn the car around because she drove up on the wrong side of the pump…..AGAIN!

But this couple….kind hearted and generous….unpretentious and warm…gave me the gas left prepaid that they said “wouldn’t fit” in their tank. The gentleman said, “We all have been there”. And I was stunned, dumfounded, only vaguely hearing myself saying “Thank you so much….” and wanting to start crying. It wasn’t the money I needed-it was the kindness. It made me feel like everything was going to be all right….and that life is just a series of very special moments.

They didn’t know that. They may have just thought that I looked haggared and tired and …stressed and needed the money, maybe? Since I am normally “together” and appear “competent”, I am not a recipient of charity-so I don’t know what they saw. But it felt good to receive the kindness and concern of another person. It taught me something….it meant something…

Maybe that couple will run across this post and contact me so I can pay them back and thank them properly.

Joe Nichols – If Nobody Believed In You

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