Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pass It On

I was blog hopping tonight and ended up reading a post that reminded me of something that happened a long time ago.

My mom owned and ran a hardware store. One day a young man came in looking quite forlorn. She asked him what was wrong and he told her that a hose on his car had broken, draining the anti-freeze. He was on his way to a job interview in a city about 100 miles away and didn't have the money to pay for car repairs because he had been out of work for some time.

Mom had the necessary hose and antifreeze on hand and together they managed to fix the car. When the young man asked how much he owed her she told him there was no charge and handed him enough money for gas, food and lodging for the next several days.

It was quite a bit of money and he didn't want to take it, but finally did. He asked for the address so he could repay her and mom told him to pass it on by doing something nice for someone else some day.

Many, many years later my dad broke down on the road during a raging blizzard. Although the highway was virtually deserted, a man stopped and offered to help. When the two men determined that they couldn't fix the car, he gave my dad a ride in to the next large town to call for help.

While they were driving, the man told my dad that he always stopped to help stranded travelers because of a woman who had helped him when he was young, asking only that he pass it on.

21 comments:

butterfly girl said...

I have heard stories like this before and you gotta think that they are being made up. (I'm not calling you a liar!) It's just soooo weird it's unbelievable. Let this be a lesson that what goes around really does come around!!!! Great story.

Mary said...

THAT is almost incredible. Wow. I believe you, though. This gave me the shivers.

Laurie said...

Butterfly, Montana isn't a very heavily populated state. Even now there are fewer than 1,000,000 inhabitants and back then there were probably only 800,000 or so.

The man that my mom helped told my dad that he had gotten the job he was interviewing for and had worked his way up to area salesman. The job required travel throughout the area where mom and dad lived. So it isn't quite as strange as it sounds.

Mary, to me it's just nice to know that a simple act of kindness was remembered and passed on. I'd like to think that maybe a few of the people that he helped, also helped others.

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

Wow! That is amazing. Its the kind of story that makes you realise that what you do, the little things, make a difference.

That man didn't pay it forward once. It changed his whole approach to motorists in need.

Thanks for the happy tidings!
xx
pinks

Ginnie said...

I love that philosophy and try to put it into use whenever possible.

Laurie said...

Pink, my mom did a lot of things like that. She was a great lady.

Ginnie, that doesn't surprise me at all!

Within Without said...

Wow...do you think it really could be him? Or definitely IS him?

Talk about paying it forward...and forward...and forward...

Laurie said...

WW, it was definitely him. During the drive, he described what happened in great detail to my dad. He even remembered my mom's (unusual) name.

He said that her kindness had turned his life completely around and that he would never forget what she had done for him. I know it sounds unbelievable, but that is what happened. :)

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

That's a wonderful story that illustrates the power of kindness and our comic connectedness. For years, each time I have given someone something and they have said that they are unable to repay me, I simply say, "Pass it on to someone in need when you are able."

Ginnie said...

Laurie: What I meant on my blog about Grandpa's 1938 car was that yours sounds interesting and I thought YOU should write a blog about it.

Laurie said...

Nick, that is a great way to be and it does not surprise me at all that you do that kind of thing.

Ginnie, I'll try to do that in the near future.

MsLittlePea said...

wow! That's beautiful

Potato Print said...

Hi dmmgmfm,

I love the story. Your mom sounds like a special person. It's rare to close the circle of kindness like that. How wonderful.

I had a kind of similar experience when my dad passed. At his memorial service, people got up and told so many stories about his generosity. These were stories that my dad had never shared with us.

Laurie said...

Mspea, you are right, mom was really special. She did so much for so many without asking for anything in return.

Potatoprint, your dad sounds like a wonderful, humble man.

Anvilcloud said...

I have to think highly of both your mother and the guy. He learned something valuable that that. Some wouldn't.

jen said...

goosebumps. i love stories like this, when it all comes full circle.

Laurie said...

AC, I agree, the man could have taken the money and forgotten all about it, but he didn't. Instead he chose to pass it on, repeatedly. It says a lot about him, doesn't it?

Jen, thanks for stopping by. I hope M is feeling much better.

Pam said...

I love this story, makes you wonder. It brings to mind the movie "Pay it Forward" based on the same premise.

Laurie said...

Pam, it sure does. That movie made me cry...just thinking about it does.

Dave said...

What a great story. It emphasises that the universe gives back to us what it gets. Your mother was very instrumental in providing for all of us, through you, this lesson. How many times do these type of things happen in our lives and we do not notice them. Kindness and love for another human being is what we are here for this is yet another example of what happens when we exercise the kindness option
Thank You,

Cuppa said...

Gave me goosebumps.