Friday, March 18, 2016

Random Acts of Kindness Week #3--Flowers for a Stranger

The kids and I bought a bouquet of flowers.  It didn't cost much, but it sure looked amazing with pinks and oranges amongst baby's breath.  

    We vowed to give it to the first woman we saw outside.  My four kids and I listened to rock music as we drove around for a while.
    "I hope we'll see someone soon,"  my daughter--The Scribe said, so excited to give the flowers away.  I thought of what a prankster she can be, yet what a sweetheart.  She's the same kid who put fake cat poop on her teacher's chair, but the same girl who held our Labrador forever after the vet put her to sleep.
    As we searched for the right person to give the flower to, the Hippie, my second oldest, prayed despite the fact that I never bring her to church.  Some things must come naturally.
    Maybe her prayer worked, because right after that, The Scribe spotted a woman checking a metal business mailbox.  "That's her!  She's The One!"
    The "mailbox checker" may have laughed at that statement; it sure cracked the Hell outta me.  I'd like being called "The One."    
    "She looks so sad, checking all those letters," the Hippie said, drawing me from my thoughts.
    "Bet those letters are bills," The Scribe said.
    I pulled up to the curb and stopped the car.  "I'll be right back, kids.  Stay put.  Just watch through the windows."
    I ran up to the woman, because being stealthy isn't one of my gifts.  As I ran closer, the woman looked a bit shaken.  Note to self: if I'm gonna keep doing these random acts of kindness, I need to work on my approach. 
    So many thoughts went through my mind.  Was she a nurse?  She wore scrubs.  Was she really worried about a scrawny, white girl hurting her?  And lastly, why did she look so damn terrified AND sad?
    "These are for you!" I sputtered, holding the flowers toward her.  Then I had to bend over and catch my breath.  I started laughing really hard because the whole thing seemed hopelessly ridiculous.  It was freezing and my breath drifted out in these huge wafts.  The woman's eyebrows knitted in confusion.  "Sorry." I smiled, standing up straight. "My kids and I are trying to do a random acts of kindness once a week.  I know it sounds crazy.  I got these special. . . . These flowers are for you."
    I held them out to her again and after a moment her eyes sparkled.  She hugged that bouquet so tenderly.  "Really?"
    "Yep.  Well, see ya!"
    I turned and sprinted back to the van.  
    "She's so happy," the kids squealed, watching the woman walk behind a gray-brick building.  Even my youngest kid seemed excited.
    The traffic was terrible and I swear we waited at the stop sign for longer than Methuselah lived.
    Then as we turned, The Scribe pointed in astonishment.  "She's a vet.  Look!  She's on the other side of the building.  Holding those flowers."
    The woman, still beaming, opened a vet hospital's door and walked inside.  My heart stopped as I looked at the vet hospital.  We'd been there before, years ago with our beautiful Labrador.
    "And ya know. She kind of looks familiar," The Scribe said, confirming my thoughts.
    I had to blink away the tears because in that moment I realized who the woman was; she's the same person who selflessly helped console The Scribe the day our Labrador passed away.