We’ve lived in our house for three years now. There is a convenience store down the road and handy for EVERYTHING. Gas, treats, sweets, snacks. There is a gentleman who works there, and when I stop in for my eggs, grapes, or goat cheese we exchange words.
I pay for my things and say, “Have a good day.”
“You too, and remember make it a good day, no matter what.”
I’ve been having this pleasant conversation two-three times a week with Dave. I’d guess he should be retired, but he’s working full time, the early a.m. shift and giving kindness daily to those in their daily rush.
Sunday, I was in the basement with the urge to spring clean. My daughter was suddenly behind me, her arms open and tears falling. She startled me. “I just read a card from Gram.” Her crying immediately became more intense. Gram has been in the hospital for the past month with sickness. Her body slow, fighting and wanting to quit. The battle of holding on. I held Chloe and asked what the card had said. She didn’t want to say and immediately I suggested, “Go get dressed, we will go visit.”
Chloe straightened herself, dressed, mascara. We left the house and she said, “Oh, I forgot something!” I replied, “I’ll stop at Sheetz.” I got some gas in my jeep, she ran in. Comes out and hops in and says to me, “Well that man in there made me feel better,” with a slightly less sadness in her voice.
I responded, “A guy? Was his name Dave by chance?”
“Did he say, remember.. make it a good day, no matter what?!”
Chloe responded, “Yes.”
The impact we have on others is so significant, even when we don’t realize it.
Gram, 78, she has been struggling with her health for quite some time now. For my daughters, this is their great-grandmother on their dad’s side. They have grown up to the ages 12 and 16 and being close to her. She overspends on them for holidays and birthdays. That Sunday we went to visit, she kept saying to the girls, “Sing me a song!” She sang Silent Night with us, quiet and raspy. The girls harmonized to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner, as their grandmother began to find comfort in song. Demanding, bossy as I always remembered she was. Confusion because of the lack of oxygen getting into her blood. It’s been a sad few months. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, “this is my ex’s family, but this wasn’t about me or the past.. this is the now and family is family.” Life is so fragile.
It was two days later and I was rushing to work. I had to stop for something. Yes, familiar faces behind the counter and I wanted to be sure to say Hi, and then I remembered how Mr. Dave impacted my daughter the few days previous. He was there. I said, “Hey I need to share something with you,” reaching to touch his hand. I’m telling him that my daughter had come in sad days ago right before visiting her ill great-grandmother. How she was feeling broken, fearing death soon. “You had said what you share to everyone daily.” I was choking up explaining, and saying to him, “Just so you know .. you here, you make a difference in the lives of others.”
Dave said, “Now you’re going to make me cry.”
Isn’t it amazing we get this one life and energy to give? We get to chose daily how we give to others. What a responsibility.
“You have a good day .. and remember, no matter what.” (and I REALLY mean that!)