The snowball I have rolling with my columns about simple acts of kindness people show to one another continues to gain momentum. I continue to receive touching stories by mail, e-mail and on our Web site at www.denpubs.com. All have been heartwarming and inspirational, but one stood out above the rest this week.
That's because it was a letter from the woman who was the inspiration for my first column.
In that column I spoke about how Rebecca Ives of Crown Point had submitted a letter to the editor about how she had been approached by a woman on a sweltering hot day this summer as she sat outside the post office in a van with her three children.
The woman pressed a $50 bill into her hand and said, "Here is a little something for you to take your kids somewhere nice and cool today. I think God wanted me to bless you today."
Rebecca wanted the unidentified woman to know she and her three children did in fact take her up on the offer, and had a wonderful afternoon thanks to her act of kindness.
Rebecca also wondered if the woman could afford the generous gesture.
Well, Rebecca, here is your answer:
I am the woman who helped you that hot day at the post office, your letter to the editor moved me to tears and I want to respond to your question, "I wondered if she really could've afforded it."
I get $455 a month in Social Security, my husband $1,094. We will celebrate our 50th anniversary in March and in all those 49 plus years the Lord has blessed us and never failed to provide for all our needs.
Last December, my sister gave me $50 to "do something special," and it has sat in my wallet until the day I saw your car with the children in it at the post office. Many times I almost bought something with it, but I wanted it to be something really special, something that I would remember and would bring me pleasure. Nothing ever did, until that day.
God spoke to my heart when I saw the children in your car on that very hot day. I knew you had your hands full, and the thought of being able to help you take them somewhere cool where they could have fun was overwhelming. I couldn't wait to give it to you. The joy your letter brought me is by far the best "purchase" I could have made, so to answer your question, "could I afford it?" The answer is ... I couldn't afford not to!
May God bless you.
The woman asked to remain anonymous.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications. You can share your stories of simple acts of kindness with him at www.denpubs.com, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 14 Hand Ave., Elizabethtown N.Y. 12932.