THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

It was Christmas time
I was shopping with my kids
aged two and a half and six months
the Chicago weather was brutal
ice, wind, freezing temperatures and snow
the parking lot was packed
I got us into the car
packages included
and turned the key
nothing happened
I tried again
nothing happened
my battery was dead
I pulled the kids out of the car
so I could run back into the store
and make a phone call
when an older gentleman
standing by the bumper of the car
parked nose to nose with mine said,
“Problem?”
“Dead battery, ” I laughed. “And I just spent all my money on gifts.”
When I got back to my car
a tow truck was waiting for me
he said he was there to jump my battery
I said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t call you. I can’t pay you.”
He said, “It’s already paid for. The man who called me paid the bill. He said
to tell you Merry Christmas and that he would want someone to help
his daughter if she needed it.”
That was so many, many years ago
but I’ll never forget that unexpected kindness and gift of love
I never got to thank him in person
but I think of him often
I tell others about him
I send him love all the time
I can still see him
he wasn’t much taller than I was
he was wearing a long light colored overcoat
and a real hat from the 40s
I think he was holding gloves
he was very calm
the weather didn’t seem to bother him
but I guess all of that is normal
for an angel wearing a human suit

Gigi

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