Stories My Sister Tells

I have a great imagination. I owe it to my sister Karen who developed and nurtured it while we were kids. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of her having me close my eyes while she told wonderful and elaborately descriptive stories that I would imagine in my mind’s eye. We still talk about my favorite stories of the train rides through a tunnel that was speckled with glittering jewels of every kind. The train adventure was different with every telling except that it always made it through that tunnel.

It’s probably not a coincidence that my sister and I both love to write. I can’t say that it’s a direct result of our creative imaginations, but I have a strong suspicion that writing is an outlet for the crazy and wild ideas we dream up in our heads. Until I launched this blog I have rarely shared my writing with others. My sister, however, has been brave enough to put herself out there for quite some time. While working for a hospital physicians’ group long ago, she and her co-workers were encouraged to submit written examples of the organization’s core values in practice. The following was a submission my sister wrote and then shared with me.

While shopping in my local grocery store many years ago I witnessed an act of kindness I have never forgotten, and it changed me as a person.

A slim, tiresome man who looked to be in his late thirties was shopping. He took his time placing two or three items in his cart. As he shopped he would take one item out and replace it with another, being careful to select only the items a few dollars would buy. From his appearance it was clear that he didn’t have much money. His jeans were faded and dirty, and his skin was tanned and aged.

Another shopper took note of the man, watching his actions quite closely. The woman seemed to forget about her own shopping to study the man while slowly following him from aisle to aisle. Then, as the man momentarily stepped away from his cart, the woman quickly placed something in it. As I walked by I could see it was a twenty-dollar bill.

Driving home from the grocery store, I saw the man again. He was on the side of the road hitchhiking. In his left hand was a grocery bag, and in his right was a Coke. I smiled and hoped the twenty dollars had bought the man a little extra food, and perhaps made his day a little brighter.

I will never forget that day or that man. But, what impacted me the most was the woman was my mother.

Do something kind for someone; it will impact more people than you know.

Like you, I was unfamiliar with the story until I read it. Very likely, there may be members of my family that will read this post and hear the story for the first time as well. I hope it resonates with them as much as it did with me.

As a side note, I want to point out that technically I did not write anything about my mother on this blog.

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