My sister, Amy, and her son Ben (8) were holiday shopping at an outdoor shopping center the other day and it was freezing outside.
They approached a store with a Salvation Army bell ringer out front. My sister is in school full-time, so her family is watching every penny right now, but, still, as she walked toward the woman, she looked in her purse for some money Ben could put in the bucket.
Then she noticed something: cold hands. And remembered something: a warm heart.
Years ago, Amy was with our Mammaw Ruth – who is no longer with us – in a similar situation: My grandmother spoke to a woman bell ringer and pointed out to my sister that the woman’s hands must be freezing. She and my sister went into the mall and my grandmother bought her a scarf and gloves and gave them her.
Struck by the memory and the moment, Amy and Ben did the same that day.
She called to tell me how she wished the gloves she bought her were warmer, and how much she misses our Mammaw. I listened to her tell me the story and was totally moved. I wasn’t with her when Mammaw did that, so it was neat to hear how a random act of kindness impacted her, and how she paid it forward with her son.
Sometimes it’s hard to find ways to teach little kids to be thoughtful and kind. I thought this was a perfect example. All those years ago, my grandmother (unintentionally) planted a seed that bloomed many years after she was gone, and I think that’s really cool.
Bravo, Ruth Hamrick! And bravo, Sis – way to follow a great example and lead by it!
Merry Christmas, Friends.