Saturday, March 6, 2010

Encouragement

I drove down to pick up Cara for spring break. Her car, Adolfo, had been towed home a few weeks back because it was overheating. Turned out to be a minor fix, and Tim got it squared away in no time. However, Cara was too busy to bum a ride home with someone, so Adolfo stayed with us for a time. I drove him back down to pick her up. The two of them had a joyous little reunion.

We headed back with a car load of dirty laundry and necessaries that all girls her age travel with. We stopped at McDonalds for lunch because she was starving and had not yet had her first coffee. While I was eating my yogurt, Cara said, "Oh, mom, I saw the saddest thing in the middle of the night, right here in this McDonalds." And she went on to relate a story about coming to the McDonalds in the middle of the night to see a woman pull in with three little children. The oldest, about seven, was trying to be a helper. The younger ones were tired and whining. The mother looked exhausted. "No Happy Meals," she said, but they each got a small fry and a sandwich from the dollar menu, and they all shared a large drink. And the kids fretted. They were moving across the state and they still had a ways to go. Cara looked at me. "Mom, all I could think of was when we moved back from Michigan." Nothing more was said, the two of us lost in our own memories. I remembered how afraid I was. Cara continued. "I bought them all a Happy Meal prize, and I took them to the table. The mother was so embarrassed. I told her that my mother loaded up three kids and moved us from Michigan to Pennsylvania. I told her that it would be okay."

It made wonder what that mom thought when the pretty college girl showed up at her table. I hope that she was able to look at Cara, so strong and confident in herself, her good, good heart so plainly displayed. I hope that she looked at this girl telling her, 'It will be okay,' and saw her own children growing up into good people, relatively unscathed by this time. I hope she saw a glimpse of the wonderful possibilities for her own life, for her kids. I hope that when she drove off into the night with her kids and everything she owned, that she had the glimmers of a new hope uncurling in her weary heart, new dreams of new possibilities. I hope that when she drove off, she was encouraged.

10 comments:

quid said...

She does have a good, good heart. Not many people stop to try and inspire some hope. Goodonya, Cara.

Adolfo?

quid

Debby said...

Yeah. Adolfo. Don't ask me why. Also don't ask me questions about the dashboard of truth. I don't understand that either. She has a good heart. We'll just leave it at that.

Mary Paddock said...

That is an extraordinary thing for Cara to do. What a good heart she has. Gee, I wonder where she got that from? :)

Kelly said...

A chip off the old block. No, wait...I didn't mean you were old!! You know what I mean.

Good for Cara! You have a right to be proud of her.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

What a caring young lady your daughter is.

Chez said...

Deb I cannot help but feel that Cara has the heart of an angel. Just like her precious Mom..

Bob said...

When we see our children do things like this, our hearts swell. She did great. I know you're proud of her.

Redlefty said...

Powerful.

Scotty said...

That's great, Debby - a wonderful thing that Cara did. In many years to come, one or more of those kids might be talking to their own kids about a random act of kindness that occurred long ago...

:-)

PaintedPromise said...

i have been absent from blogger for a while but trying to catch up... i am so glad i went back far enough to see this post.

you have once again brought tears to my eyes!!!

please tell Cara that i am in awe of her good heart! what a special person she is...

it doesn't take much to say something like that, but it sure means a LOT to the person who hears it!!! been on both sides... so i am trying to be the "sayer" a lot more often these days!!! in this troubled world, we need more Caras!!!!