Tales From A Twin Mom:
Pay It Forward
A couple of weeks ago I was in line at a mega store and overheard the couple in front of me discussing what they had in their cart. Their conversation was in Spanish and I sincerely believe they did not have a clue that I spoke the language. As I stood there I was flabbergasted as this couple discussed what they would have to leave behind if the total came up to be too high. On the belt there were diapers, wipes and a container of formula. It took them 3 minutes to agree that they couldn’t go without formula (although she did suggest she might be able to water it down a little) or diapers but that they could possibly wipe the baby with a wash cloth or something else. As they spoke I noticed the woman’s voice crack. You could just feel how desperate their situation was. As they spoke I couldn’t help but look at my side of the belt. I had a couple of food items, a dog toy and a couple of more things that were far from being a necessity. As the cashier rang them up and told the gentleman the total, he looked over at his wife and told her to put the wipes back. I could not, for the life of me let that happen. I went into my wallet and gave that family the $20 that they needed. As they walked away you can just feel the relief in the air. Of course they thanked me profusely and I simply smiled. I didn’t do it for the recognition. I did it because I could. I did it because we have all gone through hard times. We’ve all had to, at one point or another, look at our expenses and cut back on things. That was my pay it forward to the world. I gave to those that didn’t have because I have walked that road.
Late last night I found myself in a situation that I had never been in before. I was driving back home alone when the gas light came on. I immediately looked at my GPS to see if I could possibly make it home without stopping but it would have been impossible. I took an exit to a back road that I knew had a gas station and I stopped. As I went to open the gas gage the lid popped off and unattached from the inner part. I could not open the gas gage and I could not drive away because I would not make it. As I was trying to screw the inner part off a truck with four guys pulled up and one came directly to me to ask what the problem was. I explained to him what happened but knew this was a very bad idea. Out of the car came three guys that were half drunk to join the discussion. As the one gentleman tried to unscrew the lid the others surrounded me asking me why a lady like me was out at that time and where was the party that I was headed to. I felt in my bones that something would happen. I went inside the gas station and asked the cashier if he could help me and all I got was “You’re on your own” as he locked the door behind me. He. Locked. The. Door. Behind. Me. As I walked over to my car again, a young man at a different pump called me over. I don’t know what possessed me to go over there but this young man just seemed good. He told me he was not going over to my car because he knew it would break out into a fight but that he had taken a picture of the other car’s license plate and he was not driving off until I did. As I teared up he said “I got your back. If I see that they turn the same way you do – I will follow.”
The other men got the lid off and I filled the car with a ridiculous amount. I think it was something along the lines of $5.00- just enough to get me home but fast enough to leave. As I pulled away I thanked the gentleman who waited for me. He had been my angel.
The point that I’m trying to get across is that somehow – in whatever way possible we should pay it forward. Let’s be humble and think back to when we needed someone. Be kind. You never know when your turn will arise and someone will pay it forward to you.
To that young man in the car blaring the rap music – I thank you from the very bottom of my heart and I hope and pray that one day someone (if not me) can pay it forward to you.