Monday, November 5, 2012

44 Acts of Kindness: A reply

One of Cooper's teachers last year was Jana.

Jana's sister is Amy.

Amy and her family live in Missouri.

Yesterday afternoon I posted this note from Amy:

"My husband and I paid for the people behind us at Mc Donald's in Ozark, MO. Later today, we are taking dinner to our next door neighbor whose wife is in the hospital.

I forgot to print the note to leave at the drive thru this morning, so I had to hand write the message. I only know this man & family through my sister, Jana Shilson. However, his story has impacted my life two years in a row now. I was reading the note aloud for my husband as I was writing and couldn't finish for the tears starting to build. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful mission! Prayers for you and your family from all the way in Missouri! :)"

A few hours later, I received this note (reprinted with permission):

Hello Mrs. Damm,

My name is Maria S., I am eighteen years old and I live in St.Louis. Last night I went to springfield to visit my friends who go to Missouri State. This morning as I was getting ready to leave springfield and come home I stopped by McDonalds to get some food. I was dreading the 3 hour drive home and I had to buy gas that wasn't cheap. Being a college student, I am basically broke. My dad just lost his job and my mom does her best to keep our family finacially stable with her job. I have two older sisters who are in college also. As I was waiting in the drive through I kept thinking about how stressed I was about school and how I didn't really need the mcdonalds and that the money I was spending on it could be used for something more important. The car in front of me seemed to be taking a while to pick up their food and pay and I just wanted to get on the road and be home. When it was my turn to go up to pay at the window the lady working there said to me, "The man in the car in front of you has paid for your meal and wants me to give you this" and she handed me a note (attached to this email) that explained why he decided to pay for my meal and told me about Steve. My day was made and I was in complete shock. As an 18 year old, I needed something as small as that to open my eyes and see the truly beautiful people out in the world. Steve was watching over me, a stranger to him, at that moment and all I could do was smile. All my stress was gone and I was in a better mood. I'm not sure if you know the man who did that act of kindness for me, but if you do tell him I said thank you. It truly did mean the world to me. Steve and the family are all in my prayers and it feels great to know that he is up in heaven watching over everyone with a warm heart. I learned how great of a guy he was just in that short note. I am inspired to keep his legacy going and I will do many acts of kindness in memory of him.

I am also sorry for your loss. I have experienced a heartbreaking loss this summer. I understand what it means to have a life cut so short. My boyfriend of over an year lost his little brother this summer. He was hit and killed by a train at 14 years old, only two days into his summer vacation. His name is Cam V. and he reminds me a lot of Steve. He always put others before him and made sure people felt great about themselves. He would stick up for the kids being bullied and tell the young girls with self esteem issues that they were amazing and beautiful. His smile was perfect and he used that to help many people through tough times. The pain is unbearable, but I know that he is in a better place. He is watching over everyone and still making sure that everyone feels loved. Today made me feel amazing knowing that Cam and Steve are up in heaven together shining down on us and doing amazing things. They are both greatly missed.

Thank you,
Maria S.

Thank you, Amy, for taking care of a stranger! And thank you, Maria, for sharing your story!


Anonymous said...

That is absolutely beautiful - thanks for sharing it with us!

Anonymous said...

Inscribed on the bench that was dedicated in Steve's memory is "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" -Micah 6:8
All of you who have participated and continue to do generous acts of kindness in Steve's memory are living images of this message. Thank you.

Stacey said...

Wow. I'm bawling my eyes out now.