Blown away by kindness

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Have you ever been blown away by the kindness of someone when you least expected it?  Quite recently three friends and I had just such a ‘wow’ experience.

We four ladies are all old age pensioners and I have the privilege of using a car which belongs to my daughter. I pay for the petrol, but she pays the upkeep. This is a blessing for us all as we travel together on various occasions. At age seventy four, I still have an added income by doing deliveries and collections for my daughter.

The eldest among us lives in an old age home and seldom has the opportunity to go out. She has the least but always wants to share what little she has. Less than five feet tall, she is hard of hearing, with more than her share of aches and pains. Despite her eighty nine years and having to hold onto a little push cart that she also uses as a chair whenever necessary, she still has a lot of spunk!

The second eldest of our group is a diabetic with very poor eyesight. She also suffers from bad circulation and has undergone a series of operations to speed up the healing of her foot, so she was still limping a bit. She also gives without hesitation.

I am the third eldest. Of the four of us I think I have been in the wrong queue as far as having a giving spirit is concerned. I have prayed about it often but many times have felt rotten when I don’t respond so freely and immediately as others. This reminds me of what CS Lewis said in his book Mere Christianity. The one thing he realised was that nine times out of ten it would be charity that tripped him up and he struggled with that the most. I could relate to that. However, the youngest of the four of us has such a compassion and heart for others that I feel inspired and humbled.

Well for once I decided not to look at my budget and suggested to the other two that we visit the 89 year old and take her for a drive around Camps Bay and Llandudno. This is a spectacular scenic drive on the west side of the Cape Peninsula. It was a beautiful day and we stopped for a while at Llandudno so she could sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. It was such a pleasure to see her enjoying it so much.

We realised it was getting late and decided to return. We soon learnt everybody else had the same idea as we travelled for the last few kilometres into Camps Bay at about five km per hour.

I spotted a Primi Piati Restaurant, overlooking the sea and at the same time saw a parking spot which I turned into immediately. While the others waited in the car, I went in to see whether there was a table available for us. It was around five o’clock and fortunately most of the tables were empty.

Normally I would pay for everything and we would sort out the money matters afterwards.

The eldest lady was enjoying the view and her ice cream so much that it was a pleasure just to watch her.  I can’t recall what we talked about but it was very likely about faith and food, particularly the price of food. We sometimes had to raise our voices so she could join in the conversation.

I asked Nigel our waiter, to bring me the tab which he did. Before I could write, still trying to figure out the gratuity, he took it back and said, “No you don’t have to pay, this is on me.” In spite of my objections, he was adamant that we were not going to pay. The youngest lady jumped up and said, “Do you mind if I give you a hug?” I also hugged him, because we were all so overwhelmed by his generosity.

The staff helped the four of us down the steps and out by the door.

On the way back we couldn’t stop talking about what happened. I was once again given a lesson in giving!