Today, I want to do something a little different.
I want to tell you a story…
When I was young, around 10 or so, I remember squirming in the front seat next to my mother as our Ford Torino Squire station wagon hummed along the gravel road leading to Mrs. J’s house.
From my seat, I saw her warped wrap-around porch come into focus as our car rolled to a stop.
Unlocking the rear door, my mother directed me to gather the stacked bags brimming with food as she headed toward the elderly woman and her two dogs that waited for us from the porch steps.
The bags were bulky in my arms as I quickened my pace to catch up to my mother.
“Now, Louise, you shouldn’t have driven all the way out here… ” Mrs. J began before my mother cut her off.
“It’s nothing,” my mother replied. “We just had a little extra from dinner.”
Mrs. J graciously accepted the bags from my arms, before waving us in to her withered home to talk.
Over the years, my mother would continue to bring me on her visits to Mrs. J.’s house – dropping off a box of clothes here, a meal there, or bags of groceries when needed.
And I’m forever grateful that she did this for two reasons.
First, their budding friendship would bail me out of a pressure-packed social situation decades later.
But, more importantly, by taking me along on her trips to Mrs. J’s house, she taught me the value of helping others with actions – something that spoke much louder than a lecture or words ever could.