This week I'm taking part in a:Source: schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca -
Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest
And although I spent my entire life watching my parents bestowing this very sort of kindness on complete strangers, I'd never been the recipient of such selfless & overwhelming compassion...
Until one very cold December night.
That night our family was struck with a tragedy that changed us all. My sister's 30-year old husband was killed in a horrific & senseless accident.
Now, my sister & I had fought like cats & dogs as kids, I mean really fought, as in my father insisted at one point that we take turns sharing in family meals so he wouldn't have a coronary.
My brother delivered the news to me in person and I screamed at him.
My brother offered me a lift, but he was leaving to go in the morning and I needed to get to my sister NOW.
It was early evening, she was a 5-hour drive away and my boyfriend of the time and I had no car. But we had friends.
When Andre, the boyfriend, realized how crazed I was to get there, he called Kathy & Greg (who had a car). They rushed over to our apartment, but due to the extreme cold outside, their car was not working properly. Andre suggested that if we could only make it to his brother's house an hour away, we could then borrow his Jeep.
Turns out, Kathy & Greg had a friend who lived in our building.
His name was Mark.
Mark worked at the airport which was about halfway to Andre's brother's place. They made the call & Mark who was supposed to work the midnight shift agreed to drive us to Andre's brother's place.
You'd think that was kind enough--driving an extra hour for complete strangers. But Mark was about to take a trip he never expected.
When we arrived at the brother's garage, the Jeep would not start either. Seriously!
And so, we began the drive back toward the highway where a right turn would bring us back in the direction of the airport where Mark worked and Halifax where Andre & I lived.
And, here's where things (and by things, I mean me) got a little crazy.
Quite calmly, I announced to Andre & Mark that when we got to the highway, Mark could drop me off.
Andre looked at me, and then exchanged a look with Mark (good grief, the look said, she's lost her mind).
"Look, I'm one hour closer to my sister & there's no way I'm backtracking. I'll hitchhike. [It was -18 degrees celsius]
We kept driving until we got to the highway, at which point I said: "This is good - you can drop me off here."
Mark & Andre exchanged another look & Mark turned his signal light....
...going left...going in the direction of my sister, not toward the airport where he was scheduled to work in less than an hour.
We stopped once in a town called Truro so that Mark could call his boss to let him know he had a mad woman in his car that needed to get to Cape Breton. He would therefore be missing his shift.
This complete stranger, Mark, drove us to Cape Breton so that I could reach my sister.
It was both the saddest & most beautiful thing that's happened to me in my life.
Mark, wherever you are, I hope you know that your kindness will never be forgotten.
Thank you, thank you, a million times: