Once and while you meet people and share experiences that shape they way you view the world and they forever stick with you. I wont lie, I seem to have many of those moments but that I had last week will stay with me forever! I really can’t get it out of my head and I know you will be blessed by this story…so here it goes:
My children and I were running some errands for Club YES and they were really hungry but I didn’t have any cash on me so I called a friend at a local soup kitchen. I like to go there and help the kitchen manager out and he provides us with bread and bakery goods to give to children in need. It was about to be lunch time there, so we thought we would come and help serve and my kids could eat afterward. At first the kids were a little nervous playing waiter and waitress but they quickly started to really enjoy serving everyone their meal of spaghetti and meatballs, green beans, garlic bread and chocolate chip cookies. while my daughter Regan was serving one gentleman his lunch he tried to tip her a five dollar bill. She tried to decline politely but he refused to take no for an answer and ended up tossing the money towards her since she would not come take it from him. She graciously picked it up and went over to him, shook his hand and said “thank you”. He told her that she was doing a very good thing serving everyone their meal today and he wanted to do something to give back too.
After the children served the meals we went in a small connected room and waited for everyone to finish. We were soon joined by a sweet woman who is 67 years old and has suffered two brain hemorrhages. I know this because she reminds me every time we see her. She was telling the children that she had a horrible singing voice before the brain hemorrhages but afterward she could sing like an Angel. Then she started to sing praises to God. It was so cute and I chuckled to myself because you could hear the joy she received from singing praises to God. Of course it was not the angelic voice she may think she has but maybe it wasn’t the quality of her voice she was referring too, maybe it was the attitude in which she sang it that was Angelic. As we were sitting and listening to her sing that gentleman, David came and sat with us. We thanked him one more time for his generous tip. He was very hard of hearing and mumbled when he spoke. I think he was somewhere between 50 and 60 years old but the sun and so much time outside has aged him and it was hard for me to tell how old he was. Because of his hearing loss he often though we were saying things different then what was actually said and we would have to repeat ourselves. He thought he heard our sweet “angel voiced” friend say that she was broke. She did not say that, but he blurted out “your broke?, oh hunny, let me help you”. Here is a man who is homeless, gave $5 to my daughter for serving him a meal that we were so happy to give him and now he is pulling out every little scrap piece of paper from his pockets to find his very last $5 bill. He handed that woman his last $5 and she held it in her hands and began to weep. Her face crinkled up and her singing stopped and with so many “thank yous” she sat there and cried. I didn’t know what to do but hug her so I put my arms around her, then my 3 year old followed, my 8 year old and then my 11 year old son said “I need a hug too” and gave her a big hug which made her cry even more. It was so touching and sad at the same time to see him give away every last little bit he had to people who were “more fortunate” then him. She soon left to go to her apartment and it was time for my children to get their lunch.
David followed us into the dining room and sat at the table next to us. We started talking and I found out that he has been living under a bridge for the past two years. I was instantly nervous for him because just 3 days prior a homeless man was beat to death in that same area. As we sat there he opened up his back pack which had his whole life inside it. He pulled out a camp pack which is basically a large zip lock bag filled with things you could easily eat if you were living on the streets or camping. This was supposed to be the food to help him survive. He pulled out a pack of crackers and a small bag of cheese its and gave them to my youngest daughter. Once again we tried to not take it but he refused to take it back and really wanted her to keep it. Once again it was so touching and sad at the same time. The kitchen manager gave my children a box of fruit snacks and they were so thrilled to open it and share it with David. At first he didn’t want to take it but once he saw hat it was a pack of fruit snacks his face lit up and he said “this is the good stuff!”. When my children saw that he liked fruit snacks they quickly grabbed a hand full and made sure David kept them.
My kids finished lunch and we cleaned up and said goodbye to David. My kids were so touched by him and my oldest being eleven and having a little more understanding was very concerned for that sweet man. I asked them if they would like to give him a present. I noticed his backpack was very worn and starting to tear so once home we grabbed a backpack from our supply closet and packed two shirts, a notepad of paper, some pencils and pencil sharpener, soap, shampoo and a pack of razors. My daughter drew a picture of a kitten on a white paper lunch bag. Inside the bag she put a couple snacks and $7, then she tucked the bag inside one of the zipped up pockets for him to find later. She also wanted to pack him a small stuffed animal and of course, she stuffed one of the pockets full of fruit snacks.
David has the back pack now and he said he found a job. I haven’t seen him since but we think about him every day. I can’t begin to describe the feeling you get to see someone give literally everything to others who had more then him to begin with. He took so much joy in being able to give. What a lesson we could all learn from Mr. David.