So I have chosen not to express my political opinions and beliefs here. Mainly because I wish to reach all into the spaces that we all have in common. Now I cannot name that space. For you it maybe your heart. For someone else it may be their mind. For some it may be their hobby. Maybe someone’s fandom. Perhaps you have genre preferences when you watch movies or read books. Maybe something happened to you that broke you down. Or something gave you strength to carry on. These are the spaces in which I wish to fill. The spaces maybe we all have need of filling.
As a server I meet all types of people. Trust me, ALL types. This day was the day before Valentine’s Day. I was working a lunch shift. I had a couple of ladies in my section and they seemed pretty grim. Well you want to present a happiness when greeting a table but you don’t want to be obnoxious because you just never know in what mood your guests are going to be. I was quickly informed that one of the ladies lost her husband this past week. So I put on my gentle demeanor and approached the table with gentleness and kindness from then on out. Not seeming too overbearing, giving them ample time between my visits so that they could connect and hopefully the widow could be uplifted by her friend.
As the meal drew to an end they said that I was great and that I made their time peaceful and sweet. Then something occurred to me, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and this woman’s Valentine is no longer with her. She needs to know that she is still loved. So I paid for her lunch. Hers alone. Nothing big. No large tab. Under ten bucks. It went a long way with both her and her friend. When I presented the bills to the table I just told her that I paid for her lunch because right now she needs to know that she is still loved. And as tears welled up in her eyes I had to hurriedly excuse myself before I burst into ugly tears. It would not have been pretty. Trust me. I was ready to sob. I know how it feels to loose, in an instant, the people closest too you.
Well two weeks have gone by and at work I was recently given by my manager a Hallmark type greeting card that said “Thank you very much” on the front and what would have been blank inside was filled with a sweet lady’s inked handwriting.
“This is for the server on Saturday at lunchtime– All I know is his name was Philip: During our lunch my sister-in-law mentioned I lost my husband last month and he was so kind and generous to me — as he bought my lunch to know ‘I am still loved’ especially at Valentine’s weekend. I just wanted to Thank you and tell him how much I appreciated his thoughtful and Very kind gesture! Sincerely….”
Now I am not posting this to brag. I have naught to brag about. This was an on-the-fly decision on my part. And it really was just a very small gesture, but it touched someone’s life when and where they needed it. I was able to fill in some small space for her, at the right time, and in the right place.
And that my friends is really what we should be leaving in our wake. One at a time, reaching into other’s lives, filling up the spaces.
You never know when the smallest gesture will make a huge impact on someone else’s life. However be careful. That goes both ways. For good or for evil. The smallest gesture could make a negative impact as well as a positive impact. But I know that if you look around and be aware of people, you will find, in those around you, the small spaces that need filling.