This I Believe

Pearl - Arlington, Massachusetts
Entered on October 21, 2007
Age Group: 65+

This I Believe

I believe the sweetest acts of love are unexpected.

Many years ago, in the 1950s, when I had a small baby girl and lived on the tiny salary of my husband, I had gone to the bank to withdraw money to pay our rent. When I got home I discovered the money was gone. I was frantic. My landlady said that she would watch the baby so that I could retrace my steps, but it was to no avail. I was sobbing with tears when I returned. She calmed me down and said, “Don’t worry about the rent”. I never told my husband until we moved and then we gave this lovely lady the crystal heirlooms my grandmother had given me, saying, “Please accept this, the glassware won’t survive the trip to another city.” She just smiled.

A few years after this move, we planned to go to the Philippines where my husband’s family lived. By that time, I had three little ones. I had to travel to New York City to get a visa from the consulate there. I thought that it would only be a day trip by bus but soon discovered that I had to stay overnight. I walked everywhere, up and down the city streets because I had no extra money. I found a Boy’s Club that would let me use a room overnight for a small sum. In the morning I got my visa and walked to the bus station, weary and hungry. I went to the restroom and saw a little old Black lady cleaning the sinks. I asked her, “Do you know a place where I can buy a candy bar with my one dollar? She went into her pocket and pulled out a ten dollar bill and gave it to me. I looked at her with astonishment saying, “I can’t take this from you…but thank you anyway.” She replied, “Please take it. Someone was good to me and I hope that you will be good to someone else.” I went on my way, ate a warm meal and blessed that wonderful lady.”

Last year, my husband had to have an emergency operation. It was a very snowy day. I waited for many hours until it was over. By that time the snow was in big drifts and it was very dark. While I was standing outside, a young lady started talking to me. She wanted to know where I lived. I told her and she offered to take me home. She took me right to my door and refused to come in for coffee. She even gave me her cellphone number to call her if I needed a ride the next day. I will always remember how surprised I was that this young lady should take such care of me.

I believe these sweetest acts of love, which were quite unexpected, have given me an even greater awareness. If someone needs me, I try, with all my heart, to take care of them.