As of yesterday, I have been married four months, and already feel the heat of living month by month. I am a full-time student, as well as my husband, and we are struggling to make ends meet. There have been some nights where all I can do is cry because I cannot see why I am going through such a trial. For weeks at a time, all I can think about is myself and I can be more comfortable.
Today, I went grocery shopping. As I was walking into the store, I noticed a family waiting by the public telephone, while sitting on their suitcases. I thought in my head how sad that was… and moved on into the store. I finished pretty quickly, and was back outside to see now that the Dad was gone, and it was just the mom and two kids. I parked somewhat close to them and noticed the mother looking at me in desperation. I got in my car, and drove away. As I am unpacking my groceries, I couldn’t stop thinking of that family. Here I have been, complaining of the lack of money and the nights we have to spend eating inside because we can’t afford a nice restaurant, when there are people out there just trying to get from point a to point b. After moments of wondering what to do and how to settle my thoughts, I get back in my car, drive over to the grocery store, and ask the mother if they need help. She struggled for a moment, in confusion for my sudden appearance, but also because she couldn’t speak English. She waves her husband over, and he comes and gives me bits and pieces of English. I finally muster up a few words of what I hope is Spanish, and realize they were stranded and need a ride a few cities away. I was expecting this, and cleaned up the back of my car so their family of four could fit inside. All I had for directions was his license with the address of his work. The ride up was a bit awkward because only the Dad spoke a little English, so no one spoke at all. Another tough part was he didn’t really know what exit to get of. I took a guess, and we ended up in the right direction. We get way up to the mountains, grateful my oil light didn’t come on, and I drop them off to the place they live. They live on an orchard owned by his boss. He asks me how much to pay me… of course I said nothing and his wife almost cried in tears she was so grateful. I drove home, knowing I have so many homework assignments due and things to do before the holidays, but all I could think about is how happy that family must be.
This I believe, life is so much easier to live through if you simply forget yourself.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.