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Monday, October 27, 2008

Remembering

Recently my husband and I walked into a furniture store. And although this story begins kind of like one of those a-penguin-walks-into-a-bar jokes, I promise it's nothing like that. Well, almost nothing. Because while those jokes generally make us smile, they do little to warm the heart. What happened to us while we were shopping for a sofa and loveseat for our great room definitely made us smile and warmed our hearts. I hope it will yours, too.

Anyhow, back to shopping. We were no sooner inside the store when we were greeted by a young woman whose energy and vivacious personality made her "hello" really sing. I was, truth be told, overwhelmed by the seemingly mile-long showroom, stuffed with colors, patterns and options. How would we ever pick just one set? I almost turned and ran! But when Rose looked at us and said, "You don't remember me, do you?" I was intrigued. How could I leave with the mystery unsolved?

I stared into her eyes, a glimmer of recognition calling me. Still, I didn't have a true clue. Then, as she spoke, I realized I'd heard her voice before. A long time ago, perhaps. A really long time ago.

Then, it hit me! I knew that voice!

When we were first married my husband and I bought a big, old Victorian on a few acres out in the middle of nowhere. The road the house was on was one of those country roads that connects to a bigger road which connects to a highway that'll actually take you somewhere. Follow me? While our house was nowhere, it was on the way to somewhere. So, the road was well traveled.

One day Hubby and I saw a car down at the end of our driveway. Just like the house, the driveway was oversized, a long, circular strip that climbed a little knoll before it reached the house. Anyhow, we noticed this car and wondered what was going on. It's not like we had neighbors so they couldn't be visiting anyone. And like I said, we were in the sticks. Stopping on the road? Not usual.

We walked down the drive to see what was going on. To see if they needed any help. Turns out they did. Rose and her brothers, on their way downstate to visit their ill father, were stuck. Car trouble.

So we did what anyone would have done. We invited them up to the house. Brought them inside. Offered them use of the phone. Then, while we waited for help to arrive, we sat around and talked. Actually, despite the family circumstance of their dad being sick, we had a nice visit. Believe me, if you're ever going to have stranded motorists visiting your house, hope for someone like Rose and company. They were great people.

After they left we wondered many times how they fared. Of course we hoped their father got well and that they made it to their destination without any more mishaps. But we never really knew the whole story.

Until now. Because although twenty years had dimmed my memory, Rose has never forgotten. She recognized us. She remembered the two strangers she'd met on what must have been a very trying day for her.

We were thrilled to see her again. We all caught up, chatting like we'd seen each other just days before. Good news...Rose's dad is well, as are her brothers. Rose, too, is happy and healthy and enjoying life.

And while she insists we "rescued" them, we've always felt as if we'd been given a gift that day. Knowing we made their trip even marginally easier has never done anything but bring smiles to our faces.

Meeting up with Rose again was like seeing a dear, old friend, and we've been grinning ever since. I guess it just shows that the line between "stranger" and "friend" is a fuzzy one that can be easily crossed.

Rose's remembering us reminds me that the things we do today may follow us well into the future. Something to think about, that.

Oh? The furniture? Yes, we did buy a lovely set that looks perfect in the great room. But you know what? The furniture definitely wasn't the high point of the shopping trip. Not at all.

Seeing Rose again...now that was something special.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good point. This shows that what we do today won't be forgotten tomorrow. Nice post.

Pat

Melissa said...

What a nice post. You must have made a real impression on Rose and her brothers!

Dru said...

It's always the little things and kindness that people remember. Nice post.

Susan said...

Great story. You really touched their hearts!