A few months ago, we started a dinner-time program where someone in our small group asks a question, and we all have to tell a story around the topic of that question. There are no judgements about the stories each of us tells. We’re free to share whatever we want.
Our group consists of my mother, my husband Brian, and me.
The first night I asked the group to tell a story about something interesting that happened to them that day. My mother told of how she sneezed at a buffet. The interesting thing to her was that her sneezes come quickly and unexpectedly, but this day, she was able to sneeze in the opposite direction of the food. We were all happy to hear that.
Brian told a story of how he sold and delivered some office equipment to someone who was running a business out of his apartment in downtown. Most of his customers are larger businesses. It was an enjoyable break from routine to sell to this person.
My interesting story had to do with the fact that I showed a man how to put on his underwear safely, and without falling that day. He was a good sport about it. And although it wasn’t a contest, I awarded myself the prize for the most impressive event of the day. (I’m a home care Occupational Therapist. I don’t want anyone to get any strange ideas about why I was doing what I was doing)
Tonight’s question was to tell of a time when you received something that surprised you.
Mom was the first to answer. In one word she said “You.” This confirmed for me that my parents’ family planning was pretty much left up to the creator. No more details were necessary…or wanted for that matter.
Brian told us that he received a surprise passenger today at Dunkin Donuts. A woman joined him as he was walking to his car. She was mumbling something about the weather. When he got to his car, she kept walking. He got in and turned to put his seat-belt on. At that moment, he heard the passenger door open. He looked over and the woman sat down and made herself comfortable in his passenger seat. She started telling him that she knew his father and that she needed a ride into the city. While trying to hide his bewilderment, he told her he was on his way to work and that he would take her to the nearest bus stop. He dropped her off and gave her five dollars. The three of us talked for a while about what it must be like to not have the things that so many of us take for granted. We wish her the best and if she is truly in need, we hope people will treat her with kindness and a little understanding.
My story was about the surprise that arrived today by UPS. I saw the name and return address of the sender and smiled, knowing that the person who sent them told me a long time ago that he would send me homemade chocolate chip cookies, but “when” would be a surprise. He’s a man of his word, and a man who can bake. My mother said they were the best she’s ever had. We all agreed.
Thanks Kevin. You’re the BEST.