An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Once upon a time there was a stranger ...

Dear ~~~ Family,

You don’t know me and we have never met. But allow me to tell you a story …

Three years ago I drove to Columbia, SC to attend my sister’s baby shower. With me was my youngest son, who was four years old at the time.

When we left my sister’s to return home, an SUV of teens coming back from the lake entered a traffic circle at high speed and plowed into our van. The impact was shocking, and when the two vehicles finally came to a rest there were tire marks, debris, and broken glass spread over two lanes.

While my son and I were shaken, neither we nor the occupants of the SUV were injured.

When I dialed 911 and the operator requested the location, I was at a total loss; my sister’s family had recently moved to this area, and I didn’t even know the name of the street I was on. Suddenly, a driver pulled up behind me, parked, and got out of the car to see if we were okay. I handed him my cell phone, and he gave the operator all the information. Afterwards, he picked up car parts from the middle of the street (a bumper, a side view mirror, two hubcaps), and before I could thank him for his help he drove off.

It was a very hot afternoon, and as my son and I stood in the shade waiting for the police, this same man returned. He said he had noticed from our license plate that we were from out of state and thought that we could probably use this … and he handed me a bag with inside several juice boxes, some Oreo cookies, and two Diet Cokes.

Juices boxes, Oreo cookies, Diet Cokes … and just like that I was reminded of how, in spite of bad things that happen, there is also such goodness in this world.

I later learned his name was Chaz, and over the years I would tell this story to demonstrate the tremendous love, healing and power that can be found in reaching out to a stranger.

No, you don’t know me and we have never met. But once upon a time I briefly met Chaz, and although I heard today that he no longer is with us on this earth, please know that he will forever be in corner of my heart where cherished memories are stored.

God bless,

*I will be mailing this letter today to Chaz' family.


Catherine B. said...

Oh Maria, what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing this and giving us the reminder of how we all should be to one another.

tiziana said...

Mi ricordo molto bene questa storia che mi aveva molto colpita, sia per l'incidente che avevi avuto, sia per la gentilezza di quel signore.
Penso che la sua famiglia sarà molto orgogliosa di sapere che il ricordo del sig. Chaz è impresso nel tuo cuore e probabilmente nel cuore di tante altre persone.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

"Well done good and faithful servant," Jesus.

Kathleen Basi said...

What a wonderful story. These are the kinds of things we only hope we think and have the courage to do!

GrandmaK said...

What a tender, touching story. Thank you for sharing this and know you touched my very soul with it! Thank you, dear lady! Cathy

:o) mg said...

I say it's time to facebook stalk people with the name Chaz

Lisa said...

Oh, I love this story, Bia. There really is a lot of good out there -- it just doesn't get reported in the newspaper is all.