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

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

One Good Deed a Day: The Wonderful Interconnectedness of Humanity

Be the stranger that leaves a mark in someone's life.


Once upon a time a stranger helped me, and when I heard he had passed away I wrote a letter to his family ...


Dear ~~~ Family,

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

A few 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, several sleeves of Oreo cookies, and two Diet Cokes.

Juices boxes, Oreo cookies, Diet Cokes. Just like that I was reminded of how, even in the midst of bad things, there is also such goodness in this world.

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

And so I'm writing to you today to tell you this story. 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 the corner of my heart where cherished memories are stored.

God bless,
Maria





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