Full Circles

Wouldn't it be nice if all things came to a full circle immediately before your eyes? I want to share with you an experience that has truly touched my family. One Sunday morning, I offered to take my mother to work to pick up one of her lovely (disabled) clients, named Britney, to the bus stop to catch a shuttle home for the Holidays. During our wait in the parking lot of McDonald's, I had seen that my daughter and Britney were hungry. I didn't want to break the Sabbath, but couldn't let those go hungry, so into McDonalds we went. During our time at McDonald's, I noticed a man standing outside in the harsh cold, holding a sign that let the public know, he was homeless and asking for help through humble donations.

As we watched this homeless man, my mother told me a story about my father Loloa. She explained that sometime during the early 90's, my father saw a homeless man, holding a similar sign. However, my mother said the homeless man that my father had encountered, did not seem homeless, but what she thought was a lazy drunk. Without any warning or discussion, my father went to the Burger King Restaurant, where the man had been standing in front of, and purchased a whopper, value order of fries and a large sprite. My father took this small meal along with $20.00 and handed it to this homeless man.

My mother was a bit disappointed, because she was a bit tight. As always, during our tender young ages, she tried her best to ensure that her children always had the best. We weren't dirt poor, but we weren't also financially stable or comfortable, either. Funds were running low and mom was concerned that her children wouldn't get the things we wanted on our Santa list. She also feared that this homeless man would take her money and spend it on alcohol or something of unimportance. She asked my father why he gave up so much money. My father explained that it wasn't his place to judge the man, nor his business as to how the man spent his money. All that matter what that he did his part in paying it forward.

Remembering this story, brought tears to my eyes. I realized that I had complained so much this year, and forgot to count my blessings. Touched by mom's reminder, I secretly asked my daughter if she would like to spare some of her allowance to help the man standing outside of McDonald's. I explained that the poor man had no warm home to sleep in and no warm meal to eat and if there was any way she can help by donating some of her allowance to help him in need. She quickly agreed, with so much excitement. She asked if she could give the man everything she had in her little wallet. I told her she did not have to give up all her allowance, but told her to think about an amount that would be just right to help this poor man. Secretly, we planned to have her sit on the right side of our vehicle, so I could roll her window down, to hand the man some money.

Soon after the Shuttle took Britney home, we pulled out of the parking lot. As we came closer to the man, I put the car in park and rolled my daughter's window down, so she could pass the money to the man. She quickly realized that he wouldn't be able to reach her without having to walk over to our car. Without me asking her, she took off her seat belt, opened the door, hopped out of our warm car and ran to the man to hand him $5.00 and wished him a Merry Christmas.

During this time, the other cars behind and next to us, that was so impatient and obnoxiously honking at us, stopped. It felt as if they all heard a whisper, Peace be still. Some raised their hands and we could read their lips say, "Sorry". Seeing this quick change in their behavior, made my heart so warm. The purpose of this, or my reason for having my daughter give the man some of her money, was to teach her a valuable lesson, an obvious lesson. However, I wanted her to see the look on the man's face and feel the warmth in her own heart for doing what was right.

As we finally got Alana back in the car and pulled away from the parking lot, my mother sat in the passenger seat amazed. She rolled down her window and cried, "Merry Christmas and God Bless Brother!" The poor homeless man had tears in his eyes and my mother felt a real burn in her heart. My mother was the biggest recipient of this experience. There are precious moments in her own home, where she will just cry tears of joy because of the feeling she had when my daughter did something that reminded her of my unconditional love that my father Loloa and her father, my Grandpa Paul had for all mankind.

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