Thursday, July 15, 2004

Life is Beautiful

I always say everything is perfectly timed.  We're always at the right place at the right time.  There are no mistakes.  Even 'mistakes' are what's supposed to happen.  And there's always the choice for love.

After getting an early start this morning, I finally had enough energy to stop for that overdue gift I've been promising one special little boy.  There were a few places I could've chosen to park but my car specifically took me to a certain structure.  Even the walking route I chose seemed a little particular, but I didn't think anything of it ... until I came across the following scenario before I got to the store:

A Big Blue Bus [Santa Monica's public transportation] was stopped, loading people on and off at the corner of Fourth St. and Santa Monica Blvd.  There seemed to be a bit of commotion around the front curbside tire of the bus.  When I got closer, I noticed the bus had completely flattened a skateboard.

On the curb I saw two young boys - one holding a skateboard, the other empty-handed.  A few people were trying to explain to the bus driver that he needed to back up just a little so they could scoop the crushed skateboard out from under the enormous tire.  Clearly, the bus driver didn't want to oblige.  It took a few moments for the skateboard to be returned to its Middle School owner.

The boy inspected his skateboard and just as suspected, it was rendered useless.  Tears filled his eyes as he threw it to the ground.  My heart was breaking for him.  Concerned about his well-being I called out to him:  

Me:
  "Hey kid ... Are YOU okay?"


Boy:  "Yeah" 

He shuffled his feet toward me, giving his skateboard a light kick.  

Me:
  "Is it broken?"


Boy: "Yeah"

Me:
  "Can you fix it?"  

Boy:
  "No."
 

The boy picked up the remains of his tattered skateboard.  He started to leave as the bus driver closed the doors and pulled away without even so much as a 'sorry kid'.
 

Me:
  "How much would it cost for a new one?"
 

Boy (discouraged. head hanging):  "Thirty bucks."
 

Me:
"Let me see?"  [I examined the skateboard]  "Could you keep the wheels and the bindings and just get a new deck?"


Boy:  "Yeah, that's what I'd do. It's thirty bucks for a deck."

I looked into the boy's disappointed eyes.  All I could see were shattered dreams of summer fun.  Without a thought I reached into my bag.

Me:  "I can give you thirty bucks for a new deck."

Boy:  "Really?"

Instantly the boy's eyes shifted.  The disappointment lifted.  A pinkish glow filled his face as he smiled and thanked me with all sincerity.  It was as if the sun had just come out for the first time EVER.  He turned the corner to catch up with his friend.  I went in the opposite direction.

No names were exchanged.  No strings attached.  No stipulations.  I didn't say "do something nice for someone today." or "work it off."  I didn't even question whether he could afford to get a new skateboard on his own.  It wasn't about the money.

I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

And surprisingly, I had thirty dollars cash in my wallet.  Not twenty.  Not forty.  Thirty.  What's thirty bucks?  Produce for the week?  A movie for two?  Dinner for one?  So I'll walk an extra dog or two.  Big deal.  That's nothing next to a happy kid on his summer vacation.

I imagine the boy felt great but I can guarantee his joy doesn't compare to the bliss I experienced for the rest of the day...even this moment...and probably in my dreamy slumber right on through tomorrow.

Had I chosen a different route, had I been a few seconds later or one minute earlier, I would've missed this opportunity to choose love.

Later I found exactly the gift I was looking for [Mia, check your mail next week].  I won a coupon for a free 24 oz. smoothie at my favorite juice bar.  I bought lunch at Baja Fresh and earned a coupon for one free taco on my next visit.  And I had $30 credit to put toward my favorite 60-dollar-pair of shoes (Pumas, y'know). When I got to the store, I ordered the shoes and found out they were half-off.  So, I saved thirty bucks afterall.

Life is beautiful.

26 comments:

coffeesheavenly said...

Funny how things work out ;)
http://journals.aol.com/coffeesheavenly/TheCORE

derossetfamily said...

Oh, Freee, what a great story! Sounds like karma caught up with you too, enjoy the smoothie, taco, and pair o' pumas! Aww! :)
~Mary

indigosunmoon said...

Trish,
What a special person you are.  This entry made me smile, really big!
-Connie

ggal3133 said...

aww what a great story and it's amazing how things work out! I bet that boy is still smiling :)

coy1234787 said...

Awww... such a nice story Free. All is as it should be.
                         *** Coy ***

s0ngbird1962 said...

Great story....  Story doesn't = fiction here.  Honestly, you have one of the kindest hearts I know.... :::Proud to be from your home state:::  : )

sistercdr said...

It never fails to amaze me how generosity always comes back to the person who offers it.  Great entry.

geminiwilder said...

freee.  you didn't just choose love.  you ARE love.

gotta go wipe my tears now, and blow my nose.

xo your friend, phinney

grassriver said...

I can't stop crying - you're just so inspiring, it's amazing.
Have you ever been to the website, www.forabetterlife.org ? It's great, and I think right up your alley.
XOXO.....Kelli

aims814 said...

WoW! Life IS beautiful! You made it beautiful by touching the life of a little boy who felt so wounded at the time. See...Not only was his skate board crushed, so was his heart and spirit by the cold attitude of the bus driver. His opinion of his fellow-human, a so-called adult human, was damaged. Then, seconds later, someone [beautiful, you] reminded him that not ALL people are A-holes! You were a reminder to him that kindness does exist in the world. You may never know how much you helped him in the long-run!  

=) ::smiling, big! Stephen and I will be checking the mail every day next week! :P You really are too kind! Another little boy's life touched by you, doll! Love ya, sweetie!

Mia

ps~isn't it amazing how things come around full circle! Saving $30 on your pumas and those coupons for the smoothie and taco! Life IS beautiful!

luckyaugustgirl said...

It does feel great to help someone..... you are a great example

danielled1 said...

Awwwww....

I agree with you 100%, and the timing is perfect, if you read my entry from early this morning. :) :)

Wow!!  I am amazed.  Love and kindess, never, ever cease to amaze me!!  

You paid it forward!!

Danielle

laurak411 said...

I think it is sooooo cool that you did that.

isabelzmia said...

What a beautiful entry, Trish ... it made me cry!  It was just what I needed to read today.  :-D

XO, Isabel

gatorspictures said...

there is a reason for EVERYTHING...i am a firm believer.
there are also choices for every opportunity given...
kudos to you for making the human contact choice! most people wouldn't have given a complete stranger (even if it was a kid) money of any denomination.
you, as always, ROCK---ARE YOU PISCES??? hehehehe  c

peaotis40 said...

Hi ,
I have been reading your Journal for a while now
I enjoy it greatly.How awsome of you to do that for the boy.
You reap what you sow thats what my dad always told me.
SMILE:)!
"P"

wldconnie said...

What a great story. You were very kind but I would have done the same. I am a sucker for a hard luck story. I often think I maybe get taken for a ride as I am too soft but there again I would do anything to make a small kid happy!

c82trinity said...

Free...this is a wonderful story...I am so glad I stopped by to read it...I needed to be reminded of these things...your right life is beautiful... :) Thanks more than you know free....

krobbie67 said...

Bummer that the dog-walking opportunity with S didn't work out. It would have made up for your generosity. But, it looks like Karma already did that for you.
:-) ---Robbie

chefgracegeorge said...

You are an angel.  [hugs Freeep]

hestiahomeschool said...

awwww....being the mother of a skateboarder, I KNOW how priceless your gift was. What a good person you are.  And the Threefold Law will reward you.

onmiownnow2 said...

It's amazing how things work out.  After all that, you ended up saving $30.  Life IS beautiful!  Wonderful story!  Lisa

musenla said...

Girl, I think you're an angel in disguise.  All these good deeds in spite of the energy-draining mono.  Hopefully the kid will pass it forward.  And I hope you feel better!

clarity4today said...

Ohhh, that is so sweet, Freee.  There really are kind people out there who want to help others, just because...   I'm sure it will come back to you in countless
ways. :-)
Donna

kathlyna22 said...

ah Free,....such a sweetheart!
I love doing random acts of kindness!
Kathleen

cordesfamilync said...

Hey, I'm a skateboarder, and to me, like when Ive fallen around a bunch of other people, they're like, oh, hes a skateboarder, so you probably shouldn't talk to him. I jsut hate it when people hate on skaters! You showed that boy that not everybody is that way. You're and angel. This made me cry. Thanks a bunch, girl!

Caleb