Monday, November 19, 2007

Random Act of Kindness, or Saying Thanks to a Deploying Soldier

Everything we do with Husband right now is put under the "one last time" category. One last time the kids see a movie with him. One last time we play at the park. One last time he gets to eat at Texas Roadhouse (his favorite restaurant). Obviously, it's not "one last time" forever, but for about 15 months or so. To the kids, that's forever.
Saturday we headed down to the "big city", aka Lake Charles, to have some dinner at the previously mentioned favorite restaurant, and play at a nice park they have there. When we were in the car, I noticed that some odd number with an area code I'd never seen had called me several times. The last time they left a message, so, of course, I listened.
"Hi Peggie, this is Kim from CafeMom!" Holy cow! I went into shock! I talk to this woman daily online, but had never given her my number. She said she had some exciting news, and could I please call her back ASAP.
When I called back, a happy sounding Kim asked me if we were going to the Texas Roadhouse in Lake Charles. No, she didn't read my mind. Earlier online I had told a few of those "online friends" that we were going to Texas Roadhouse "one last time" in the "big city". Kim did some legwork and figured out that we were heading down to Lake Charles, since that is the only Texas Roadhouse within driving distance of the base.
Her exciting news? She had called the restaurant and arranged with the manager to pay for our entire meal! She explained that she admires what we go through, and she wanted to thank us for our sacrifices. I sat there for a minute, just completely amazed. There are some people in this world who always have to work hard for what they have. They don't always make ends meet, they have times where they wonder where they'll get the money to pay all their bills, and they have times where faith in God is all that gets them through. At times, that's Kim and her husband. I was raised by parents who decided to go to college when they were in their 30's and had two girls to take care of. We never went "without" but there were times I'm sure my parents worried. So I definitely understand how BIG of a gift this was from her. But, when the Lord speaks, we listen. The Lord spoke to Kim, and she was filled with an excitement to help us, to thank a soldier and give his family a nice meal before he leaves.
Sometimes we encounter random acts of kindness that are small in nature, but big in thought. When Hunter was a small baby, and we still lived in Wisconsin, I had to run to the grocery store quick to get one gallon of milk. It was very cold, and I had to drag all three kids with me because Husband worked till 9:00 almost every night. Standing in line with my one gallon of milk and two kids begging me for a treat and only $3 to my name, the lady in front of me asked if she could pay for my milk. She said that a few weeks before, a nice lady paid for her sister's grocery bill out of the blue, and so she wanted to pass that kindness on. Later, I passed it on by paying for someone's coffee who was standing in line behind me at the convenience store. I hope that he in turn passed it on. That's a random act.
What Kim did was so much more. It took thought, and legwork, and she was almost late for work because she was looking online through our circle of friends to try and find someone who knew my phone number!
We had an enjoyable dinner. The waiter seemed to pay special attention to us. As we finished up and were putting our leftovers in the to-go box, the waiter said "My manager would like to treat you to a complimentary dessert". Our eyes got very large as we were all stuffed to the brim. But, you can't turn down free dessert! Louisa had already memorized the dessert list and told us to get the brownie. So we shared a brownie with ice cream. That was a random act of kindness on the restaurants part. Kim had told the manager our story, so he was, in his own little way, saying Thanks as well.
Louisa's exciting news from the night is that she's no longer a "child". The hostess only gave us two kids menus, for Hunter and Drew. The waiter brought her a full sized soda instead of the kids cup with a lid. She felt very grown up, but still ordered off the kids menu!

Thanks, Kim!


Kim said...

That was a really touching story and a great reminder for all of us. What a wonderful sweet friend you have there! I'm proud to have the same name as her!

I encountered several acts of kindness while my husband was deployed... but the one that sticks out the most is the man in the small local deli/quick mart that let me have my bags of candy for free when he found out I was sending it to a solider. He just smiled up at me and said, "say thanks to you husband"

snowflake said...

So glad that you guys enjoyed your dinner and that Kim did something so sweet for you! I hope he is still with you and you can add one more holiday to the list. Either way, hope you enjoy your day with your family!