Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Angels Around Us

On this Memorial Day, I want to remember our servicemen and women and the other angels among us. Great and small.

There are angels around us.

And they appear in the unlikeliest places.
When they are most needed . . .
Our family had fallen on hard times.
It happens to everyone.
It was our turn.
My Husby had been out of work for some time.
And it looked as though he would remain out of work for some time more.
We were 'economizing'.
We had given up everything that was not strictly necessary.
Cable.
Restaurants.
Entertainment.
Shopping.
And we were living off our food storage.
The last thing I wanted to give up . . . and indeed the last thing I didgive up was our milk deliveries.
The thought of living on skim milk powder from our storage was . . . how can I say this tactfully . . . horrifying.
But we were about to do it.
Sigh.
Our milkman, John, was a very nice man.
Friendly.
Smart.
Attentive.
And no, none of our kids look like him.
Just FYI.
Moving on . . .
I dreaded telling him that this next delivery would be our last.
But our precious store of capital was rapidly dwindling, despite our best efforts.
And the job had to be done.
He arrived, carrying our order of milk, cheese and cream.
And I told him, tearfully, that we couldn't afford deliveries any longer.
He just grinned and handed me a note.
It read: “Happy birthday . . . or something . . . for the next four months.”
I stared at it.
Then at John.
What on earth did it mean?
“Someone has paid for your milk deliveries for the next four months,” he said, finally.
“What?”
Okay, so quick, I'm not.
“Someone has taken over paying your milk bill for the next four months.”
“Who?”
His grin widened. “I can't tell you.”
“What?”
Sigh. Some people are slow.
“I can't tell you,” he repeated patiently. “Someone, who wishes to remain anonymous, has asked that your bill be forwarded to them for the next four months.”
“It was you, wasn't it, John.”
It was more a statement than a question.
He laughed. “I can absolutely guarantee that it was not me,” he said. “Cross my heart.”
I stared at him suspiciously for a few minutes.
Then finally took the carton of dairy products from him and allowed him to carry on with his route.
And that's when the tears started.
Who knew that we were having such difficulties?
And, more importantly, who cared enough to do this for us?
Moving ahead four months . . .
My Husby once more happily employed and a steady trickle of money flowing into the family coffers, I took my last free delivery of milk.
And was happy to tell John that deliveries could continue.
On our nickel.
I never did find out who our Good Samaritan was.
They had swooped in and helped.
Just when they were needed.
Then swooped out again.
Faceless.
Nameless.
But definitely not heartless.
To my Angel, and you know who you are . . . THANK YOU!

And now, my favourite song, by Alabama that just happens to cover this exact topic . . .

14 comments:

  1. That Good Samaritan really knew the meaning of a random act of kindness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It seems that when a person is completely down and out (read: spent?) something good happens. So glad to hear that fortune smiled upon you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a truly wonderful, life-changing event. Who knew something so simple could mean so much!

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful story. It restores faith in our fellow humans!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gives "the milk of human kindness" a whole new meaning! Seriously, kindness coming at such a time is soul-restoring, isn't it?

    My father had a serious stroke seven years ago, and I was at the hospital long hours with him, helping tend to his needs. I was worn out and sad. One evening when the personal care workers were bringing around the patients' juice and cookies, one of them offered me a package of cookies. It was the first time anyone had seemed to notice me there (in their defence,they were understaffed and overworked). It made me cry - such a little thing, but it meant so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Milk of human kindness'! Perfect!
      Such a small act of kindness can mean so much. Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

      Delete
  5. Oh I have always believed in living angels. Wonderful story thank you for sharing it made me smile. My Dad was like that he bought the neighbours groceries all the time without them knowing. Love this world and the people in it. Hug B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your dad sounds like good people! Just what the world needs! Thank you for sharing him with us!

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful story! Angels were definitely watching over you. I like that it was truly a Random Act of Kindness. Thanks for sharing. You brightened my night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kathy! The world needs those angels. Now all I can do is pay it forward!

      Delete
  7. I do believe that there are angels among us. Wonderful story.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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