One day last week I was sitting in the parking lot of CVS waiting for Miss Cathy to come back from buying a disposable camera. We were on our way to her girlfriend’s house for a holiday visit when she decided that she wanted to take pictures of Adele’s newly renovated kitchen. She’d been in here the store awhile so I was giving her another 15 minutes before I went in to check whether or not she was lost in one of the aisles or passed out from finally getting some exercise outside of the apartment.
When she finally returned to the car and was buckled up she told what had taken so long. Apparently she walked to the back of the store to the Pharmacy department thinking that’s where the photo center was (it’s actually located just inside the door on the right, beside the registers). She stood in line waiting to ask for the photo center location when she found herself in conversation with the lady in line ahead of her.
They got to talking about prescription drugs and how expensive they were. The woman told mom that she was distressed because her prescriptions (even though they were generic) were almost $100.00 a month and she didn’t know if she had enough money for this month’s supply.
Hearing her story Miss Cathy decided to offer the lady ten of the twenty dollars that she brought to purchase the disposable camera. The lady refused saying that she couldn’t possibly take her money and that she didn’t want mom to think that she told her plight to illicit money.
Miss Cathy assured her that wasn’t the case, simply that hearing her story made her realize how blessed she was in her life and all that she’d been given. She told the lady that she had great insurance and didn’t need to worry about her prescription costs like so many and she’d been blessed with great children and then she told her new friend about Tony and me.
In the car mom told me how years ago a woman had offered her some money when she was running short and she’d always remembered the kindness of that stranger and wanted to so the same for someone else. She said that the ten dollars wasn’t much but it was half of what she had so she offered it.
I listened to her, thinking that she’d never seen the movie or heard the expression, “pay it forward” but that was indeed what she was doing. I forget that underneath her bluster and the anger that the disease seems to taking over her personality that she’s a sweet person with a good heart.
She insisted that the woman take the money. True to form Miss Cathy told me that at that very moment she was thinking, “You betta take this money lady-I don’t offer money often-and never to strangers.”
What she said to the lady was, “please take the money, you never know where your blessings are going to come from so you should never refuse them when they present themselves.”
Grateful and touched, the lady took the money and Miss Cathy toddled off to the front of the store after the cashier told her where to go. She made her purchase and off we went to visit Adele to give her the Christmas wreath I’d made and to see her new kitchen and holiday decorations.