The Kindness of Strangers

 “Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~Mark Twain

My friend and neighbor, Sheryl, has been helping me with various things over the last few years. From driving, navigating the stores, to simply walking with me and my white cane at a local park. We both love to laugh and we laugh a lot! I’m sure people can hear us from a mile away. We’ve never paid much attention to those around us… but, it seems that some of those people are watching us! Not in a creepy way, (as far as I know!), but, in a curious way.

Image is White text on a black Background – That reads "Without the kindness of strangers, where would we be?" Strangers have stopped us to say how nice it is that Sheryl was helping me and we seem to be having such a good time together. We were once asked if we were sisters which was sweet, but a bit of a stretch! (Sheryl is tall and thin, and I’m, well, not!) We simply explained we were just friends. Friends from down the street for over 20 years!

These conversations with random people who pass us by are meaningful moments of kindness! The kindness of strangers will ALWAYS brighten your day!

Recently, my weekly escapades with Sheryl came to a stop and the laughter we shared was silenced. Sheryl was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. After months of intense chemo and waiting for surgery, she was given the green light to drive again. It didn’t take us long to hit the road and continue the laughs from where we left off!

Last week, we found ourselves at a Starbucks. No surprise there! With Sheryl sporting a stylish scarf on her head and me carrying my pretty pink handled cane, we strolled through the doors chatting away. Little did we know, we were being watched.

As we picked a table, a gentlemen approached us. He asked if we needed any help with getting chairs or if we would like to sit somewhere else. I sensed he was a nice guy. There wasn’t a hint of creepy or a speck of pity in his voice. We thanked him and said we we’re fine at the table we had. He then turned to Sheryl and asked her how long she had been going through treatment. He explained that he had lost several family members to cancer and understood how difficult it was. She told him her story and worked in how she and I had become a team over the last couple years. He then turned to me, as I stood with my cane in plain sight, and I told him my situation. He gave us hugs, as he wished us all the best, and we got back to the business of drinking coffee!

Upon leaving, we spoke to him again. His name was Greg and we thanked him for Offering to help us and for thekind words he gave us. Greg shared how he watched us come in the doors like we owned the place! Talking and laughing like we didn’t have a care in the world. He admired the way we were handling our personal struggles. Laughing and living with what we now call our “normal”. He said he makes it a point to do something nice for someone else everyday… and when he saw us, we were his opportunity for an act of kindness. How AWESOME was that!

We walked in for coffee and left with something we didn’t pay for. (No, we didn’t steal a bag of French roast!) We we’re given some kindness. Kindness from Greg, who was a sweetheart of a stranger. He absolutely brightened our day!

5 Comments on “The Kindness of Strangers

  1. As always you have brightened my day! What a very inspiring story which reminds me of what a little bit of kindness can do for complete strangers. I will practice this and hopefully show more kindness to others. Prayers for your sweet friend and neighbor as always for you.

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  2. maria hayes johnson………………you are one in a million, you have consistently faced something i and almost anyone i know, would be totally felled by….dangling preposition, i know…..you have been a phoenix bird, rising triumphly from the ashes…and i am suwre your friend feels uplifted at a horrible time, by just being with you,,,keep on being you

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  3. Thank you for this story Maria, It motivates me to follow his example. Every day brings opportunities for kindness.

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  4. Hi Ms. Maria, you story just warms my heart! Yes, there are still good people in this world! To meet them at random is always welcome. To hear you speak of your life now, after losing your sight, it is good. I know it ain’t easy, but you seem to get over whatever hurdles come your wY. Such an inspiration you are!! What a blessing to have Ms. Sheryl as a friend and co-conspirator! It is great to know that you are doing well. Big hugs from Colorful Colorado!

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  5. I read this when you first posted it but saw it again via twitter. This story made tears come to my eyes. We need to remember there are many strangers who will be kind.

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