“I’m scared,” my mother said last night.
She was on the ward phone in the hospital in a faraway city where she has been for the past three weeks, now facing bowel surgery.
There isn’t much very comforting or helpful one can do, from a distance, to soothe fear.
I know she likes to listen to music and asked if she had a radio, as she loves listening to classical music on her terrific set at home. She did not.
I picked a store a random, one of a huge national chain of electronics stores, choosing one in a downtown mall. The manager, Dean, quickly got on the phone to help me try to buy a small radio, but the payment — her in Canada, me in the U.S. — wouldn’t go through online.
“Let me make this my Christmas present to you both. I’ll take it over to her tonight. I’ll pay for it myself. Don’t worry,” he said.
A stranger called at random, his father had been ill and now, he said, he knew what this was like and wanted to help.
And he did it, that night, taking a radio he bought and paid for to a stranger’s mother he had never met. He emailed me to tell me he had put in batteries, showed her how to use it and “left her with a big smile.”
So said his email to me, sent three hours after I’d called him, 30 minutes before closing time on a busy Saturday night.
I couldn’t quite believe it. But he did it and my Mom was thrilled.
I am amazed, stunned, deeply grateful for a stranger with so wide and deep a heart.
There are angels, even at the mall.