by Hope Pesner
My mother has always been one of those rare people that sees the good in everyone and does good things ‘just because.’ Life hasn’t always been kind to her; she lost my oldest sister to leukemia in 1963 and just lost my father in 2007 after nearly 51 years of marriage.
She’s had her ups and downs, but has always maintained a positive, sunny outlook on life and has been very helpful to people. As an example, when I was in girl scouts in junior and senior high school, my mom drove me home from the meetings. She always waited for all the other girls to get picked up before driving home. She said, “I wouldn’t want my daughter to wait alone, so I don’t want any of the girls to wait alone.”
In the late 1970s, my other older sister had to have a pair of clogs, a hot fashion at the time. They were heavy slip-on shoes with tall soles.
One day at home after school, my sister was chasing after our dog while wearing the clogs. She fell down and hurt her ankle and leg, prompting a necessary visit to the hospital emergency room. My mother immediately shifted into crisis mode, packed my sister into the car and drove to our local hospital.
Because she was in such a rush to get to the hospital with my sister, my mother didn’t call from home to tell my father that they were going to the emergency room. This was long before cell phones, instant messaging, texting and the Internet; so when she got to the hospital, she realized she needed to get in touch with my father immediately.
He worked as a retail store manager and she wanted to let him know where they were. While waiting for my sister to be examined, my mother made her way to the pay phone to place her call.
She put her dime in and called my father. She told him what had happened and where they were. After she hung up, the phone returned several additional dimes that mom wasn’t owed.
Realizing that the phone was broken, my mother decided to leave the extra dimes by the phone. She told us she left the money there because it was an emergency room — in a crisis people might not remember to bring change with them to make that emergency call. She left the dimes there for someone else who might need them.
I’ve often thought about her decision from an adult’s perspective. I realize that someone seeing the money by the phone may have simply taken it, because not everyone was as trusting as my mother. But I like to believe that my mother’s faith was well-placed, and that someone who needed them found the dimes waiting there.
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 1.