All that planning and then I forgot…
On October 11 it was Pay it Forward Day sanctioned by someone who wanted to get something going nationally…what a wonderful idea! I had every intention of participating in this effort. I even posted it out to others via Facebook and emailed reminders. And then..I forgot.
The day came and it was as if I had no recollection of any of the encouragements, reminders and hopes I put out there for others to join in and help create this really cool experience of us helping others..of helping each other! There was even a certain time given for everyone to participate in paying it forward…1:00 pm our time. I thought of the many things I wanted to do and it just so happened to be my birthday as well..what a great way to celebrate it! Except I didn’t. Except I forgot. And yet all was not lost.
And the story goes…
I woke up to the sound of a loud helicopter circling around our house and lake area. I was confused by how close it sounded and wondered why it would be flying around our area and for so long. I went outside and watched it fly around and it seemed to be flying close to the shoreline around the lake area as well as flew close to the regional park area across the lake from us. It was a beautiful, sunny October day..the perfect day in autumn and another wonderful day to celebrate a birthday. One of the downfalls of this day is that I had pneumonia and felt very tired. I was home with my college age son and though I wanted to do something fun and wonderful, all I could muster up to do was to take a walk to see if cool air would bring some relief to my cough. I so wanted to be a part of the day.
After dilly dallying around my son and I decided to go for the walk. On our walk I asked him if he heard the helicopters around the house and he said he had. While walking down the path that hugs the lakeshore we heard the helicopter again. By now it was 12:30 pm and the helicopter had been out for at least 3 hours.
As we walked toward the lake park area we noticed police tape blocking the area by the park. There were many patrol cars, the sheriff’s command center truck, a sheriff patrol boat, many police and news crews all gathered around the boat launch area next to the park pavilion area. Everything looked very ominous.
We walked past the area and my son looked up on his phone online to see what might be going on. He found that there was a missing person who had bee in a boat the night before and the boat was found tipped but the person was not found. They were searching both the lake and the wooded areas around the lake. Finally we knew why the helicopters were all out. And it wasn’t a good feeling. Not a good feeling at all.
There is something very interesting that happens in terms of the feeling that overcomes the moment of knowing someone has possibly passed on to the other side…it feels heavy and yet you know the space you are in is sacred. I could not help but feel that as we continued our walk around the lake. We stopped and sat on a bench overlooking the lake and as I watched the waves come back and forth and the ducks playing as they swam over to another area, I wondered what happened to the person who was in the boat. Was he in the water; was he gone? How was his family taking this and how awful I felt knowing there wasn’t anything I could do..except pray. And I did.
We got up to go and we walked toward an officer standing by the police tape and asked if they had found the person they were looking for. He said no. I said I was sorry to hear that and he said “Thank you. It has been a tough morning.”
We continued to walk along and I saw a group of 4 people gathered at the farthest point closet to the boat launch area. For whatever reason I walked over and asked if they knew the person who was missing. Something I would not ordinarily do. The woman stood up, and with the most beautiful eyes said, “We do. I am his mom. We have been here all morning hoping and praying we can find our son.” We held eyes with each other and I gestured to give her a hug and she received it. I told her we would be praying for her family that they would be able to handle what ever came their way for news and information. I told her that I could not imagine being a mom wondering what happened to her son. She replied by saying, “He was a great guy. You would have liked him.” I bet I would have. We smiled at each other and then hugged again. It was during that hug that I felt such strong Grace and compassion flood through me. I didn’t want to let go….and yet we had just met. I said a prayer. I was so touched that she allowed me to come this close to her and to feel her in a way that only comes from a connectedness from a place that has no words. She thanked me for coming over and said it meant a lot to them. It was hard to say goodbye with tears streaming down both of our faces; it was such a powerful force of emotions.
As my son, who was safe and very much a part of my day now filled with such great love for him, and I walked toward home, I asked him what time it was. I asked because I wondered how long we had been walking. It was 1:10 pm…probably 10 minutes from my last words to the other mom.
And there it was..my ‘Pay it Forward’ moment. It was not to be missed by me after all. Some Divine intervention had given me the chance to offer someone something, and in a most unexpected way. To be honest, the moment felt to be more for me than her. I was so filled up and felt so blessed by the whole experience that it seemed more about receiving than giving. But maybe that is the whole point of ‘Paying it Forward’…it does something for both of you.
And in the end isn’t that what makes the best gifts of all?
In Gratitude for Divine intervention…