whatever you want for $1

a bit before her birthday, eliza and i were sitting at a table eating french fries before filling our cart with things we “needed.” eliza beamed at a woman wearing an old nurses shirt that had dora on it. the woman was with two others and they were sharing one cup of coffee. her shirt was not from her job, just one that she liked. their appearance pointed to a slice of life that i didn’t know. as we visited, the man with them averted his gaze, but the two women clucked on about eliza. soon they stood over our table and i felt suspicion rise in me. i was planning my strategy for how to share my wealth with them when they asked eliza how old she was. eliza looked at me and i explained that her birthday was soon and she would be three. one woman nodded to the other and dug in her jacket pocket. of a small roll of bills, she peeled one off and handed it to eliza. then with her face closer to ours than i would have ever imagined would be she said: you take this now. you buy whatever you’ve always wanted. you take it. i had no strategy for this one.

so we simply took it. i was humbled and overcome with grace. again.

10 thoughts on “whatever you want for $1

  1. i am ever amazed at how many ways, how many times, life can surprise us – beautiful – and amazing you to notice…so many people would have never given it another thought


  2. My, my, my! Overcome with grace, indeed. I’m so glad you’re leaving “space for grace.” You could choose otherwise, you know?

    Love you!!!


  3. Probably never left a comment with you before but I just had to say thank you for sharing this story. I am not so sure what I would have done either. Your instinct is to say “no, no, no, but thank you” but then you have to take a second and realize that this is what they want to do and this is good. And it is to be noted and passed on… thank you.


  4. Dear Kristin.

    Thank you for this. I want you to know that it is your blog which inspired me to establish a blog tracking the journey to recovery of our little nephew Hendrik. Your terrific photos and thoughtful reflections are “on the mark” each time. Thank you.

    This particular story of unexpected grace that is both startling and humbling has been Hendrik’s parents experience too (and ours as well). The generous spirit in your emails promising to pray and hope join many others, often from folks completely unkown to our family, much like the woman in your story.

    Much love.

    Uncle Gareth


  5. You did have a strategy, Kristin, you graciously accepted the gift – you took the money like it was a gift from a dear friend. You spoke to them, smiled with them, and shared your child with them. And they, in turn, have touched you deeply. Little e is so blessed to witness the dance of human kindness.

    Once again you have graced us with your journey. Thanks for sharing.
    Love from a transplanted Dust Bunny.


  6. To echo Danielle’s comment, indeed, you probably “gave” more to these women my accepting their gift with grace, than giving them anything. What a lesson. What a beautiful story of kind, good, human nature.


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